Sometimes we think we need to be “special” in order to be used by God. We tend to idolize Christ-followers of significance, like well-known pastors, famous worship leaders, and singer/songwriters. Even the Bible tells us stories of beyond-human people of faith like Abraham, Moses, Peter, and Paul.
But the truth is that God just wants you to do you… you empowered by him, following in obedience, that is. God works best through weakness – when we are weak, his perfect strength can be revealed through us (2 Cor 12:9).
Gideon was weak. By his estimation, he was the most insignificant person in an insignificant family in the smallest tribe of Israel. Who was he to be used by God to free Israel from Midian? But the angel of God said, “Go in the strength that you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.” Go in the strength that you have – that sounds like God telling Gideon to just be Gideon. What he had would be enough.
After some convincing, and the assurance of God answering prayer in the fleece tests, Gideon obeyed. He gathered his army, 30,000 of men. This seemed like a decent number, although the Midian army had 300,000 men. Ten to one odds weren’t too bad, since God would be on their side.
Then God called Gideon aside and said, “You’ve got too many men in your army, Gideon. Send anyone who is afraid home.”
Gideon obeyed (though there might’ve been some convincing needed first) and about half of his troops headed home. He was left with 15,000. Twenty to one could still work with God’s help, especially since the remaining soldiers were all in.
God was shaking his head. “Still too many,” he said. “Have everyone go down to the river to drink. Send home anyone who lays down his weapons and drinks with both hands.” At that point, Gideon probably wondered how he would have drunk if he hadn’t had the heads up.
In the end, 300 men were left, leaving them outnumbered 1,000 to one. This made a God-sized impossible situation.
You know the story. The 300 surrounded the Midianites at night, flashed torches and yelled, and the Midianites pretty much killed each other off.
Gideon thought he was weak, but God made him even weaker and then did the impossible through him.
God doesn’t need you to be super-human. He is God. He needs you to be you, just the way he made you! When you are genuinely you, he can be entirely him. When the two of you team up that way … miracles happen!
So when it comes to making an impact for the kingdom… just do you.