I am a lover of stories. Perhaps that is why I have always loved the story of Gideon in the Bible.
He is an unlikely hero, of the weakest clan and the least in his family (Judges 6:15). Those are his words.
But God calls Gideon a mighty warrior.
God calls him this before Gideon does a thing.
God comes to Gideon and confirms that he wants to save Israel through Gideon. Gideon's response? Pardon me, Lord.
Oh, how many times do I respond like that? Really God? You want to use me? My family is small and I am the youngest in my family. Have you seen my sisters? They are awesome! Don't you mean them? Pardon me, Lord.
If it were up to me, I would not call Gideon a mighty warrior. And my labels for myself would not be so grand either.
But God didn't look at Gideon the way I would and he doesn't look at me through my lens.
When God looks at us, he sees what HE can do in and through us!
And so God calls Gideon a mighty warrior not because he is anything special, but because God knows what he can accomplish through Gideon.
Gideon questions God and asks for proof. And I can so relate to this! But then he does the thing that makes him mighty. He trusts God. He is faithful to what God asks him to do. He lived in a way that God got the glory.
The rest of the story is fit for the big screen. Gideon's army starts out with 32,000 men. 32,000 against some 135,000. Not good odds. But God tells Gideon that he has too many men. So, Gideon invites those who might be scared to leave. 22,000 leave! But it's still too many. So God whittles the army down even further until there are only 300 men to fight with Gideon.
It doesn't take a battle strategist to know that this is a bit ridiculous.
But isn't that just like God? To use the things that we would consider ridiculous, worthless, small so that He will receive the glory?
And that is exactly what God does with Gideon and his feeble, little army. He gives them victory! But he does it in such a way that there is no doubt that their salvation could only have been by the hand of God.
I can look back and see how God has lovingly done this in my life. He has proven himself over and over again, reminding me that in myself I am nothing. But when I trust Him and I am faithful to Him, he is able to accomplish much through me.
This is what it means to live so God gets the glory. It means that we don't think too highly of ourselves, but that we think highly of our God. It requires a stepping out in faith when things might not make sense. It means trusting God's perfect plan and praying that his will would be done, not ours.
Oh, Father God,
May this be my prayer that I would live my life in such a way that YOU get the glory. Help me not to get caught up by the pressures to be the best, to achieve great things, to make a name for myself. Instead, help me to walk in humility and faithfulness. Help me to seek you in all things and to point others to you. To you be the Glory!