We find Israel facing a similar situation in Judges chapter six. Neighboring Midianites have been oppressing the Israelite people for seven years. Things have become desperate. Families have fled their homes for the relative safety of mountain caves and dens. Every year, as soon as crops have been planted, Midianite armies invade with the intention of destroying every bit of sustenance being grown. The Israelites have been reduced to almost nothing - devoid of hope, full of fear and despair.
In the midst of this, we meet Gideon, a young Israelite who is threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress. What a strange sight this would have been! Threshing wheat is one of the most labor-intensive processes outside of the modern machinery used today. The ultimate goal is to separate the edible wheat kernels from the straw and chaff. Traditionally, this was done in wide-open spaces, probably on a day when a gentle breeze was blowing, allowing the heavier wheat kernels to fall to the ground as the chaff blew away.
Imagine doing that in an enclosed area.
Gideon is right there, in the middle of his mess, hiding from his circumstances, when an angel of the Lord appears and addresses him, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judg. 6:12b).
Whoa. Read that again: “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
Do you think Gideon felt like a mighty warrior as he cowered in the shadows, afraid for his life? I doubt it. God has this incredible way of speaking our identities into our lives before we can see that identity in the mirror.
When I look in the mirror, I see a woman who struggles with mental illness, doesn’t pray “enough”, hasn’t been to a physical church in three years, and who picks fights with her husband. But God tells me that’s not who I am in Him. He calls me a daughter of the King, beloved, forgiven, and perfect in His sight.
It doesn’t really matter what you are hiding from today. What matters is that you remind yourself who God says you are. You are a daughter of the King, forgiven, worthy, loved, a masterpiece, chosen, significant, and gifted. Place intentional reminders around you so that you can see the truth when you feel like hiding. Make a list of your true identity on a post-it note and put it on your mirror or steering wheel, make a wallpaper for your phone, or set a reminder on your phone at a certain time every day. Step out of hiding, my friend, and embrace who God says you are.
Memory Verse: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
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