S21P12 – Portraits of faith: Gideon

Judges 6:12
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

As this account of Gideon’s life begins, we wonder where his faith is. An angel has come down to earth to give him a great message of deliverance, and he just has questions. His circumstances are bleak. His people has been overtaken, he is hiding in a winepress to thresh wheat for fear of the enemy, and he is a small boy from a weak tribe. After several verses of Gideon testing this message, he comes to the realization that indeed he has been visited by the angel of the Lord. That is when his faith manifests.

The remainder of this account shows Gideon’s progression in faith as he walks with God through several different circumstances. Each of these small spiritual treks with God was a building of his faith. God was taking Gideon on a journey to realizing and accepting the identity that He had given him, that of a mighty warrior. As God gave him one more encouraging word or confirmation, Gideon grew closer and closer to behaving like a man of valor. And after God’s last encouragement, he asked Gideon to take his whittled-down army and try for an impossible victory. By then, Gideon’s faith was sufficient to simply obey.

Sometimes we think that having little faith or lack of faith in what God has told us means that we have failed. We beat ourselves up because we think that faith is an all-or-nothing deal and that any deviation from complete faith at all times is spiritual weakness or failure. What we fail to realize is that faith is often a progression. Like Gideon, God takes us from questions to complete belief through a process of building our faith. There is always an increase in faith to pursue no matter how much faith we have already shown. Father, increase our faith daily in the way You deem fit, that we would be prepared to believe your words and obey your instructions when it is most challenging.