When God Calls You Names

God knew that Gideon needed to hear God-authored words regarding who he genuinely was and the amazing things he could accomplish with His help.

I can’t imagine anything casual about an angel making an appearance in the Old Testament, but the angel account recorded in the 6th chapter of Judges begins pretty nonchalantly. God’s messenger was patiently sitting under an oak tree, as Gideon was threshing wheat nearby. He was assumedly waiting for an opportune time to approach Gideon and deliver life-altering news.

Judges chapter 6:12 says, “When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “the Lord is with you, Mighty Warrior.” Other Bible translations record equally distinguished titles such as Mighty Man of Valor, Powerful Soldier, and Valiant Warrior. Perhaps Gideon momentarily thought the angel had appeared to the wrong man because he did not feel like he lived up to any of those names. He quickly reminded the angel that he was the youngest child from the weakest clan in Manasseh. 

The next thing Gideon knew, the angel charged him with a seemingly impossible assignment: to lead a group of men to conquer a large, powerful Midianite army of more than 100,000 men. (In a fascinating aspect of the story, God was about to thin the Gideon-led army down from 32,000 to 300 men.)

Gideon took some time to ask for a sign that God sent the angel, and he received it. Eventually, his doubts about the message and the messenger vanished, and he realized he was going to be an integral component in a remarkable victory – a victory that could only be orchestrated by God. 

Do you ever have a little bit of Gideonish doubt about yourself? Do you ever see yourself as less-than or unworthy? Do you ever doubt your ability to carry out the tasks God has assigned to you? If you answered yes to those questions, then your impression of yourself is different from His opinion of you. Allow me to boldly suggest that you promptly silence all other views and align yourself with His. 

God knew that Gideon needed to hear God-authored words regarding who he genuinely was and the amazing things he could accomplish with His help.

Our perception of ourselves is affected by past experiences, opinions of other people, and our inferiority complexes. God bases His perception of us on the fact that He, the Creator and King, created us on purpose and with a purpose. 

May we allow God to work on our hearts, so that eventually, like Gideon, we accept what God wants us to know about our identity. May the truth of our identity always win out over the perception we have of ourselves.

Prayer: Lord, whenever I see myself differently than You see me, may I accept the truth of my identity in You. And may I live according to Your truth rather than my opinion. In Jesus’ name, Amen.