Broken People, Faithful God
Spirit of the Lord
Day 1: In Judges chapter 6, we find Gideon and all of Israel scared, hungry, and hiding in mountain caves. Gideon literally hid himself in order to collect grain to eat. Yet, in the midst of this God calls Gideon, “mighty hero.” What irony! Yet, Judges 6:12 says, “The Lord is with you,” and Judges 6:34 says, “the Spirit of the Lord took possession of Gideon.” The reason God called Gideon a mighty hero is not because Gideon had superhuman strength or power, but because the Spirit of the Lord was with him. Think back on this last week. Has there been a time when you felt afraid, weak, powerless, or out of control? How did you respond in that situation? Often in life we can feel afraid and defeated. Yet, Romans 8:37 says that we are, “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Read 2 Timothy 1:7 out loud, and take some time to pray and reflect.
Day 2: In Judges 6:14, the Lord says to Gideon, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” What strength does Gideon have? Gideon sums it up best in the next verse, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” Gideon by himself was nothing. His strength was in the One who sent him. Where do you find your strength? What has the Lord sent you to do? Read Matthew 28:16-20. On our own, this command can seem scary and impossible, rightly so. Take some time to consider and pray. Is there someone today at your work or school, or even in your own family who could use a hand or some encouragement? Who is God sending you to invest in? Write their name(s) down, and ask God to help create an opportunity for conversation or a way to serve them today.
Day 3: In Judges 6:34 it says, “the Spirit of the Lord took possession of Gideon.” This phrase, “took possession,” can also be translated, “to be clothed with.” Gideon was clothed with the Spirit of God. Colossians 3:9-14 uses similar imagery when it says your old nature (our attitudes and behaviors before we began following Jesus) has been, “stripped off,” so now, “put on your new nature,” and that you, “must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience… above all, clothe yourselves with love.” The clothes we wear can say a lot about us. Often, clothing can be our way of showing people how we want them to view us. We also choose clothing for specific jobs: suits for important meetings, coveralls for working outside, coats for protection from the cold. Clothing can prepare us and protect us for living life. Go outside today; maybe you can go for a walk. Feel the crisp fall air. Have the leaves begun to turn yet? Winter will be here soon. What clothing have you put on to prepare you for life? Read Colossians 3:9-14. As you interact with people today make a point to be aware of your spiritual clothing. They can see what you’re wearing.
Day 4: Gideon was, “clothed with the Spirit” (Judges 6:34). This Hebrew word labash refers to the everyday act of putting on a garment. What a beautiful metaphor. How can we choose to daily be clothed with the Spirit of the Lord? One common tool used by many Christians is to pray through Ephesians 6:10-20. Take your time and pray through each of these pieces of armor. Picture yourself putting each piece on one by one. Remember our series on the Holy Spirit? As you put on these items, pray that this would allow you to be in step with the Spirit. If you’ve never done this exercise before, it may even seem silly at first, but try it anyway. You may find that it will affect your thoughts, words, and actions throughout your day.
Day 5: Read Hebrews 11:32-34. When we act in faith through the power of the Holy Spirit amazing things can be accomplished. Yet, being, “clothed with the Spirit of the Lord” does not mean that we no longer experience fear. Instead, it means that even when we are afraid, we are still able to move forward in faith to take action. Gideon went to battle with 300 men armed with jars, lanterns, and horns. Of course, they were afraid! Take out a piece of paper or write in your journal something daunting that you think God might want you to do. Maybe there is a conversation with a neighbor, colleague, or family member that needs to happen, but you dread doing it. Maybe God wants you to invest your time, talent, or money somewhere. Maybe there is a risk that God wants you to step out in faith and take this week. Write it down and refer back to it several times. Think about it, pray and step into faith despite your fear. Then watch to see what God does.