“Then the angel of the LORD came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!” “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The LORD brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “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!” The LORD said to him, “I will be with you.. . .”
As I study the Word of God I am struck by how many of God's most successful leaders never applied for the job. Gideon is a good example; although I could have used Jeremiah, or Moses, or David, or a host of others. Not one of them came to God and said, “Hey God, I hear you are looking for a hero of the faith. How about me, I would like to be a hero.” No, every one of them was going about his business – Gideon was hiding in a winepress when the angel of the LORD showed up. You see, in every case it wasn’t their ambition that made them great, it was the calling of God. It wasn’t’ what they had to offer God, it was how God’s power worked through them. Still, there is a single characteristic that is common to all of these great leaders; they were great because they yielded to God’s call. And as you read the passage above please notice two other things: First, Gideon is sent to save Israel with only the strength he already had (vs. 14). Why? Because God didn’t need Gideon’s strength or skill, He just needed Gideon’s faithful obedience. Second, God’s answer to all of Gideon’s questions is a common answer from God: Don't worry about that, “I will be with you” (vs. 16).
As we seek leaders for our church and leaders for our nation we need to look for the things that are really important, we need to ask the right questions: Is this person driven by personal ambition or is this person answering the call of God? Is this person convinced (and trying to convince you) that it is their personal strength that will enable them to succeed or are they humbly trusting in the strength and wisdom of God?
Pastor Keith Andrews