Hearing God’s voice should be something that is part of every Christian’s life. Yet it often seems to be one of the greatest struggles for believers. The first reality is that God is always trying to talk to us, as that is what is key to a relationship in which Jesus came to restore and to give us the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is such a better proposition than what the people of old had to deal with before Jesus came. With that said, the story of Gideon reveals a picture that addresses some heart questions that often challenge our hearing. The story helps uncover why we often reject the words of His conversation due to our own perspectives.
Judges 6:11-24, tells the story of a conversation Gideon had with an Angel. I recommend taking a moment and reading through the encounter.
First, God addresses us from a platform of truth and how he actually views us, “You mighty valiant man, the Lord is with you.” God speaks to who we really are then delivers a truth about Himself, “I am with you.” This poses a big challenge to Gideon as he has interpreted life's events from a position of his perception of God, “If you were for us, than why has all this bad happened.” Religions have been built on this question and it is sad, because it was based on mans perspective and not our Fathers.
We also at times try to measure this idea by looking around at others to see if this worked for them. What we do not realize that we are placing our experience above His wisdom. On a side note, if you had not seen it work for anyone else, why not be the first. In all of this we see God, in his patient mercy, works this through by ignoring the rebuttal and reaffirming that Gideon has what it takes and that He trusts what is in Gideon, therefore, He is sending him.
The second rebuttal comes when Gideon states his own perceived value, “I am from the smallest tribe and the youngest in my family.” He basically is letting God know that He has made a big mistake and “you do not understand who I really am.” How often has God spoken to our hearts an answer and we in similar fashion attempt to disqualify ourselves based on our personal perceived value. Just another reminder, the Father speaks to who we really are, not what we believe about our selves. God responds again by saying, “I will be with you and you will win.” Gideon is struggling with God's opinion of himself, yet, you see the persistence that God is willing to endure to help Gideon receive a life changing message that will not only empower him, bur free those around him.
The third rebuttal is really hitting the heart of the matter, “if this is really God speaking than reveal yourself to me.” Which God willingly does and at that point a characteristic of God Himself is revealed. Then Gideon goes on to build a monument that represents an aspect of God, “The Lord is Peace.” This is really fascinating because it was not just that God wanted to talk to Gideon, or bring him a word, but rather to reveal Himself to Gideon. This is really a powerful point that needs to be understood and is the solidifying of Gideon's relationship with God. I believe that this is what Paul was trying to communicate to the Philippians in chapter 4:6-7. After you pray, “that the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” As you allow him to open up a dialogue with you and you move beyond your own perceived arguments that the who He is to you in that moment is revealed settling your heart and mind. It is from that place of rest that voluntary action begins to take place.
So where does that leave us? Are we at peace with our prayers and dialogue with Him? I think there is something more powerful as you see in Gideon's life. He did not just hear from God, but a promise was confirmed, identity solidified and direction in which to go. He now had the boldness to act on it, giving freedom to those around him. It did not mean he understood every step, but he confidence to step was birthed. The same is true for you. God is always wanting to share your future with you, accepting it and being willing to move forward in what He has spoken is where the power is seen. His peace is not a tolerance for your circumstance, but rather an inward strength that allows us to move forward in opposition. Knowing that He our Father is with you. Gideon went on to deliver a nation and face extraordinary opposition, but he was at peace because he both heard and met God.
This is just a limited scope of what God wants to share with you, as we now have more access than Gideon ever did. So, take a new approach to your time in prayer as a sense of adventure with your Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Expect Him to show you a new mirror of His thoughts of you and allow His opinion to drown out all others.