The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” Judges 6:16 NIV
I recently went on a trip which included a person that I had never met before. We were both a little anxious about how we may “get along” during the extended drive time. As we were driving away, Pam called and I put her on speaker phone. As I hung up, he exclaimed, “you are Pam Rogers’ husband? You are okay then, I like Pam Rogers.”
Recap. The nation of Israel is being oppressed by the Midianites and an Angel shows up to talk to Gideon. He tells Gideon to be the one to deliver his people. Gideon asked how that could be possible that he is chosen to be the deliverer. Now the angel answers.
“I will be with you” – Gideon has already expressed a core belief that God has abandoned the nation. If God were present, then they would not be in the trouble that they are experiencing. The Angel told Gideon that God’s presence would remain with him to help accomplish the task.
“You will strike down” – Gideon was expected to defeat the Midianites. God sent the benchmark very high for success…leaving none alive.
Within this passage today lies the tension between faith and works. The Angel told Gideon, that God’s presence will remain with him – by faith. But Gideon was to do the actual work – fighting. Look at the progression, I will – then you will.
Gideon actually tested the first part of this equation in the next part of the story. He wants “to know with certainty” that it truly is God that is speaking to him and that God’s presence will remain. Once Gideon’s faith was established in God’s word to him, it was easier to start moving in the direction of saving God’s people.
Working out our salvation, should flow easily from our faith. Let’s say it another way…when faith in God’s presence is low, supernatural activities are also low. When there is a high expectancy of God’s presence, stuff happens like more intimate worship, conviction of sin leading to salvation, people get healed, and forgiveness and relationships restored. When God is present, we act more boldly.
How about you? Do you live each day with the certainty of God’s abiding presence within you at all times? How would acknowledging His abiding power and presence help you overcome temptation, take every thought captive, have the strength to forgive and live more compassionately, move beyond your self pity, or take more bold actions to be a witness for Jesus?
God’s abiding presence is more than an expectation that you will feel happy, although He brings His peace wherever He is present. There are tasks to be fulfilled. There are good deeds waiting for you to engage. There are opportunities to make a difference in someone else’s life. There is a wonderful adventure to live with the presence and power of Jesus abiding within you. He will be with you… and you will…
Blessings Love y’all