MIGHTY MEN AND WOMEN OF VALOR
But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him. And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and they too were called out to follow him. And he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they went up to meet them. –Judges 6:34-35
Here, Gideon sounds like a giant of the faith, clothed in the Holy Spirit, summoning the tribes of Israel to come and fight for freedom. That is, until we read the verses book-ending this story. Our first glimpse of Gideon finds him hiding from his enemies in a winepress. When an angel appears to him bearing a message from God, Gideon requests a supernatural sign as proof. Later, we find Gideon testing the Lord, asking twice more for a sign of assurance.
The visiting angel calls Gideon a “mighty man of valor”, and I wonder if perhaps he says this tongue-in-cheek. Gideon doesn’t seem to display valor in the natural, but the angel sees with the eyes of the spirit, not eyes of the flesh. He sees that God will provide the courage and might, clothing Gideon in the Holy Spirit, preparing him to win the battle.
I once received a prophetic word from a woman at church calling me a mighty warrior. I laughed because I am all of 5’2” and fear is my spiritual nemesis. Me, mighty? I don’t think so. But this woman looked me in the eye, and hugged me saying, “Praise God! Mighty warriors come in all shapes and sizes.”
At times, the shape of my soul stretches thin with fear, but I know when I’m clothed with the Holy Spirit, my inner warrior comes out. I am strong enough to fight the battle against fear, against the unknown, against everything that would set itself up against the knowledge of God. The Spirit re-shapes me, making me into the image of the Spirit I carry, forming me into an Eshet Chayil—a woman of valor.
Do you find yourself fighting a battle today? The Spirit wants to join you there. He wants to clothe you with his strength and power. He wants to make us into men and women of valor, warriors of all shapes and sizes, prepared to stand and fight.
Father, clothe me in the power of the Holy Spirit today. Help me face my battles with courage, knowing I fight in your strength and not my own. I want to live up to the name “Mighty Warrior,” as I fight for my family, my freedom from sin, and my faith. Amen.