It was a natural progression for me to think deeply about Gallup Strengths through the lens of my faith, and soon I recognized that the heroes of the Scriptures were operating in God-given Strengths!
Carol Anne McGuire
Get a little extra jolt of your Strength with a hot cup of Joe or contemplate resting in your Strength zone with a smooth cup of tea!
Carol Anne McGuire
Top 5 Strengths Illustrated Posters are suitable for framing in your office or home will remind you, your workmates, your clients just what you are good at!
Carol Anne McGuire
You know you are 'owning it' when you are wearing your Strengths! Check out the wearables that I have made to remind my clients of their Strengths.
Carol Anne McGuire
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Gideon - Deliberative
Deliberative is a person who is very careful about making decisions. They want to be sure before they commit.
Gideon was just such a man. He had to be sure it was God sending him into battle.
Text: Judges 6:11-12
Gideon was threshing wheat in a wine press trying to provide for his family and keep the Midionites from discovering it. Threshing wheat was normally done on top of a hill so that the breeze could separate the wheat from the chaff. But working on top of a hill would invite the Midianites to steal the wheat. Survival meant going undetected. That was just common sense.
While Gideon was threshing wheat an angel sat under a tree watching him. Finally the angel spoke, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
God does not come to tell us something we already know. He comes to tell us what we don’t know. Gideon needed to know God was with him. That is important because circumstances did not make him aware of that. We go to circumstances to prove or disprove God is with us!
Gideon thought God couldn’t be with them if they were being oppressed. If God was with him why were they not delivered and where were the Lord’s mercies?
Notice the angel did not answer his questions because while Gideon is interested in getting his questions answered God is interested in Gideon acting. “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites, Have I not sent you?"
We want answers, God wants action! We want to discuss and God wants a decision.
Then Gideon said, “My clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my father’s house.” Gideon figured he was the wrong man for the job. He did not feel qualified or capable because he was “least". And he certainly did not know he was a mighty man of valor. He was blind to who he was! His attitude was, “How can God pick me?" Clay can’t see what it is good for until the potter gets a hold of it.
We really don’t know who we are. Our vision is limited. It’s like the turtle who fell in love with an army helmet. He can’t see very well. We see through a glass darkly. But the Lord can see what’s what, who’s who and why.
The eagle’s vision is so sharp it can read the fine print of a newspaper from a quarter of a mile away. We are too near sighted.
God’s vision is so clear He can see Purpose! There is purpose in everything He made.
An earthworm crawling around in your back yard has a purpose it does not understand. It crawls through the dirt not realizing it is loosening the soil for plant life to grow. It eats what it finds and when it dies it’s body becomes the fertilizer the soil needs for plant life. Purpose!
A lightening bolt has purpose. It flashes through the atmosphere creating nitrogen which is necessary for life. Everything has a purpose and so do we.
God’s purpose for Gideon was to use him to deliver Israel from the Midianites. But Gideon was not so sure. He was deliberative, meaning he had to know for sure before he committed himself. So he asked the angel for a sign.
Judges 6:17 “Show me a sign”
I need to know before I throw my hat into the ring.
Gideon brought an offering and the angel said to place it on a rock. When the angel touched it with his staff the offering instantly burst into flames and the angel disappeared. That was a double sign!
Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon [verse 34] and he blew a trumpet and raised an army to fight the Midianites. 32,000 men stood at attention at his call. That was the third sign!
Gideon asks for a fourth sign.
“If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised - I will place wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the wool and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand.” [vs 37] So the Lord answered his prayer and gave him the sign.
Then Gideon wanted a fifth sign! He reversed the fleece. Now he wanted the Lord to let the wool be dry and the ground around it wet. And God answered his prayer again. How many signs do we need?
Before we criticize Gideon remember God did not rebuke him. But because Gideon was still in need of confirmation God gave him one more indisputable sign.
Here is what happened.
Gideon had an army of 32,000 men but God wanted him to send home all those who were afraid to go into battle.
22,000 went home leaving Gideon with 10,000 men.
But God further reduced his army to 300 men. Now Gideon needed a sign badly because his 300 men were up against 135,000 Mideonites. He was outnumbered 450 to 1. He could do the math and needed a sign.
One of the problems with wanting signs is once you start there seems to be no end!
“That same night” The night Gideon’s army was reduced to 300. The night Gideon would be having a lot of doubts. That was the night Gideon was told to crawl to the enemy camp and listen to what they were saying. He did and this is what he heard;
One soldier was telling another soldier he had a dream of a loaf of barley bread rolling into the camp and toppling a tent.
The other soldier said, “This is none other than the sword of Gideon.” Do you know what is amazing about this? They were afraid of Gideon and he had never gone into battle! Gideon’s army was untested. They had no battle experience. The enemy was more afraid of Gideon than Gideon was afraid of them. The enemy knew who Gideon was Gideon didn’t know who he was.
What does this mean?
David writes in Ps 23. . . . He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies." We think “table” means “food” but for Gideon it was “food for thought.” The enemy feared him. God provided a table for Gideon in the presence of his enemies. Gideon was just a loaf of barley bread but God made him bigger than life.
We tend to listen to what the enemy says to us. He says, “God doesn't care. You are on your own. Why would God help a loser like you?”
The enemy says, “Who do you think you are? You don’t deserve God’s love. You deserve His judgment.” That’s what he says TO US. But we need to listen to what the enemy says ABOUT US
The enemy says,
"They are the apple of God's eye.
They are more than conquerors.
They are are overcomers.
They are are washed in the blood.
They are born again, Spirit filled and armed and dangerous.
They have God’s favor.
They have been redeemed.
And their names are in the Lamb’s book of life."
Every thing the enemy says ABOUT you is written in God’s word. We are a Royal Priesthood.
A holy nation.
A peculiar people.
The church triumphant.
When the enemy comes in like a flood the Spirit of God will raise a standard against him.
Gideon finally got the sign he needed and it was from the enemy. Maybe we should take another look at our enemy. What did Gideon do?
He worshipped the Lord. If God can get your enemy to cause you to worship the Lord you can be sure He will direct our attention to the enemy again and again.
What did his worship mean?
It’s gonna be alright.
This mountain shall be moved.
This enemy shall be defeated.
The giant will fall.
The wall will crumble.
The river will be crossed.
This battle will be won.
So let the weak say I am strong. And let the poor say I am rich. That’s something to worship the Lord about.
Satan is a liar. He knows God can shut the mouths of lions. He knows He can calm stormy seas. He knows Jesus is a bridge over troubled water. He knows God can call life out of death and light out of darkness. He knows “Greater is He who is within us.” He knows God opens prison doors.
Praise the Lord, He can work through those who praise Him, praise the Lord.
Jesus deliberated before the foundations of the world. He knew if He came He would be rejected by His own.
He came anyway!
Jesus knew He would be ridiculed but He came anyway.
He knew He would be arrested, tried and crucified and came anyway. He knew Calvary was waiting for Him but He prayed, “Not my will but Thine be done.”
Jesus was outnumbered by the Jews, the Sanhedrim and the Romans. But despite it all He came.
The only sign you need was given 2000 years ago.
The Lord Himself will give you a sign. A virgin shall conceive and bear a Son. And she will call His name Immanuel meaning God with us. He is the sign. The only sign we will ever need. He signed the deed with His atoning blood. He ever lives to make His promise sure. Should all the hosts of hell march in to make a second claim. They’ll all march out at the mention of His Name.
Song: “The blood that Jesus shed for me”