Seeing Through God's Eyes
A few months ago I was studying the story of Gideon in the book of Judges. For many, this is an extremely encouraging story of a man who trusted God and defied the odds by taking an army of 300 and battling victoriously against an army as “countless as the locusts”. However, what most do not recognize in the story is that when the angel initially approaches Gideon, he is far from acting like such a brave and courageous leader. In fact, in Judges 6 it tells that Gideon is so afraid of the Midianites that he is actually attempting to thresh wheat in the deep pit of a wine press! For those who have never seen a wine press from ancient Israel, it is a deep and narrow pit in the ground, very similar to a water well. Imagine trying to thresh wheat in a such a small and narrow place!
Yet when the angel arrives to visit him, instead of calling out a timid and fearful man (how Gideon was acting at the moment), he calls out “The Lord is with you, MIGHTY WARRIOR”. The angel then tells him to “Go in this STRENGTH of yours and SAVE Israel….” Gideon then begins to come up with reasons as to why he is unqualified for the job, of which the angel responds that the Lord will be with him.”
From the outside, one would initially think that the angel has gotten it all wrong and picked out the wrong guy. After all, Gideon was in hiding and struggling with a great deal of fear and inferiority. How could anyone see a mighty warrior and a man of such strength that he will be able to save a nation?
1 Samuel 16:7 says that “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” This was written in reference to how Samuel would choose the king to follow Saul, whom had just had the kingdom stripped from him. Samuel ends up discovering the most unlikely of people to replace Saul, a young boy named David who by the fact he was the last son brought to Samuel, had been considered the least important in his family (sound familiar?).
Why is this important for us to understand? Many times, when we look at people or situations that someone may be in, we tend to look at the obvious, external realities and make a fleshly judgement in response. Yet time and time again, the Bible reveals how God did not respond to what was happening in the natural, rather, He spoke forth what He saw beyond the decisions / circumstances.
What would have happened if the angel would have said to Gideon “You are a fearful coward, therefore you will never become the leader I thought you could be”. Or what if God would have told Samuel “look for the tallest, smartest, strongest, most handsome man to be the next king” (wait… isn’t that what happened with Saul?)
Had God spoken of things as they appeared, then Gideon never becomes the courageous and faith filled warrior who inspires us and David likely never gets chosen as King and eventually the bloodline for Jesus to come through.
Proverbs 18:21 says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.” When we speak God’s words about a person or situation, we are releasing life into the atmosphere. Just as a thermostat impacts the atmosphere of a home and thus has an effect on the way we feel, filling the atmosphere with God’s words can have a deep and destiny altering impact on those it is spoken to.
Though Gideon’s actions were in no way a reflection of who God called him to be, it was still his reality in the moment. Because he believed that he was inferior and the least of all clans in Israel, he found himself living a life far below the standard and calling that God had for him. Many times we do the same in our own life. We see ourselves through the lenses of others and through the results of many situations we have previously faced in life.
Today I want to close this blog with a challenge. As you go through your day and week, ask God to help you see your situations and the people around you through His eyes. Take notes, even if you struggle to believe what you are seeing and hearing. I then challenge you to begin speaking about those people and situations as God shows you, not as you normally would have. As you do, begin to expect not only a sudden change in the way people respond to you, but in how you respond to others as well.