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Summary: This sermon examines how God sees potential within us that we may not see ourselves.

HIDING OUT: We see ourselves as weak and powerless.

- Judges 6:11.

- Here we meet Gideon for the first time.

- A telling detail that is at first obscure is that he was “threshing wheat in a winepress.” What’s that mean? A winepress was a small pit carved out of rocky ground. Normally a threshing floor would be located in a large exposed area so that the wind could blow off the chaff.

- Why is he threshing wheat in such an inefficient way? Verses 3-5 give us the answer: the Midianites would invade the land at harvest time and take whatever they wanted.

- It should be said that this is a perfectly normal response to this kind of situation. Looking at this situation, a reasonable response would be to hide out.

- Still, it’s sad – kind of a much more serious version of the middle school kid who takes the long way around the school even though it makes him late for class because he’s afraid to walk past the bully’s locker.

X-RAY VISION: God doesn’t see us as we see ourselves – God sees something greater within us.

- Judges 6:12.

- Turn a table on its side, duck down behind, then pop your head up to illustrate the absurdity of this image. The angel calls for the “mighty warrior” and he pops his head up from hiding. It’d be funny if it weren’t a little sad!

- There is a consistent Biblical pattern of God picking ordinary people to do extraordinary feats.

- Peter was prone to go off at a moment’s notice, yet God chose him to be the first leader of the early church.

- The disciples generally were a breathtakingly ordinary group of men – not exactly the cream of the crop – yet Jesus handpicked them.

- King Saul was also the “least” (1 Samuel 9:21).

- David was the youngest of the brothers – not even worth bringing in from the fields when the prophet came to town.

- In 1 Corinthians 1:27-29, Paul tells us that God has chosen the weak and foolish things.

- God wants to do something significant through us. He wants our lives to matter, to point people to Him.

- It is clear throughout the New Testament that God desires fruit.

- It is clear throughout the New Testament that God desires to manifest His power through us.

- Consider all the titles and names that are given to Christians in the New Testament, yet we often have difficulty claiming those for ourselves.

- We’re His ambassadors. We’re the heirs of God. We’re God’s representatives.

- We have trouble believing such things could be true of us.

- When I say “something greater,” I don’t mean that we’re all destined to write a book that’s a best-seller or that start something that has an impact the world over.

- Some specific examples of what this might look like:

a. Someone sees themselves as a fake, yet God would address them as “Man of Integrity.”

b. Someone sees themselves as selfish, yet God would address them as “Woman of Mercy.”

c. Someone sees themselves as shy, yet God would address them as “Mighty Preacher.”

d. Someone sees themselves as clueless, yet God would address them as “Lifter Of Her Children’s Lives.”

- It may be something small, but that doesn’t mean it’s not significant.

NO WAY!: There are lots of reasons to believe that isn’t really true.

- Judges 6:13, 15.

a. Objection #1: The situation is too bad.

- v. 13.

- He starts out by asking, “Why has all this happened to us?” The situation was terrible.

- Then he notes that the miracles of years ago no longer happen. God had delivered them to the enemy because of their sin.

b. Objection #2: I don’t have what it takes.

- v. 15.

- He says that he doesn’t have the right background (“my family is nothing special – in fact we’re the weakest”).

- Often we’ll allow our family history to become our destiny.

- My father was a drunk, so I’ll end up a drunk.

- My mother was a gossip, so I’ll be a gossip.

- No one in my family ever did anything great, so there’s no chance that I will.

- We will often use phrases like “I could never. . .”

- He also says that he himself is the least among his “pathetic” family.

- He sees himself as a nothing. . . or at least a nothing special.

- I’m not particularly smart.

- I didn’t even finish college.

- I can’t understand the Bible the way he does.

- I can’t do that ministry as well as she does.

- On this “not having what it takes,” a little side note: I believe that this idea is particularly strong and damaging when it gets on the inside of a man. Men (and this is a generality) tend to define themselves more by what they do. We need people who will come beside us and speak words of belief to us. Particularly important here are two people: fathers and wives. Those two people have a disproportionate ability to damage or lift a man. What a father says to a son matters deeply. What a wife says to her husband matters deeply.

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