The following article is an opinion piece and reflects the views of only the author and not those of AllOnGeorgia.
I am sure if I asked a Christian to tell me about God, I would hear many character traits including good, merciful, forgiving, and faithful just to name a few. When we really know someone, we know who they are and we know who they are not. I’ll bet you know what restaurant not to take your significant other to. We learn those closest to us intimately enough to know what is outside of their character.
Getting to know God from a different angle can give you fresh perspective and bring you more intimately into relationship. In the month of July, Dirt Road Believer YouTube taking a closer look at what GOD’S NOT by taking a walk through the book of Judges. This Old Testament focus will look at the Judges over Israel after Joshua’s leadership and before the first King of Israel, Saul, was chosen.
The theme of the book of Judges is cyclical. The Israelites start the pattern with disobedience, then they experience discipline until they repent. Once repentance takes place, God raises up a Judge to bring about deliverance. Most of the judges have very little on their resume or family history that qualifies them to deliver God’s people. We even meet a Judge named Deborah and another woman who stepped up to the plate when a warrior wouldn’t.
With every chapter, Judges shows what God is NOT. We will learn throughout this unconventional study that GOD’S NOT: fair, happenstance, choosy, old, or late just to name a few. Gideon teaches us that God’s NOT completely convinced you know who you really are. Gideon describes himself as being the youngest in a family who is the weakest in his town. They are poverty stricken and starving because of the oppression from the Midianites.
When the angel of the Lord comes to Gideon, he is hiding out threshing wheat indoors so that the Midianites would not come and steal their harvest. Gideon feels completely defeated when the Angel of the Lord says, “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior”. Judges 6:12. Those are starkly different descriptions on the same person. Gideon’s self-perception takes many more words for him to describe who he is and why he is incapable. God only needed two words…Valiant Warrior. If we are honest, we are a lot like Gideon. We do a great job of giving ourselves an identity instead of allowing God to name us.
When I was a child, my nickname was Bell. To this day, when someone calls me Bell, I know it is someone who identified me in my childhood. I have moved far beyond “Bell”, but some people in my life still see me as that little four-year-old girl. I think most of us have people in our life that call us one thing, when that name is no longer relevant. Sometimes, we even do it to ourselves like Gideon did.
There is only One who is capable of giving you a name that matches your true identity. You may not know that name yet but listen for it. Gideon definitely had some doubts about his new name, but he moved towards being a Valiant Warrior by being obedient. I encourage you today to tune out people around you who want to name you, allow God to name you.