You know a sermon is good when you keep mulling it over for more than a week!
Hubby's sermon a couple of Sunday's ago was focused on Gideon. Not the whole story of what he did, or how God used him; his sermon focused more on the intial contact - when God first called Gideon to act. Picture it - Gideon is hiding in a winepress to thresh his wheat. The winepress was either constructed with walls high enough to hide Gideon or was actually dug into the ground deeply enough for him not to be seen. How do I know this? Well, scripture says he was hiding. The Midianites were known for destroying or take the crops of the Jews. Gideon wanted to keep the grain he was threshing so he put himself in a place of hiding. Being so contained while threshing probably meant that Gideon was breathing in all the chaff and dealing with the irritation it almost certainly caused his eyes. Got the picture? Farmer scared so badly he's causing himself discomfort to keep the enemy from messing with him and his crops.
Enter, the Angel of the Lord who says, "Hail, Mighty Man of Valor" (in the King James anyway). Excuse me? Mr. Scaredy cat? A man of valour?! In the NIV, this is translated as "The Lord is with you, Mighty Warrior." Again - are you kidding me?! None of us, if we had a chance to see Gideon in those circumstances, would have called him anything close to brave or warrior-like! But God didn't call Gideon that because of what Gideon was doing at that point in time. God knew Gideon COULD BE a Mighty Warrior. God chose to speak his plan for Gideon into Gideon's life.
So what about you? What identity have you been given that you'd rather get rid of? What "names" weigh you down? I know I've come up with a few that hurt me more than a little and, quite frankly, I'd like to be rid of them! So I'm choosing to seek God and his "name" for me. I'm spending time in his word and in prayer to see what he calls me so I can move forward in that new direction. Time to get the heck out of the winepress!