Outside the merits of Superman and Batman, when I was a kid, I found some of the most heroic characters in Bible stories that were animated for television. Two of my favorite cartoon shows were SuperBook and The Flying House, which used fictitious modern-day characters traveling back in time to illustrate Biblical tales.
My favorite episode told the epic story of Gideon, a hero I’m still enthralled with to this day. The name “Gideon” means “Mighty Warrior” and yet as you read his story in Judges 6–8, he spends a tremendous amount of time questioning himself, his abilities, and the call the Lord has on his life.
I look back at the last 15 years of my life and remember many times I spent daydreaming.
I don’t know for sure what other guys think about when their minds wander, but I bet much of it correlates to “man stuff.” Sure, a fast, expensive car would be great, as would a big house in Maui or to be hitting home runs for the Texas Rangers, but those things never seemed important.
Whenever I’ve dreamed, I imagined being on stage in front of hundreds or even thousands of people and watching as my words entertained and inspired them through the influence of God. I can’t ever seem to shake this desire to want to be used as an instrument in such a way that people have an unmistakable encounter with the Holy Spirit and are forever changed as a result. I want to be a mighty warrior.
I’m in a season of my life where warring for anything except trying to sell my next insurance policy or battling my waistline seems completely outside the realm of possibilities.
Last year, I stood in front of a room of five of my superiors to deliver a presentation and began sweating profusely before the first word ever came out. In fact, my bald spot always sweats the most, and I could feel it running down my head, drenching my shirt. The fifteen minutes of stumbling and stuttering that followed could only be described as one of the most humiliating experiences of my life. It humbled any confidence in my ability to speak with conviction in front of a crowd or afford the constant expense of new undershirts.
Despite all the trepidation, I am always encouraged as I read how Gideon struggled toward his calling.
To begin with, he asked the Lord to complete the “fleece test”—not once but two nights in a row—just to make sure he was hearing correctly. Later, he would find his army of 32,000 reduced to 10,000 and then again to just 300. I imagine Gideon had to look at his resources and the battle he was about to fight and felt completely inadequate.
Still, despite circumstances, Gideon obeyed the Lord.
If you ever meet my brother, Landon, ask him about music. What will follow will be one of the most passionate, informed schoolings on rock you’ve ever experienced. It’s yet another “man subject” that I lack any expertise in, but Landon will undoubtedly talk about the great guitar players most of us have heard of: Hendrix, Clapton, Vaughn, and Jimmy Page. What I bet you won’t hear him or anyone else talk much about are the actual guitars they played.
As instruments, we’re often prone to assess our own limitations instead of the limitless possibilities of our Musician.
He does something that Jimi Hendrix never attempted. Before He ever plays them, God crafts each of His guitars by hand. Over time, even as strings wear out and things seem out of tune, it’s never beyond His ability to make some adjustments and create a ballad that never even seemed possible.
Gideon saw himself as more of a kazoo than any large instrument capable of electric power coursing through its five strings.
Still, through obedience, God used him to create stories of legend that little boys would dream about thousands of years later.
Each of us has those dreams of being a mighty warrior in our unique way. When God fulfills dreams, He has shown time and time again that He uses inadequacy for the unmistakable recognition that it’s not about us. Concertgoers don’t attend to see the instrument; they go to hear the Musician.
If I’ve learned anything this year as I look at my lack of resources and feel like anything but a mighty warrior, it’s this: God is enough.
*Photo credit: npmeijer