After a busy day, sleep was well within my reach. It was late & I was almost asleep when the name “Gideon” popped into my mind. It was one of those thoughts that snapped my eyes open & made me sit straight up in bed. My mind was suddenly wide awake.
I knew Gideon was from the Bible, but I didn’t know much about his story, let alone why he would come into my mind as I was falling asleep.
So I googled.
I found Gideon’s story in Judges 6-8. God calls Gideon, the son of Joash and poor, oppressed Israelite, to rescue Israel from the Midianites. Gideon questions the Lord’s calling because he is the youngest in his family & the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh. How could God use him? Yet God persisted. Gideon asked God for multiple signs to make absolutely sure he knew God’s calling was truly for him—that in his faithfulness he had heard God’s calling correctly. After a sacrificed bull, some fleece, & dew-graced ground, Gideon knew the Lord had answered his signs & was indeed calling him to serve, even with the smallest of armies.
Like Gideon, I have prayed for signs of reassurance & guidance—signs in the next steps to take in rest, in college, as an artist, & as a business owner. To be honest, I had asked God not too soon before Gideon popped in my mind as I fell asleep that night. Gideon’s story resonates with me because he is a pioneer of the Lord. Gideon stepped out in faith, relying completely on God, with a minuscule army of 300 men, to defeat the Midianites. He listened to God & obeyed Him faithfully, even when he could not see beyond the next bend in the road. Though the odds seemed against him, God used Gideon’s weakness for His good. God strengthened Gideon with power to do His work. God works in us this way too—When we are weak & recognize we cannot succeed without the Lord, our hearts have room for God to come in & roll up His sleeves. All we have to do is answer the knock at the door.
The next morning, I dug deeper into Gideon’s story and came to these seven sweet parallels. Gideon reminds me:
- Trust God at all times, for He is faithful.
- Don’t let weakness or perceived failure make you believe you are not good enough.
- God uses the most unlikely people & the most uncertain circumstances to bring victory & glory to His name.
- God never leaves us to fight alone. He provides all we need, even when our armies seem too small.
- No feat is too big or too hard for God.
- He is sovereign! If it’s His will, it will be.
- When we faithfully come to God & ask for a sign of direction or reassurance, He answers in ways to guide our hearts in obedience to Him.
As these little revelations formed, I concluded exactly seven—not five, not ten, but seven. As I read them over again & again, my mind kept returning to that number. It reminded me of a sermon on Revelation 1, John’s greeting to the seven churches. I had heard it at my church this summer in July, the seventh month.
Seven was stuck in my mind, so I googled. (again)
Que the goose bumps—here is what I found about the number ‘7’:
- The number ‘7’ is used 735 times in the Bible (54 times in Revelation alone)
- ‘7’ is a number of completeness & perfection, both physically & spiritually
- The number’s meaning is rooted in God’s creation (7 days of creation in Genesis)
Then I connected the dots…God rested on the 7th day—the day His creation was complete—a day of perfection & rest. With these seven revelations from Gideon’s story, my heart was reassured. God rested on the 7th day, & He’s calling me to times of rest, too. Through it all, He is faithful, my worth is found in Him, He gives me all I need, He never leaves me to fight alone because nothing is too hard for Him, He is sovereign, & He sends signs to guide my heart.
But wait, there’s more!
I continued researching the number ‘7’ because I was absolutely fascinated.
I found in the book of Hebrews, Paul uses seven titles in reference to Christ:
- Heir of all things (Heb. 1:2)
- Captain of our salvation (Heb. 2:10)
- Apostle (Heb. 3:1)
- Author of salvation (5:9)
- Forerunner (Heb. 6:20)
- High priest (Heb. 10:21)
- Pioneer & perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2)
ALL the chills now—the seventh reference, pioneer, has been my word for this new season. Of course, it would be the seventh on the list.
I’m walking into battle like Gideon, but artist edition. I don’t have a huge army either—I only have the gifts God has given, passion to pursue & serve, & boldness that comes from the Lord. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I know He gives me all I need to conquer it. With God, I am able to pioneer forth into places I could never have gone otherwise in my faith, in my passions, & in my calling for the future. You know what’s even better? We can all relate to Gideon in some way. In one way or another, we’re all pioneering into battles with seemingly small armies. No matter the circumstances, God is with us through & through—the Captain of our army, the Navigator of our journey.
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory & excellence.” -2 Peter 1:3
God is still navigating my paths on this pioneer journey—a journey that has led me to rest, to repentance, to freedom, to contentment, to Gideon, to faith, & to the number seven. All of these little revelations remind me that God makes me whole. He fills me with living water—water the world cannot supply. He alone sustains me. No amount of world acceptance can ever satisfy. He springs up wells of joy, freeing my soul to say it is well with me.
With all these words, my deepest hope is to encourage you in fostering all of your own pioneer paths. I truly believe our paths intersect for a reason, so please share with #pioneerpaths. I’d love to hear about your pioneer journey!