Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC

Judges 6:11-18
Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13 And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” 15 And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” 16 And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” 17 And he said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me. 18 Please do not depart from here until I come to you and bring out my present and set it before you.” And he said, “I will stay till you return.”

While walking through the forest one day, a man found a young eagle who had fallen out of his nest. He decided to take the eagle home and put it in his barnyard where it soon learned to eat and act like the chickens. One day a veterinarian passed by the farm and asked why it was that this eagle lived in the barnyard with the chickens. The farmer replied that since he had given it chicken feed and trained it to be a chicken, it had never learned to fly.

“It still has the heart of an eagle,” replied the veterinarian, “and I guarantee it can be taught to fly.” He lifted the eagle toward the sky and said, “You belong in the air and not on the ground. Stretch out your wings and fly.” The eagle, however, was confused. He did not know who he was, and seeing the chickens eating their food, he jumped down with them again.

The veterinarian took the bird to the roof of the house and told him again, saying, “You are an eagle. Stretch out your wings and fly.” But the eagle was afraid of his unknown self and world and jumped down once more to eat with the chickens. Finally he took the eagle out of the barnyard to a mountaintop. There he held the king of birds high above him and encouraged him again, saying, ” You are an eagle. You belong in the sky. Stretch out your wings and fly.” The eagle looked around, back towards the barnyard and up to the sky. Then the veterinarian lifted him straight towards the sun and it happened that the eagle began to tremble. Slowly he stretched his wings, and with a triumphant cry, soared away into the heavens.

So often we live like chickens when the Lord has called us to soar like eagles. Gideon and his family were in hiding from the Midianites. He was afraid, insecure, and perfectly content eating the seedlings off the ground that the Midianites would allow him to keep. However, the Lord wanted so much more for Gideon and for Israel. While Gideon saw himself a mere weakling, the Lord saw a mighty man of valor. Gideon, confused, asks the Lord how in the world was he going to deliver Israel. The Lord answered by telling Gideon His powerful Presence would be with him.

Today, see yourself through the eyes of God. Just like Gideon you may feel like a big chicken. You may see a broken, scared, hot mess; but the Lord sees a mighty man or woman of God. You see who you’ve been, but the Lord sees what you can become. You see the mistakes you’ve made, but Jesus sees the triumphs you can win for His glory. Remember, if you’ve turned from sin and placed faith in Jesus then His resurrection power lives in you through the Holy Spirit. You’re forgiven, you’re empowered, you can fly in Jesus! Don’t look at yourself through your eyes or the eyes of the world. See yourself today through the eyes of the Lord.

Father God, I once was lost but now I’m found. My life was broken, but now I’ve been set free by Your blood and Your love. Help me see myself as You see me. Help me to trust by faith that You are at work in my life in a special way. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.