Your DESTINY is the answer to the question, ‘What has God called me to do?’

Your IDENTITY is the answer to the question, ‘Who has God called me to be?’

How can we discover the answers to these questions? And what will it take to completely fulfil the calling of God on our lives?

Out of Hiding and into History

In Judges 6, Israel is living under oppression from their enemies, the Midianites. A young man called Gideon is hiding from the enemy in a winepress, threshing wheat.

God sends an angelic messenger to Gideon to proclaim his God-given destiny and identity.

‘And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valour!” Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us?… Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” (Judges 6:12-14)

When the angel calls Gideon a ‘Mighty man of valour,’ he is calling him by his God-given identity.

In the Bible, a given name is often synonymous with a God-ordained identity or destiny. [1]

The name Gideon means ‘cutter down’ or ‘destroyer’, and Gideon is destined to be a leader who, with God’s help, overthrows Israel’s powerful enemy.

Gideon, however, sees himself differently—as insignificant and powerless. As a result, he is living in fear and weakness.

The angel’s pronouncement of Gideon’s identity and destiny sets in motion a chain of events that propels Gideon out of hiding and into history.

What Gideon teaches us about our Identity and Destiny

We may not have an angel turn up on our doorstep with a message from God like Gideon did. We may not even have a personal prophecy. But we can begin to grasp our God-given identity and destiny.

When we do, it will have life-changing consequences to others and ourselves.

Here are some things that we can learn from Gideon’s story:

1. God Himself Initiates our Identity and Destiny

‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.’ (Eph 2:10)

God steps into Gideon’s normal, everyday life and announces His intention for him.

God’s purpose for our lives is not our own good idea of what we would like to be or do; it is His plan for us.

God’s destiny for your life will be consistent with the way He has wired you. It may be helpful to consider the clues He has given—your unique experiences, passion, abilities and spiritual gifts.

But don’t limit God by over-defining these things. Remember—He took Gideon by surprise and may have some surprises in store for you too.

Prayer journaling is one helpful tool that you can use to converse with God. [2] Take time to pray and ask your Father the questions:

  • ‘What have you called me to do?’
  • ‘Who have you called and created me to be?’ [3]

Ask godly leaders that you have a relationship with what they see in you. Allow them to speak into your life.

2. He Turns our Weaknesses into His Strengths

‘Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.’ (1 Cor 1:26-27)

When God calls Gideon, the young man does not comprehend his destiny or his identity—in fact, he is currently being and behaving the very opposite of what God has called him to be.

Gideon is fearful, however his God-given identity is to be bold. He feels himself to be the smallest and least significant, but God is calling him to be a leader.

In the Bible, those whom God uses powerfully usually have a history of weakness or failure in their very area of strength.

God is by nature a Redeemer.

Consider where you have been hurt and wronged, or have sinned, or are weak. These are the very things God is redeeming. With His help you will not only overcome those weaknesses, but they will become points of strength. They will become areas in which you minister to others.

Remember, too, when your Heavenly Father speaks to you of your identity and destiny, it will be something beyond your own natural ability to accomplish.

3. It Takes an Intimate Relationship with God to Wholly Fulfil our Destiny

An encounter with God is an invitation to relationship with Him.

Potentially, Gideon’s encounter with God could be the beginning of a personal relationship with Him. He has the opportunity to be an Abraham, a Moses—a friend of God.

Gideon has the opportunity now, to not only overcome the enemy, but also to lead Israel in worship of God.

However, tragically, he will fall short of his destiny and instead, lead the nation into idolatry. (Judges 8:22-27)

Here is the bottom line.

Here is the very foundation of our identity and destiny.

We are created to have an intimate love relationship with God. This is both the beginning of our identity and the ultimate end of our destiny.

As Christian believers, we are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. This is the relationship that Jesus paid to restore when He shed His blood on the cross.

And before we can fully understand our personal identity, we need to comprehend our Family identity.

We need to understand what it means to have the divine DNA, the identity of being a member of God’s royal family. [4]

Only once we have understood this can we fully embrace and enter into our personal God-given identity—and fulfil it.


Do you have any experiences or questions to share on this topic, or difficulties you are facing that you would like us to agree with you in prayer for? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down


Notes

[1] It makes an interesting study to track name changes in the Bible, and see the destiny that God was speaking into those He named—for example, Abram became Abraham (father of a multitude). Jesus renamed Simon (meaning reed), Peter (meaning rock).

[2] To learn more about prayer journaling, read the following post:

Activate Your Prophetic Gift Through Prayer Journaling

[3] In relation to personal guidance, the following post contains vital information:

Personal Guidance For The Important Decisions Of Life

[4] I discuss this more in the following article:

Breaking Free From An Orphan Mindset


© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

25 thoughts on “Your Identity And Destiny: 3 Keys From The Life Of Gideon”

  1. Out of hiding……. wow… This was for me Mrs. Calder. That’s why I say Gideon and I share some simularities….. I too was like: “I am weak Lord, I know there is somebody else stronger than me.” I am fearful, but God continues to encourage me… I have a buring desire to preach His word, but HE knows I am still afraid.. I don’t trust myself in this, because if I did I would just run back to my hiding place, but I trust JESUS, and I have faith, and that turns me into someone else …… a person in preparation …….. I know that I am moving forward in what God has called me to do, and he is patient and grooming me…… cutting away all the fear, and weaknesses, and downloading into me boldness and strength….

    1. Hi Amy, I’m so glad you have been blessed by this message from Gideon! I know what it is like to struggle with fear and want to hide myself, but God is doing a great work in me, replacing fear with His boldness, and I know He is doing the same in you. I am certain that even the things you are doing now, you would have been amazed at a couple of years ago!
      He leads us out, often one small step at a time. The work of transformation happens as we stay in that place of intimacy with Him:
      ‘And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.’ (2 Cor 3:18)
      Have a great week!

  2. Helen
    You have done a super job of explaining the difference between identity and destiny. The being aspect of identity versus the doing aspect of destiny. Gideon is a great example.
    Another example is John the Baptist. Identity-John 1:23 I am a voice crying in the desert. Destiny-John 1:7 My purpose is to tell everyone about the light so that everyone might believe because of my testimony.
    “Identity and Destiny-7 Steps to a Purpose-Filled Life”

    1. Hi Tom, thank you for leaving a note. Also love your indight about John the Baptist.

      Your website and ministry look wonderful and I’m sure would be a blessing to my readers too. I have just subscribed to the free chapter of your book and will report back here on it.
      For others who are interested, the web address again is http://www.identityanddestiny.com

      P.S. I have looked at Tom & Pam Wolf’s material and read the introduction to their book, ‘7 Steps to Purpose‘ and it looks to be an invaluable tool for anybody who would like to explore this area of discovering your identity and destiny further. It is also very much in harmony with what I have written in the article above, so I encourage any readers who are interested and have found my post on Gideon helpful, to visit their website and find out more!

  3. This is my word. In the same scenario of Gideon, I never thought I would’ve had an opportunity and strength to be affiliated with any military work, but as I speak 2 U now, I have a career building program that I was phoned about, to join the army reserve. I’m still seeking GOD’S direction as to whether it’s truly from HIM, leaning not on my own understanding. Please stand with me in prayers to get HIS approval at this all important moment of my life.

  4. Wow Gerald, I do pray that you will receive the insight and strength that you need to make this decision. Be blessed with clear guidance to help you move forward with confidence.

  5. Helen
    Thanks so much for your insights. I love it where Gideon asks the enemy leaders to descibe what the people were like who they had killed, they said.
    “Like you, each of them resembled the son of a king” Judges 8:18
    Gideon (and his men) apparently ‘carried’ their relationship with the Lord in such a way it was visible to their enemies.

  6. Hi Helen
    With acknowledgement to you, I’d like to use some of your thoughts to help build up believers in India on an upcoming mission trip. Could I please have your permission?
    Blessings
    Paul

    1. Hi Paul, thanks so much for your notes and encouragement – and your wonderful insight too.
      You are most welcome to use the material for your missions work, and no need to attribute anything to me unless you are publishing something in writing, or would like to encourage them to use our online resources.
      May you experience extraordinary grace, favour and Divine appointments in your ministry in India. Feel free to leave a note with more about what you are doing – sounds wonderful!

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