Your Identity And Destiny: 3 Keys From The Life Of Gideon

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

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

  1. Thank you pastor for sharing this with me, I particularly desire to know get more revelation of the same because Im 43 single and everytime I appear in a prophetic service the word woulr be Im long over due meaning everything about me has delayed now this makes me wonder what do I do cause what is in my ability to do I have done, please help me.

  2. Hello everyone and blessings to you.

    I often have referred to myself as a Gideon soul. Not quite sure what to do, not ready for the task, yet called and perhaps called again but still the train is in the station. I just participated in the “Glory Train” with Jon and Joleen Hamill at Freedom Outpost Houston, June 17th and 18th. What a great event with a wonderful outpouring of the Holy Spirit. On the first night Jon called for a commission and he used the story of Gideon to convey his message and call those assembled for action. I was particularly touched because I said something to myself about if he preach on Gideon, I will know that it was truly his will for my wife and I to be there. And sure enough that’s what happened on the second day. Now what, is my heart’s question? I know his plan is perfect and I have a role but I’m looking for reconfirmation much like Gideon, your notes above and finding myself here on this website is helpful. Thank you for your ministry. Any thoughts?

    For His glory!

  3. I am so blessed to read this.
    I have written it out in my book to read and study. Thank you.
    Am on this question. I desperately want to know my destiny and identity.
    I always feel am not where I ought to be at all.
    Please agree with me in prayer to get God’s visitation as I earnestly seek Him.

  4. God Changed Gideon
    God Can Empower You
    Judges 6:25-36

    1. God Changed Gideon’s Identity. (25-27) From the bottom to the top.
    5That night the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it 26and build an altar to the Lord your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.” 27So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night
    A. Gideon a man of valor, (In conversation with God, destroy Baal)
    B. Build and altar to the Lord. (Build the altar on the top of the stronghold)
    C. Gideon was tested by God (Fearful but, he tore the altar down at night)

    2. God Changed Gideon’s Destiny (28-32) Leader of the Israelites
    28When the men of the town rose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar that had been built. 29And they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And after they had searched and inquired, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.” 30Then the men of the town said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has broken down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it.” 31But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? Whoever contends for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because his altar has been broken down.” 32Therefore on that day Gideon4 was called Jerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he broke down his altar.
    A. Gideon obeyed God (The men of the town were angry)
    B. Gideon showed strength in destroying Baal. ( Do what God says)
    C. Gideon’s father Joash, empowered to stand (Let Baal contend for himself)

    3. God Changed Gideon’s Weakness to Strength. (33-36) God’s Spirit.
    33Now all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East came together, and they crossed the Jordan and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him. 35And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and they too were called out to follow him. And he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they went up to meet them.
    A. Opposition arises ( The people united against Israel / Gideon)
    B. The Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon (Gideon was strong in God’s power)
    C. Gideon sounded the trumpet ( Gideon had many followers)

    4. Gideon’s Relationship with God (36-40) Gideon assuranced.36Then Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, 37behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.” 38And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. 39Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.” 40And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew

    A. Gideon gets assurance (God Show me by my fleecing)
    B. Gideon gets reassurance ( God let’s do the reverse)
    C. Gideon’s relationship with God was honest ( He wanted to be sure)

    Janice Webb
    I used your material to help in developing this sermon.
    Thanks

    1. Wow, that is so good Janice! Thank you for sharing it with us. I love seeing it with all the Scriptures, that’s excellent!

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