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

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

  1. Amy Simmons

    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. Helen Calder Post author

      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. Tom Wolf

    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. Helen Calder Post author

      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. Gerald

    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. Helen Calder Post author

    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. Paul Davies

    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. Paul Davies

    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. Helen Calder Post author

      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!

  7. Hellen Ruth

    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.

  8. COL Bob

    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!

  9. Malcolm

    I read this and you have profoundly impacted my life with your inspirational writing!!!! Thank you so much!!!!

  10. helen

    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.

  11. Janice Webb

    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. Helen Calder Post author

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

  12. EKUA

    THIS IS EYE OPENER, I HAVE BEEN PUTTING DOWN MY DREAMS IN A JOURNAL. IT HELPS ME TRACK EVENTS A GUIDE MY PRAYING PATTERN.

  13. Cherie Fourie

    Hi Helen thank you for so much confirmation 4 years ago God planted the word GIDEON in my mind and I was shown a gate to defend as well as spiritual warfare to do. Directly after that experience I went through a year if drought-the worst desert imaginable-I was torn loose frm all things dear and kown to me. I clung to God and sought his face.
    Since then I was entrusted to pray for countries, presidents and towns. Sometimes it is hard with only an image to go with…but what a priviledge! He is such an amazing King who leads us to glory for his name’s sake:
    Jesus Christ. Through You Lord we will push back darkness!.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hello Cherie, yes intercession in the Spirit is such a Heavenly privilege! Amen and amen!

  14. Evie

    Hi Helen,
    You have been divinely anointed as my sister to give me words of affirmation.I had to make a very difficult decision which is a turn about experience in my life.Painful circumstances in my life lead me to God and more painful experiences left in a place where I thought God had abandoned me.I have joined a prayer group of intercessors and I know God is calling me to do several things.However,whenever I enter the place of meeting, ,my skin starts burning ,I can’t concentrate and even want to throw up.I really desire this intimacy with God.I am grieved and tormented and have shared this with one of our leaders. She asked me to have patience and wait for deliverance.Can you please pray for me as my greatest desire is to be a prayer warriors and develop an intimate relationship with my Saviour. I have a burning desire to serve the Lord but I am constantly assaulted in my mind .To God be the glory as he exposes the darkness and makes me focus.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      Hello Evie,
      It is certain that there is freedom and deliverance for you. It sounds as though you are in a caring group with leaders who can give you advice, I encourage you to focus on building your faith, make Bible study a focus, learn about what the blood of Jesus has made available to you and confess that – a key to freedom, I am praying for you right now.

  15. Evelyn Chan

    Hi Helen, indeed you have done a very good job in explaining the difference between identity and destiny of who we are and what we are called to do. It’s not by coincidence that I read this blog for clarity for my dream recently whereby in the dream I was waiting in the airport with 2 young children and many baggages, for someone to explain to me why my flight schedule (time and destination) has been changed to fly by BA to London, UK to a later timing due to full flight.
    So I understood now that you are that person I needed to hear the explanation. Thank you!
    I have one question about this dream-I saw the fruit Papaya in one of my hand carry luggage. Do you know what is the symbolism of papaya fruit?

  16. Faye Oldham

    Just some weeks ago out of my heart and mouth I said i need to hear a SOUND. I know it was from God and for a couple of days that was in my spirit, other than that i didn’t follow-up on this; I should have prayed and asked God what was he saying.

    Reading this bog caused my heart to be stirred with a great sence of witness, I know that God was in this.
    It was a now word from a now God (my heavenly Father) it was so very encouraging, I really needed that. God is raising up a peopple that will carry an anointing from God that will stand in God’s authority against the wiles of the enemy and wont take down neither will they be stoped of hindered.

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