Have you ever experienced the overwhelming power of the Holy Spirit? Many years ago I attended a church retreat where the featured speaker was Elmer Schmelzenbach, a holiness missionary. He was in his mid-seventies and had served the Lord all his life. I had never met him, but when I saw him across the camp, I knew who he was, for the man’s face literally glowed.
I have known a few people like that, people who glow with the glory of God.
On the other hand, the glory of God is said to be so powerful that any man who looks upon His face will die. That may be what Gideon was thinking when he met the Angel of the Lord.
The Angel of the Lord, I should say here, is not an angel in the conventional sense. He is not described with wings and does not shoot arrows at star-crossed lovers. In spite of the fact that I chose the image of an angel to emphasize today’s text, the Angel of the Lord is believed to be a theophany, or a pre-incarnation appearance of Jesus Christ.
In the text (Judges 6), Gideon has seen God, or he thinks he has, and he asks the Lord to stay with him while he prepares a sacrifice. When the Angel of the Lord later consumes the sacrifice with fire, Gideon is convinced that this is indeed God. He trembles with fear.
There are times when the presence and power of the Holy Spirit is so strong, we don’t know if we can bear it further. Fear Not, for we won’t die.
Father, fill us daily with your Spirit, even to the point that we think we can bear no more. And, let that Spirit flow from us, compelling others to follow you.