By CFFM Staff
God is not intimidated by our fear. Fear doesn’t come from Him (II Timothy 1:7), and it can certainly gum up the works of whatever we are trying to accomplish.
But God is willing to meet us wherever we are – and He can use some unexpected avenues to build up our faith and get us to the other side of fear.
Take the Old Testament Bible hero Gideon, for example. He was poor, he was least in his father’s house, and he was living at a time where the Israelites were “greatly impoverished” by the Midianites.
The children of Israel finally cried out to the Lord to save them, and Gideon is who God calls (that’s a whole other point on how God calls the least and unqualified to do His greatest works!).
The angel of the Lord shows up in the middle of the night, when Gideon is trying to thresh or beat wheat for his family. Why is Gideon doing a seemingly ordinary job in the middle of the night? To hide it from the Midianites, who had destroyed the produce of the earth in Israel and were continuing to leave the land without sustenance.
So here is Gideon, beaten down, hiding out, trying to get some food, and the angel appears and tells him, “You shall save Israel from the hands of the Midanites.”
The conversation Gideon has and the confirmation God gives is a teaching all in itself, of which you can read in Judges chapter 6. Today, we’re going to focus on what God does for Gideon after he’s heeded the call and gathered an army, then had to whittle it down to 300 (Spartan’s crew had nothing on God’s original 300!).
It’s now the night before the big battle, and Gideon is still nervous, which is understandable. He has 300 men, with a primary weapon of trumpets, and they are supposed to take on a Midian army so large the Bible says they were “as numerous as locusts,” a type of common pest.
Here’s where God meets him right in the middle of his fear. And it’s not one of those 300 men that encourages Gideon, or a prophet of the Lord that shows up with a timely message.
It’s one of the dreaded Midianites that God works through to bolster His chosen leader.
“That night the Lord said to him [Gideon], “Get up and go into the camp, for I have given it into your hand. But if you are afraid to go to the camp, go with Purah your servant. Listen to what they say, and then you will be strengthened to go to the camp.” Judges 7:9-11 HCSB
Gideon sneaks down to the camp and overhears a Midianite soldier telling another soldier about his dream. What could be a random conversation is anything but when God is involved.
“When Gideon arrived, there was a man telling his friend about a dream. He said, “Listen, I had a dream: a loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp, struck a tent, and it fell. The loaf turned the tent upside down so that it collapsed.”
His friend answered: “This is nothing less than the sword of Gideon, son of Joash, the Israelite. God has handed the entire Midianite camp over to him.” Judges 7:13-14 HCSB
Say what?! Here is Gideon’s enemy saying that Gideon will win the battle because God has already guaranteed it.
Well, that is the final encouragement Gideon needs. He bows in worship, and then returns to the camp and says, in paraphrased vernacular, “let’s do this!”
“And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshipped. He returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Arise, for the Lord has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand.” Judges 7:15 NKJV
So, if you’re scared or nervous about a task that God has nudged you to do, or something that you know you need to complete, understand that God can meet you right where you are. He is not intimidated by your fear or seeming lack of resources:
After all, if God can use a dream of an enemy soldier to give Gideon the final confidence boost he needed, what can the Almighty do to increase YOUR faith?
Expect big from Him, fellow believers!