Fear is an emotion that always comes knocking on the door of our heart alongside other emotions such as anxiety, sadness, anger or doubt. That is because fear needs other emotions to thrive. Can you believe it? Fear believes in teamwork and exercises that belief every time it is at play. Yet, God wanted to empower me to live fearlessly through a story.
Sitting at God’s Feet
God brought me to his feet and sat me down to tell me a story. It’s a story that I had heard before, but I had a feeling that I was still going to learn something new. It was the story of a Judge named Gideon. Gideon was a man, who just like me struggled with fear. Fear confidently rode into Gideon’s life with doubt and anxiety close by its side. Then fear quickly pitched a tent and set up camp within Gideon’s heart.
Gideon’s story begins in the book of Judges chapter six. God recounts to me of how he called Gideon for a specific purpose—to save the Israelites. “Save them from what?” I asked. To save them At this point in their story, the Israelites were struggling with choosing between God, big G, and Baal, little g. So, God said that he had selected Gideon to step in and make a statement of how mighty God was and how inanimate Baal was.
“Save them from what?” I asked. To save them At this point in their story, the Israelites were struggling with choosing between God, big G, and Baal, little g. So, Gideon was hand-picked to step in and make a statement of how mighty God was and how inanimate Baal was.
What was Gideon’s response? “Pardon me my Lord, but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6:13, NIV)
Doubting God’s Calling
I completely get where Gideon is coming from. He doubted where God was calling him because he hadn’t come to terms with where God had him. I can’t even count how many times I have asked God the same question. How can you want to reveal your glory in this situation and allow other bad things to happen?
How many times do we get stuck because we can’t go backward and we can’t move forward? So we ask God to prove himself and that’s exactly what Gideon did.
He asks for a sign. As an outsider, I can see how gracious God was in providing a sign every time Gideon asked when he is not obligated to do so. If I were Gideon, I would really have to put my faith in God despite what struggles were in front of me.
Doubt is powerful. Often times it makes it impact on our thoughts before we even realize it. That’s why it’s imperative we stay linked to God. His vantage point is so much better than ours.
The Name Change
Chapter seven takes us to the story that most of us will recognize. But before we get to that part of the chapter, some guy named Jerub-Baal is introduced. Who is Jerub-Baal? Gideon! Gideon has been given the name.
Despite Mr. Doubt trying to hold Gideon back, Gideon moves forward in faith. He does what God called him to do and is hated for it. How dare he content with the mighty Baal!? How dare he declare that there is a God superior to their god? So, they call him Jerub-Baal which means “let Ball contend.” Gideon represented the man who made a god “crumble.” What does that mean for about the God who called him? That He’s the mightiest of all!
The Spring of Fear
Now we come to the part of chapter seven that you’ll probably recognize. Jerub-Baal and thirty-two thousand Israelites were camped at the Spring of Harod gearing up to face off with over 135,000 Midianite soldiers angry that Jerub-Baal had insulted Baal. They wanted revenge and Jerub-Baal had his soldiers camping at the Spring of Fear, oops I mean Harod.
After moving forward in faith and making such a strong statement about the power of God, what would take Jerub-Baal to the Spring of Fear?? Although a beautiful location, the ideal spot for an army to encamp, it held many negative memories for the Israelites. Memories that ignited all kinds of fears. So,
So, man of God….. why did you lead your men to a place you went before your encounter with God? When we are not who we were, then we don’t need to go where we used to go.
The Original 300
With only 32,000 soldiers vs 1350,000, a 4:1 ratio, by the way, Gideon was in quite a pickle. However, God reminds me that He always has a plan. His plan involved weeding out any man who was being driven by fear instead of faith. So, he commands anyone is afraid to leave. Without skipping a beat, 22,000 are out. Ouch! Elimination round two eliminates 21,700 men leaving… drum roll…. 300. 300!
Now, with a ratio of 450:1, not a single human soul would be able to say it was by their own strength that they attained victory. God needed his children to see an “impossible” situation and experience that “impossible” situation as possible with Him. I have been in a lot of impossible situations. Situations that fill me with fear, doubt, and anxiety.
Those trials were overwhelming because it felt as though fear, doubt, and anxiety had set up camp in my life and were there to stay. I would question God and His decisions. If I couldn’t grasp His plan then it may not be His plan. Now, I get what God wanted to share this story with me.
My Future with Fear
God continues to reveal His calling on my life and I have to know that it is not impossible even if I can’t see every detail of the plan to get the picture. I like to plan ahead, so details are important to me. Then again, maybe the greatest detail of planning for the future is keeping faith at the center of my life.
Fear, doubt, and anxiety may appear, but I will kick them to out. No way, Jose! I hate the way I feel when I’m filled with fear. Confidence is so much better.
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. ” (2 Timothy 1:7)
I don’t know what type of challenges I’m going to face tomorrow, next Thursday, or next year. What I do know is that I chose to serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15) Serving the Lord is not a choice I make on sunny days alone, but every single day. No matter what, I have to wake up each day and choose God. He chose me.