A Bible story many are familiar with is Gideon. Although everyone knows Gideon defeated an army of over a hundred thousand men with only 300 men, many people do not know they are just like Gideon. Your name may not have been mentioned in the Bible, but you can definitely relate.
Scared. Afraid. Questioning. Fearful. Disobedient.
These are just a few words that describe Gideon and, more than likely, can describe you and me as well. Our lack of faith in God can cause us to be paralyzed; physically scared to a point where we can’t make a move. We find ourselves more fearful and caught up in the ‘what if’ of situations and circumstances instead of just doing what God said to do.
The opposite of faith is not fear; it is disobedience.
The angel of the Lord visited Gideon with a message from God himself. This is how it unfolded. See if you can find your traits in Gideon’s story. Gideon’s account of defeating the Midianites can be found in Judges 6-7.
1. The Conversation.
The Angel of the Lord came to Gideon, and the first thing he said was ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.’ Right out of the gate, Gideon is made aware that the Lord is with him … so are you. The angel instructed Gideon ‘Go in the strength of the Lord … Am I not sending you?’ Gideon’s response to the call of God is almost baffling. Gideon pretty much says, ‘Excuse me, but if God was with me, why is this happening? Why are we oppressed by Midian? How am I mighty when I come from the weakest family?’ Wait, what just happened? God JUST told Gideon that he was with him and he was a mighty warrior and in the next breath, Gideon disagreed with all of that. God reassured Gideon that he already had victory … just like you.
2. The Contradiction.
Almighty God told Gideon I’m with you. I’m sending you. Go in my strength. You’re a mighty warrior. I’ll give you victory. All Gideon responded with was ‘Why are we here if You’re with us? I’m the weakest one here. How am I a mighty warrior? You’ll give me victory? Give me a sign.
That is so like us! God has promised and given us abundant life, peace, love, comfort, protection, strength, and so much more. But our response is ‘I’m not an heir to the throne. I’m the worst one here. I can’t do it. I’m weak. I’m not good enough. Send me a sign. I don’t believe you.’
So what did God do? He proved Himself!
You may be so frustrated with Gideon at this point. ‘Gideon, God did what you wanted. Is it time for you to do what He wants yet? Do you believe Him yet?’ But the same can be said about you. ‘Christian, God came through with healing, finances, peace, comfort, will you do what He wants yet? Do you believe Him enough yet to obey?’
3. The Confrontation.
Finally, Gideon had enough courage, believed God enough, and gathered enough people to obey. God should be happy, right? Wrong.
God says ‘You have too many people on your side.’ *record scratch* What God? I have too many MEN to go into BATTLE against a BUNCH of OTHER MEN so that we can WIN? Gideon had gathered enough men and resources to maybe win on his own with a little help from God. God didn’t want to get a little of the credit, He wanted ALL of the credit.
God may be telling some of us ‘You have too many friends in your corner, too much money in the bank, too many plans and goals, too many back-ups, too many ways to rely on yourself. Get rid of it and rely on Me.’
God dwindled Gideon’s army down from 30,000 to 300. The people knew there was no way in the world that 300 men could take the ginormous Midianite army and expect victory. But that is exactly what God wanted. God gave Gideon a simple plan that led to the defeat of the Midianites. After all of that arguing Gideon did with God, he obeyed and God gave him victory.
You may feel offended that I am comparing you to Gideon. I am sorry for that. Instead of pointing the finger, I’ll talk about me. I am very much so like Gideon. I too do not always walk in faith, but sometimes live in a constant fear that leads to disobedience. I, like Gideon, get paralyzed by what I see, what people have said, and what I have even said instead of being empowered by who God is, how much He loves me, and how gracious He is to use me.
Fear says God is not enough.
Our disobedient fear can be overcome, but only through the power and love of God. We have to believe that even though we are scared and don’t quite understand all of the details, God knows what He’s doing. I am not saying that Gideon was not still fearful as he was obeying, but the fear was no longer his god. It is okay to be afraid. That’s understandable, things will scare you. But you have a mighty God!
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Ps. 56:3
When God becomes bigger than fear, there is literally nothing or no one that can threaten His power. Like Gideon, it will be evident when God is God in your life. Isaiah 59:1 says ‘Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save…’ When you know the truth, you begin to make moves and quote Andy Mineo, ‘You can’t stop me!’
In what area of your life are you letting fear cause disobedience?