I’m no longer afraid of boogie men under my bed at night. Lightening doesn’t terrorize me, nor are there any bullies in my neighborhood that I dread meeting on a walk.
Most of my present fears have to do with matters of the soul.
- I don’t want to be seen as a spiritual imposter (all hat and no cattle!)
- I don’t want to be in the clubhouse getting a drink of water when my turn comes up to bat!
- I don’t want to be surprised by the move of God going on around me and then embarrassed by my non-participation with those plans.
And I certainly would dread a failing in my spiritual walk to where God would ask me to step aside! The Psalmist faced this fear when he asked God to “keep me from ever being a stumbling block to others, to those who love you. Lord God of Israel, don’t let what happens to me be the source of confusion to those who are passionate for you.” Psalm 69:6 TPT
While we talk about political fears and relational fears and phobias of many stripes and consequences, we all have fears within us.
And that’s why Gideon’s story (Judges chapters 6,7 and 8) is mentioned so often in these devotionals. We know that Gideon was called by God to a humanly impossible assignment. He was to march out against the Midianites outnumbered 4 to 1.
But we know God wasn’t going to allow them to win at those odds… they could have claimed they were exemplary soldiers! Finally, God had his army down to 300 men and I’m sure He smiled as He watched them head out at night to pick a fight with 135,000 Midianites.
Those of us who have read this story probably remember that Gideon was not a spiritually muscle-bound giant in his faith. He started absolutely at the low end of the ‘faith marker’ and God carefully built up his faith through a series of ‘fleeces’ that Gideon asked for.
God knew precisely how to remove the last of Gideon’s fear and replace it with unshakable faith. He sent him on a midnight covert trip into the Midianite camp where he learned this lesson:
As Gideon’s trust was growing, God was decimating the enemy’s courage.
135,000 fled before Gideon and his tiny band of 300.
Remember, God has already decreed the victory in our favor. We need to learn to trust. And trust isn’t a lever we push but a spiritual skill we learn.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
Psalm 34:4 NIV