As Christians, it is our duty to share the love of Christ to those around us. We know the significance of sharing the gospel; we hold the panacea of life–the truth that liberates us from sin and death and gives us salvation and freedom. As the Word presses on the need to be the light in the darkness,we get convicted to share this truth to those around us. However, in the society that we live in today, it almost seems unreasonable to share the gospel. We see mass shootings and terrorist attacks that specifically target Christians. We hear classmates and co workers mock Christianity–calling it hypocritical and stupid. We know how much people desperately avoid the topic of religion, because they fear that Christians will force their beliefs onto them. Because we are in a society where sharing our core beliefs seems impractical, fear binds us to shutting our lips from speaking truth.
Today, I was reminded that when God calls us to be His servant, and carry out His plans–there is absolutely NO need to fear.
In the book of Judges, Gideon was visited by an angel– and was told, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” (Judges 6:14).
Gideon, like us, is fearful and questions his ability a countless number of times.
He replies, “But Lord…how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe in Manasseh, and I am the last in my entire family!”
We often feel like Gideon, where we doubt ourselves, we ask God, “God, how can you expect me to share the gospel with others when all my coworkers are adamant atheists?” “God, how can I share the gospel with others when I’m just a high school student/ just a college student?”
We constantly doubt ourselves and our ability to carry out His will. However, we are completely missing the point. We, like Gideon, struggle with fear and we doubt ourselves because we are too focused on ourselves. It’s not about OUR ability, OUR strength, OUR knowledge to begin with. God already knows that us alone, by our own ability, strength, and knowledge– cannot carry our His will. But it is through GOD alone–God’s presence in carrying out his plans–when we CAN do everything that he calls us to do.
And when we completely lean on God, and submit ourselves to be merely vessels that is carrying His plans rather than our own–there is an overwhelming peace and strength that floods our hearts.
As the burden of our inabilities are lifted up to God, He will move you powerfully and radically. We can see this in Gideon! After Gideon complains about his inability, the Lord tells Gideon,
” I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.” (Judges 6:16).
In response to Gideon’s complaint about lacking the strength and status, the Lord tells him, “I will be with you.” Yes, God’s presence alone is reason enough for us not to fear. When we have the creator of the entire Earth who is moving in us, what do we have to fear?
“And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man”
With God and through God, Gideon is indeed able to complete His will. Later, Gideon is stationed with his army as the armies of Midian were camped nearby, he starts off with 32,000 soldiers to fight against the Midianites. But then the Lord called him to reduce to 300 men, and He told Gideon “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites” (Judges 7:7). The fact that God calls Gideon to fight an entire army with only 300 men is absolutely radical. It’s extraordinary!
We see that the Lord does give victory to Gideon later, as it says “Each man stood at his position around the camp and watched as all the Midianites rushed around in a panic, shouting as they ran to escape” (Judges 7:21).
With the Lord’s strength, NOT Gideon’s, Gideon was able to have victory with only 300 men! This is truly truly a miracle, completed by God.
Through this story, we see that as God commands Gideon to carry out His will, Gideon is able to be victorious. When Gideon lets go of the fact that he (Gideon) is incapable, when he stops focusing on his own ability and strength, and instead He looks to God who IS able and who IS powerful–God gives Him true victory and peace.
Therefore, let us be reminded that when our fear is derived from our inabilities–we have a God who CAN and WILL work in us. God works in even the weakest, lowest people. When we focus on God’s strength and ability, not our own–we are able to do ANYTHING that the Lord calls us to do.