What would you do if you felt terrorised – panic-stricken – but there is no Gideon in hot pursuit (Judges 7) … no blaring sound … no crashing noise … just the rapid pounding of your heart? Gideon learned to rely totally on the Lord. In every real sense, the Lord was his Shepherd – even when he walked through the valley of the shadow of death – Gideon feared no evil … because from the beginning, he was told … “The Lord is with you.”
Why Are You Afraid?
1. Determine the Cause of Your Fear
No knocking of knees, no trembling of hands, Gideon not only leads the charge against the remaining Midianites, in the Lord’s strength he boldly stands up to criticism and relentlessly pursues his enemies. Along the way, he and his 300 men keep up the pursuit despite physical exhaustion. After Gideon asks the men in the town of Succoth for sustenance to continue his quest, they scoff at his potential for success and refuse his request.
Sometimes after a great success, we can revert to an old habit – a habit filled with fear and doubt – simply because someone currently in our lives, treats us as we had been painfully treated in the past.
When the men of Succoth scoffed at Gideon, he could have emotionally cratered – even after experiencing such miraculous victory. That is why it’s helpful for us to evaluate … why am I really afraid?
Examining your fear, its origin, its legitimacy, and its pattern can help you understand your fear and develop a strategy to resolve it. First, go before God, who is the Source of wisdom, and pray this prayer from your heart …
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23–24)
Identify your specific fear: Of what are you truly afraid?
Then ask yourself:
- · Is my fear tied to recent events or did it originate from a specific situation in the past?
- · Is my fear of the object or situation a true threat or merely a perceived threat?
- · Is my fear wrongly associated with an event or object that should not be feared?
- · Is my fear coming from certain places, people, or things that remind me of possible fearful consequences?
- · Is my fear due to a persistent fear-based mentality – even though the relationship or lifestyle in which it was rooted no longer exists?
- · Is my fear a result of having faked fear to get attention over such a long period of time that the fear has now become real to me?
“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” (Proverbs 14:8)