Gideon moves from the testing of God to triumph with God … from a fear-based fleece to a faith-based foundation. Previously, Gideon kept asking God for supernatural signs affirming that God would do what He clearly and repeatedly said He would do (Judges 6:36–40.). Ultimately, Gideon moves from weakness to strength, from doubt to faith, from vacillating to victorious – and he does so by trusting in the one true God and taking action based on that trust. For it is God who gives Gideon victories in defeating both his foes … and his fears. Because of Gideon’s successes in saving his people from perishing … in conquering enemy kings … and in gaining victory over vast armies, his people ask him to rule over them. However, Gideon tells them, “I will not rule over you.… The Lord will rule over you.” (Judges 8:23)
God’s call on Gideon’s life is clear … he is to go in the Lord’s strength and “save Israel out of Midian’s hand” (Judges 6:14). But that call does not include ruling over Israel. Gideon knows this, and he also knows that God is not to be replaced by the man He made into a “mighty warrior” and empowered to accomplish His purposes. Gideon is still just a man … and God is still the Almighty Ruler of the universe.
As you seek to follow Gideon’s example in moving from fear to faith:
· Begin with a healthy fear (awe) of God.
Believe that God: created you because He loves you; that God has a purpose and a plan for your life; has the right to have authority over you; wants you to entrust your life to Him; has the power to change you; will keep you safe as you trust in Him. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:7)
· Be aware that living in a “state of fear” is not part of God’s plan for you.
Fear-based thinking: suggests you may not be fully trusting God; does not appropriate the grace of God; keeps you in bondage to fear; is physically, emotionally, and spiritually damaging. “In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” (Psalm 56:4).
· Be willing to analyse your fear honestly to discover the real source of your fear.
Fear of rejection.… Do you need to be loved? Fear of failure.… Do you need to feel significant? Fear of financial loss.… Do you need to feel secure? “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)
· Be aware of the power of God’s love for you.
God’s love provides you with: complete acceptance; a realisation of your true value; the power to overcome fear; true security. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)