I’m always surprised to read about characters in the Bible who struggled with insecurity. I guess it’s because I remember their great victories. I remember how Gideon fought a battle of insurmountable odds, winning a vast army with only 300 men. Gideon is mentioned in the Bible’s Hall of Faith chapter. Hebrews chapter 11 lists short accounts of men and women who showed great faith in God.
But Gideon struggled with fear and doubt.
He was acutely aware of his own weakness and needed God’s reassurance in order to fulfill his mission. An angel appeared to Gideon under an Oak tree while Gideon was threshing wheat.
“The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 6:12)
Before Gideon even spoke a word about his fears, it was as if the angel knew exactly how to affirm Gideon. The angel assured him of God’s constant presence and then spoke to who Gideon was—a mighty warrior.
But Gideon couldn’t get passed his circumstances. For seven years, God had allowed the Midianites to invade their land and destroy everything in it. Gideon didn’t understand that their suffering was the result of the Israelite’s refusal to obey God.
“Pardon me, my Lord,” Gideon replied, but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, “Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt? But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Judges 6:13
This hits home. How often do I look at my circumstances and question God—”if you are with me, then why has this happened to me?” God listens to our cries, even when they show a lack of understanding and faith. Click To Tweet The Lord continues to encourage Gideon.
“Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
I mean, come on. It was God, the Creator of the Universe sending him, not a fellow wandering Israelite. Gideon already had all the strength he needed because his strength came from God, not himself. We already have God's strength. We just have to trust him enough to use it. Click To Tweet But Gideon could only see his limitations and weakness. “Pardon me, my Lord, but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” Do you ever feel like the least capable one, too? The Lord answers with the same words he used to encourage Moses and Joshua:
“I will be with you and you will strike down all the Midianites leaving none alive.”
God is pretty much assuring him of victory here. But Gideon questions if God was actually talking to him and asks for a sign. And even though God confirms by having fire come out of a rock, Gideon ends up asking for two more signs after that! (Judges 6:17) Have you ever asked God to confirm something you knew in your heart he wanted you to do? Before I started this blog, God was gracious enough to give me several confirmations. Fear often makes us wait when we should act sooner. Click To Tweet But what I love about this story is that God not only confirms Gideon’s calling but calms his fears. After the Lord reduced Gideon’s army from 32,000 men to 300, the Lord told him that if he was still afraid, to go down to the Midian camp. Gideon heard a man telling his friend a dream about how the Israelites would win the battle. Then Gideon bowed down and worshipped the Lord. Maybe hearing it from the enemy gave him the faith to know what God said was true. He went back to the camp of Israel and said with authority, “Watch me, and follow my lead.” And they sure did. In fact, they didn’t even have to lift a sword! The Midianites ran away crying. Then the Lord caused the men throughout the Midian camp to kill each other.
What an amazing Carpe diem story straight from the Bible! When we struggle with fear and insecurity we can seize the day with these 5 promises:
5 Promises to Help Overcome Insecurity
1. The Lord is with you.
“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)
2. God is sending you! God has a purpose for your life. Don’t be afraid to use your gifts for his glory!
“Am I not sending you?” Judges 6:14
The Great Commission: Matthew 28:16-20 3. You are a mighty warrior!
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:11)
4. Your strength comes from God! Gideon already had strength. And it came from God, not himself. God made sure the victory could only be credited to him. You have the strength of the Holy Spirit living inside of you!
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives among you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
“Now, go in the strength you have!” Judges 6:14
5. Your limitations don’t prevent God from using you!
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:4-6)
So there you have it. What is God calling you to do? “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior. Now go in the strength that you have!”