What Have We to Fear?
I love this picture of Evelyn jumping freely into the water because she trusts Caddie to catch her; there is no fear! It took a while to build up her trust, but once she trusted Caddie, she would jump into the pool with no fear, knowing that she would catch her.
Last week I was reading about Gideon, and discovered that we have a lot in common with him. The Israelites had been oppressed by the Midianites for several years. If the Midianites saw them harvesting crops, they would confiscate them and keep them for their own. The Israelites were so conditioned to be afraid that it was very understandable why Gideon was threshing wheat in a wine vat.
The Lord gave Gideon an assignment to carry out, and told him not to be afraid. Gideon carried it out and tore down the Baal altars, but because he still had fears, he did it at night. Isn’t that just like us? Many times we are given a mission, and we carry it out, but we may still have fear as we are doing it. Think about witnessing or sharing your testimony with a person or a group.
The Lord didn’t get upset with him for being afraid. Instead, He still chose to use him. He gave him another assignment and again told him not to be afraid. Gideon was willing to fulfill this task, but he asked for a sign from the Lord. In fact, he asked more than once. The Lord gave him confirmations and told him to take action.
The neatest part of this story (that I am sure I have missed many times) is that the Lord knew that Gideon was still afraid. He didn’t just command that he go anyway, He not only went with him, but He gave him miraculous signs to give him courage and peace.
“That night the Lord said to him, ‘Get up and go into the camp, for I have given it into your hand. But if you are afraid to go to the camp, go with Purah, your servant.'” Judges 6:9-10
He gave him physical support! When has the Lord sent someone to you to help you with a mission?
“Listen to what they say, and then you will be strengthened to go to the camp…” Judges 6:11
“When Gideon arrived, there was a man telling his friend about a dream…” Judges 6:13
“When Gideon heard the account of the dream, he bowed in worship. He returned to Israel’s camp and said, “Get up, for the Lord has handed the Midianite camp over to you.'” Judges 6:15
When I have pictured this happening in the past, I saw someone hiding out while a few people camped outdoors. In reality, this was the Midianite army which was very numerous. The fact that they came upon the exact person in the exact place of thousands of people and places they could have been was clearly God giving him courage and peace through another confirmation.
It is so good to know that He will do the same thing for us. The next time you feel afraid to do something, remember how the Lord worked in Gideon’s life. Call on Him for strength, encouragement, and peace. He will give you what you need to fulfill any assignment He gives you.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.” Psalms 56:3
“Don’t be afraid, for I Am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I Am Your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
For more verses on this topic, see this week’s Weekly Applications post. The book of Judges has so many examples of people overcoming fear.
Quote of the Week
I hope you enjoyed today’s devotional. May we all look to the Lord for our strength and courage instead of living in fear.
Have a Grace & Joy-filled day!
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“When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy.” Psalms 94:19