Above verse is what God spoke to Gideon when he and his 300 men were preparing to fight the big battle against Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the East. The enemy camp was huge and they were strong. So there is reason for Gideon to be afraid and scared and back out from the battle.
But God came to Gideon in the middle of the night and He is asking him to go down to the enemy camp in the night. Instead of running away from the big enemy, God is encouraging him to go down to the camp with his servant. Two people alone going to an enemy camp which is numerous as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance.
This incident is a good example to understand why we should face our fears.
What happened when Gideon obeyed God.?
God told Gideon He has prepared something amazing in that enemy camp. God said if Gideon could go down and listen to what Midianites are saying he will be greatly encouraged. So Gideon obeyed.
Gideon crept up to that camp, just as a man was telling his companion about a dream. The man said, “I had this dream, and in my dream a loaf of barley bread came tumbling down into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent, turned it over, and knocked it flat!” His companion answered, “Your dream can mean only one thing—God has given Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite, victory over Midian and all its allies!. Judges 7:13-14
When Gideon heard this dream, he got strengthened and encouraged. He worshipped God Almighty and went up to his people and we see from the following verses God gave Israelites a great victory.
How awesome is the God we serve?!. He understood the fear in Gideon’s heart. And God made the enemy dream about the victory Gideon and his army will have. Not only that, God woke up Gideon in the middle of the night send him along with his servant to see and hear the plan of God. God made plans ahead to encourage Gideon. But Gideon could only see it if he is ready to face his fear by obeying God.
If we want to obey God, we should be ready to face our fears.
Until and unless you step out of your comfort zone and go in the direction God is asking you to move,
- You will never see what He has in store for you.
- You will never understand and enjoy the victory he already prepared for you.
- You will never be able to see how afraid the enemy is about you.
- You will never be able to understand how great is the God who is with you!!
Many times we are afraid of our steps forward because of the uncertainty and unseen future. We don’t know what is ahead for us, what opposition we have to face. But whatever be in the future, mountains or valleys, God is with you!. If He is the one who is calling you, if you are taking steps to obey Him, He is right there with you. The God who helped you in the past, who is with you in the present is already there in the future for you.
To King Cyrus, who didn’t even know God, but was anointed by God for a specific purpose, God gave this promise through prophet Isaiah.
“I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name.”
Isaiah 45:2-3 ESV
To a king who didn’t know God, if God gave such a great promise and encouragement, how much more will He do for His children who are taking steps to face their fears in obeying Him. It says, in the Bible God says ‘fear not’ 365 times!!!?
I am a person who is very worried and anxious when it comes to taking steps ahead without knowing what is in front of me. No matter how much I try to encourage myself it will never work. Only thing that worked for me is to pray, trust God, don’t look back, just step forward. Pray and face the fear. It always works!!!. This is not like a vaccination, like one and done. But it is a continuous process. Fear creeps in time and time again. But every time I pray, trust God and face my fear and it works!!. Sometimes when I am anxious and worried, I have to pray with my family or friends. There are nights our kids get scared of dreams and needs our help. But they don’t get strong in that area in one day. We may have to do it again and again. And as they grow, from night dreams, it will change into fear of something else based on circumstances. Just like that we are cannot live today with the strength from yesterday. We need strength for each day!!!? When we pray God will speak to us through His word, He will remind us of His promises. As David says in Psalms 56:3:-‘ When I am afraid , I will trust in You’!. So by any means I will make it to His presence. In His presence there is peace and by His grace I have overcome and I will overcome!!?
So like Gideon if you are afraid to go down, God is asking you to go down!!!. Down the valley you will see the greatness of our God. May be you are like Abraham or Elijah who was asked to go up to the mountain, but you may be scared and afraid; But God is asking you to go up. You will see God’s provision and power on that mountain. May be you are like Jocebeth, scared to let go of Moses. But if only you let him go, God can use him to deliver the Israelites from the hands of Pharaoh. Or may be you are like the Israelites who are about to step into the deep sea to cross over to their promised land. Trust in Him and take that step of faith; you will see how God parts the seas before you!.May be you are like Joshua, afraid to take up on a big responsibility God is asking you. To Joshua God gave his promise, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 ESV. And we see that he led the Israelites to the promised land. May be you are like Prophet Jonah running away from your assignment, because you are scared and afraid. But God needs you in that city of Nineveh. He has plans to deliver an entire nation through you. May be you are like Peter who is scared to tell others about Jesus. But face that fear and come back to Jesus. God is waiting to anoint you and built His church through you.
Face your fears today and everyday because He wants to use you. You don’t have to face it alone. Even when you are blinded by fear to see the presence of God, He is still there with you. He has promised to never leave you, nor forsake you. If you need, get the help of a good friend, a prayer partner and pray together. We are not left alone by God and we are not made for loneliness. Together let us move forward and let us do greater things for the glory of God.
While I was writing this blog, one of my good friend shared this message with me. She didn’t know I’m praying and working on this specific topic. So when I got the message I was really happy, that was a confirmation from God. So as a conclusion I’m posting that message here. Hope it will encourage you as it did for me.
DO NOT BE AFRAID. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6. GOD commands us to be STRONG and COURAGEOUS. HE is telling us to not be afraid, because of our challenges, and uncertainties that are ahead of us, because GOD himself is going with us, and HE will never leave us. As 2021 is unfolding, it will bring its own challenges, at work, at home, emotionally, spiritually. Let us fearlessly face our fears , we are commanded by a GREAT GOD to be fearless and let us be assured that wherever we are, we are not alone, a strong and mighty GOD is always on our side.