North Side Daily Devotional

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Even When We Are Afraid

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

 One day the angel of God came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, out of sight of the Midianites. The angel of God appeared to him and said, “God is with you, O mighty warrior!” Gideon replied, “With me, my master? If God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, ‘Didn’t God deliver us from Egypt?’ The fact is, God has nothing to do with us—he has turned s over to Midian.  But God faced him directly: “Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?”  Gideon said to him, “Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.” God said to him, “I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.” Judges 6:11-16 The Message

 Even When We Are Afraid

Israel had reverted back to doing evil things in God’s sight. God had put them under the dominance of Midian for seven years and because of this, the Israelites were hiding in the mountains and caves.  The Midianites had ravished the country leaving the Israelites with nothing. 

Gideon was threshing wheat in the bottom of a wine press, out of the sight of the Midianites, when an angel appeared to him and said God is with you, O mighty warrior! In fact, verse 11 says the angel of the Lord came and sat under a tree while Gideon worked.  He saw Gideon before Gideon saw him.  He most likely looked like an ordinary man.  He was just ordinary, appealing to Gideon in an ordinary way.

Gideon was quietly working, never expecting to have company.  He was in the middle of an everyday, mundane task and yet, right there, in the midst of the monotony of his task, he was met by the angel of the Lord.  This is often the way God meets us.  We don’t catch it sometimes and may entirely miss a “God meeting” because we are not looking for God in an ordinary way, in the midst of our ordinary day.  We think we are going to have some grandiose experience.  If we are always looking for an extraordinary and magnificent event, we may miss out on many intimate moments with God.  The routine, mundane, commonplace events in our lives are where God waits for us to find Him. Ordinary is often the disguise of the divine.

“O Valiant Warrior”
Here is the really good part.  Here is Gideon hiding from the enemies, scared to death like the rest of his people and the angel of the Lord calls out to Gideon, O Valiant Warrior.  Gideon’s current position made the angel’s statement seem ironic and unbelievable.  To all of us, it may seem as though Gideon is a coward, but God had a different perspective of him.  His opinion of Gideon was not based on Gideon’s actions or current situation.  Gideon may have been scared and hiding, but God saw beyond that.  He saw something that Gideon didn’t even realize was in him.  

God’s view of us is so far beyond what we can grasp.  We hide away in sin, shame, and fear, thinking that God must imagine the very worst about us. Yet that is exactly where He meets us. If we could see our value and worth through God’s eyes, we would discover that through Jesus Christ He has redeemed us and made us “valiant warriors”.  We have been made to be conquerors not cowards!  Romans 8:37 tells us No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  It is His power in us that makes us valiant warriors and conquerors, giving us everything we will ever need for every assignment He gives us. Watch for the extraordinary in your ordinary and be on the lookout for the divine in disguise so you don’t miss Him while you look for something “magnificent.”

Gideon did not think he was capable of doing what God was calling him to do. He made excuses and asked for proof. His fear was keeping him from fulfilling God’s plan in his life at first. But God used Gideon, despite his fear.  Many times our response to God when he calls us to do something big is the same as Gideon’s. We tell God every reason we don’t measure up for the job. But like Gideon, he can still use us despite our fear and lack of confidence in ourselves.

What is your greatest fear? How is it keeping you from following Jesus? What excuses are you making based on your fear? Will you surrender that fear to the Lord and ask Him to help you trust him and follow Him by faith and in obedience? 

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