Monday, April 15, 2024

Faith Overcomes Fear

Monday, April 15, 2024

LORD said to Gideon, "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, 'My own power has delivered me.' "Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, 'Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.'" So 22,000 people returned, but 10,000 remained.  Judges 7:2-3

Faith Overcomes Fear

Gideon thought he was incapable of obeying God in rescuing Israel from the Midianites. He asked God for signs - including two different signs with the fleece as a way of proving that God was really going to do what He said. 

God brings Gideon and a vast army up, then proceeds to strip Gideon of absolutely anything that could be considered confidence in order to show the only confidence we need is in God.  Here we see the creation of that humility in Gideon, and lessons for us as we attempt to obey God’s voice.  God is going to do a series of things here that are totally counterintuitive to military strategy or even common sense - to prove that He doesn’t need anyone to accomplish His will.                                                                  

Christians are either overcome by of their unbelief or overcomers through their faith.

The familiar and exciting account of Gideon’s wonderful victory over the Midianites is really a story of faith in action.  You see, a faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted. “We’re simply going to have to step out by faith!” leads to the question, “Whose faith?”  Here are two reasons God tests our faith:


  1. To show us whether our faith is real or counterfeit, and 
  2. To strengthen our faith for the tasks He’s set before us. 

God tested Gideon’s faith by sifting his army of 32,000 volunteers until only 300 men were left.  I wonder if Gideon is thinking - "Hold the phone, Lord - of course the people are fearful - we’re going to war after all!"  It would be like saying, "There’s a chance that you might die so if that makes you frightened then beat feet and get out of here!"  Perhaps he was secretly hoping that great courage had been instilled in the people or something - but it was not the case and in the first sifting two thirds of his fighting force turned and left. What a blow to the flesh! God told Gideon why He was decreasing the size of the army: He didn’t want the soldiers to boast that they had won the victory over the Midianites. 

God loves to show up in our impossible battles so that there is absolutely no doubt as to where the vicpkso much, He has already fought those battles for us. We just have to trust Him and have faith. People who live by faith know their own weakness more and more as they depend on God’s strength. 

When we allow the enemy to sabotage us with fear, our faith takes the biggest hit. Fear has a way of spreading, and one timid soldier can do more damage than a whole company of enemy soldiers. But we can't live in fear and have faith at the same time. Either fear will conquer faith and we’ll quit, or faith will conquer fear and we’ll triumph.  John Wesley may have been thinking of Gideon’s army when he said, “Give me a hundred men who fear nothing but sin and love nothing but God, and I will shake the gates of hell!” But God wasn’t done yet as we shall see.

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