We all have fears, and we all have different ways of dealing with our fear. Some get mad and rush right at the thing causing it. I wish I had some of that. I personally think these people are in the minority, but I may be wrong about that. I only know how I deal with it: I freeze. I become non-functional. If it’s severe enough, I will shut down, and in a twisted sort of way I like that because then I don’t have to do anything. I can’t. Like the shield that comes down over Batman’s Batmobile as he walks away from it, this shield enfolds my heart when I get afraid and renders me momentarily useless. It got me even as I sat down to write this very Catch (ironic in that I knew I was going to write about fear), and I lost valuable time in that state until I realized what I feared was a false alarm and the shield went back up giving me access to my heart again.
One of the most common ways of dealing with fear is to hide. That’s what Gideon and the rest of the Israelites were doing when God called him out of the winepress to free His people. They were all hiding because they were being victimized by the Midianites, a force of more superior power than they could muster an answer to. So they hid in mountains and caves and lived in constant fear until they finally cried out to the Lord, and Gideon was the answer to that cry.
Actually, Gideon wasn’t the first answer. The first answer came by way of a prophet who came and told them why they had been victimized for the last seven years. It was because of their disobedience; they had turned from worshiping God to worshiping the Amorite god, Baal, and what was happening to them was exactly what God had said would happen if they did.
And yet God still heard their cry and went and called Gideon to free them — a very interesting action of God since there isn’t any evidence that the people repented, or admitted their mistake or promised to return to Him — they only cried out for help, and God sent help. That says something about our God. He is not all cause and effect. He will rush to our aid. He does not have a long list of prerequisites. Give Him an inch and He’ll come a mile. His love is like that.
So He called Gideon, and Gideon called up an army of warriors. Were they afraid? Yes they were. Almost 70% of them went home when given the opportunity. Does that mean the 30% who stayed were not afraid? No, it means they found something bigger than their fear. The God of the miraculous stories of their past as HIs chosen people was on the move again and they wanted to be a part of that in spite of their fear.
He is a God of miracles, a God of power and a God of mercy. He is quick to forgive those who call on Him, and eager to work through those who show up, fear or no fear.
But can He take on that Batmobile shield I let down over my heart whenever I become really afraid and panic? Of course, if He’s God. But I have to be willing to test it.
But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. (Psalm 56:3)
God is on the move. In this age, in this generation, at this time in your life and mine, right now: God is on the move. Do you want to be a part of this? Are you willing for God to bust through that protective shield around your heart and bring you out with fear and trembling, trusting Him to work in you? (Philippians 2:12-13) Do you want to show up in your life because you know the God of miracles will show up with you the way He was with Gideon and his 300 men?
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