Another bucket from the deep well that is Gideon’s call story (Judges 6-7). Remember, these are initial reflections and are not fully developed, but I pray that you may find something that speaks to you.
Fear. It’s one of those things from which we cannot get away. It is hard-wired into our humanity. It keeps us safe and warns us of danger. It keeps us from doing some things that would no doubt harm us greatly. The problem comes when fear completely incapacitates you and leaves you helpless.
I guess I’ve always thought that if you knew that you were following God’s will, you would have nothing to fear because you could rest assured that God was there, watching your back (so to speak). But notice what happens here with Gideon. God calls Gideon, God is patient with Gideon in showing him a sign, and God consumes Gideon’s offering in an act of power. If all that weren’t enough, God speaks a blessing over Gideon saying, “Peace be to you. Do not fear” (6:23). Think about that for a moment: this is the same God who spoke creation into existence with the power of God’s word. What this God speaks comes true. And God says, “Peace. . . do not fear.”
However, we read that Gideon is still fearful. Instead of marching in during the middle of the day and boldly doing the Lord’s business, Gideon sneaks in at night to tear down the altars “because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town…” He’s a coward. He does it in secret, hiding, sneaking in under the cover of darkness. Surprisingly, I find great encouragement in that. The way I read it, what God is ultimately looking for is not fearlessness, but obedience. We can’t all be fearless, but we can sure as heck be obedient.
What about you? What role does fear play in your in/ability to pursue God’s calling for your life?