I want to talk to you about a skeptic, a fearoo so fearoo he couldn’t have sat through a Karishika movie, a coward and a no body who became one of my favourite Bible characters ever! Gideon’s story is gold to me because it washes so many misconceptions that had filled me with useless fears.
I used to think that doubting God’s promise meant missing it. That if you were believing God for something and for just one aboskitikiti moment, you wondered if He was able or if it would happen then darrisit, aint gonna happen. I used to think that fear meant defeat; that if I feared something, I’d given it power to happen. I had this military no-nonsense approach to faith and fear. It trapped me for so long, making me feel gloomy and vulnerable and paranoid, making me walk on eggshells. I didn’t understand what He meant when He said He understands we’re made of dust. I hadn’t read or understood Gideon’s story. I do now, and I’d like to pay you same courtesy. Can I? If your answer is no po it’s not like I can hear you so oya! Make we just hurry dey go.
When God first hit Gideon up, the man was hiding in a winepress to thresh wheat. That’s like pounding fufu on your bed because you don’t want your land lord’s trouble. He said to him, “The LORD is with you, o brave man.” God’s not dumb or deaf, he could see the man’s heart beating like a corn mill machine. he heard the man scream “Awurade, m’awu!” He still called him brave!
Then He told Gideon to go in his (Gideon’s) great strength and save Israel from the hand of Midian. It was absurd! The kind of command or prophesy that gets you questioning the anointing on a pastor’s life. When Gideon answered with excuses about being the least important in a family from the weakest clan, it didn’t disqualify him. Rather, God answered “…I will help you. You will crush the Midianites as if they were only one man.”
Authors feeling: wawolo!! sosskket!
Gideon wasn’t going to take the word of the angel for it,he wanted proof and it was granted by fire bursting from a rock to consume his food offering. Goodness! He’d actually just seen God! This spooked him because a man couldn’t see God and live, and yet he had. After this, his first instruction was to destroy the idols in his fathers house. Because of fear, he did it at night when everyone was sleeping. His father’s intervention saved him from a lynching.
Things were heating up on the enemy side; the Midianites, Amaleekites and desert tribes had joined forces and were getting closer (nb: this’ more intense than Game of Thrones I tell you). God’s spirit took control of Gideon and he sent word to several tribes to come join him fight. And they came. 32,000 of them! Herein lays my second wawolo discovery; when God’s spirit is in charge, warriors respond to the call of a ‘coward’. He turns a civilian into a General in one encounter! He gives charisma. He makes the world listen to you.
Still, Gideon needed a little more evidence “God almighty, I’m going to leave this wool out on the ground tonight, if you really want me to go out to fight, let dew fall and wet it, but let everywhere around it be dry.” God obliged!
Gideon still wanted more proof. “Oh God, this time, let the wool be dry and let everywhere around it be wet by the night dew.” God did it again! Some say this was a way of ensuring that a certain plan was God’s will, oh but it wasn’t! The man wanted to pull a Jonah, not out of stubbornness, but fear!
God was keen to prove a point; he found ways to get Gideon to whittle his 32,000 down to only 300! 300 vs countless.
In spite of aaaalll that God had shown him, the man was still afraid. God saw it and had a plan to nib it. He asked Gideon to sneak to the edge of the enemy camp and hear what they’re saying. He did, and heard them freaking out because of a dream which they interpreted to mean he’d come and finish them. That, gave him vim. Mad vim.
From that point through to the point where he pursued the three vicious enemy kings, killed them, won a resounding victory and turned down offers to become king of Israel, courage and valour had become the nature God saw in him when he seemed to be nothing more than a coward. The least important from a family of the weakest clan became the people’s choice who turned down kingship. If that’s not ah-may-zing, I don’t know what is.
He knows my frailties, so He’s strongest when I’m weakest. He’s not waiting for me to mess up just to rub in my face that “Eheeh, you see you cant live without me?”, rather He’s eager to pick me up when I stumble. He’s in this with me for life. Nothing can separate me from God’s love; not sin, death hell or the grave; nothing has that power! There’s nothing I could do to make Him love me more and nothing will make Him love me less. He sees the fear and sees the doubt, but they don’t disgust him, they highlight my need to grow, my need for Him.
Fear is good because it gives you a greater appreciation of the security and protection He provides. Doubt is good because when you conquer it, your faith has deeper roots and stronger anchors. Don’t let them cripple you. Keep getting back up, keep moving closer to Him. Be relentless. Don’t condemn yourself or write yourself off. What he can see in you is much clearer than who you know yourself to be. Don’t confuse your present incapacities for your permanent destiny; they’re miles apart! Oh if only you’d trust Him!
The dangerous thing with coming to the conclusion that God ‘gets’ you is confusing it to mean God’s ok with your reluctance to get out of sin. Don’t justify stupidity with grace. Don’t ‘test’ how much this love He claims to have for you is with how much sin it will take to finally let you go. It’s the kind of thought that will bury you deeper into the aching emptiness and anxiety sin brings. And then have you blaming God for everything that’s gone wrong and then get you to move further and further from His grace.
So I don’t know how you see yourself now or what you think of the person you are, but you need to finish this sentence knowing you’re nothing near the awesomeness you will become if you choose to believe him. It’s okay to be afraid sometimes (even though fear isn’t of God), it’s okay to even doubt, but NEVER let go of Him. Don’t let anything drive you away and in time you’ll feel what Gideon felt; the thrill of transforming into your wildest dream.
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