February 25, 2009

Lessons From The First "300"-Leaders & Doubt

Following Gideon's dramatic move in his own village of destroying the pagan altars, Gideon sends messengers out across the countryside to recruit as many people as possible to join him in the looming battle versus the Midianites.

Meanwhile back at home, doubt begins to creep into the heart & mind of Gideon. However, there's an important distinction that must be made here. Gideon's doubt is rooted in himself, not in God. There is still a part of Gideon that cannot fathom that God would use him for this mission. While his understanding of his God-given identity is deepening, he still is struggling with the idea that he is the "valiant warrior" that God says he is.

So we get into the famous story of Gideon & the fleece. Basically Gideon goes through this dance with God about the fleece, the dew, & the ground around the fleece. If you want the whole thing in detail, go read the end of Judges 6.

God is gracious enough to give Gideon the signs that he asks for, & something really dramatic happens at this point. The story immediately jumps into Gideon's moment of truth versus the Midianites. Through these signs God reassures Gideon that not only has he truly been called to this mission, but that God will also equip him for the mission. Once all this clicks with Gideon, he is transformed. Gone is the timid farmer hiding in the winepress. What emerges is a man that is a bold, courageous leader who pursues God's vision for Israel in a passionate & powerful way.

Gideon definitely experienced doubt, as will we. However, neither Gideon nor we have to doubt the one who called us. When doubt comes we must lean hard into the one who called us & be reminded of who He is leading us to be. We too can have this transformative moment just as Gideon did. When we take our doubts to God & navigate them with Him rather than hiding them, God can transform those doubts into a deeper faith in Him, regardless of whether or not He actually gives us the answer to the doubt. In fact, it is our doubt that is often the very thing that God uses to trigger dramatic growth in our faith. However, we must walk with God through our doubts just as Gideon did.

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