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Doubting God

Dear Friends,

We have a God who will give us the Victory in every situation. Our Victory depends on our obedience to Him, and our willingness to trust completely in Him.

Let’s take a look at Gideon today. (Judges 6:1 – 8:35)

I am encouraged when I look at Gideon’s life. Gideon was just trying to get by in a difficult time in his life. The Midianites had taken over the land, so much so that the Israelites had fled to the mountain clefts and caves to live. Every time they planted crops, the enemy would come and destroy them, and even their livestock was destroyed. The Israelites were living in hard times!

And so, when the Angel of the Lord appeared, Gideon was threshing wheat secretly in a winepress. This was survival in tough times. This would have just been an ordinary day in Gideon’s life. He would have had no idea that God was preparing him to be a mighty leader, or that a Divine Visitation was imminent.

When the Angel of the Lord appeared, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 7:12b NIV) The Angel commissioned Gideon to go and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.

Gideon must have had an on-going relationship with God. He recognised the Angel, and then he made an offering to God.

Yet, Gideon wanted to be so SURE of what God was saying to him that he put out a fleece twice for God to CONFIRM the assignment. And twice, God did just that. Isn’t this so much like us? We want God to use us in a mighty way, yet we doubt Him when He speaks to us.

God wanted to get the full glory when Gideon was victorious over Midian… and so God diminished the size of Gideon’s Army of 32,000 men to 300 men! Gideon fully obeyed God’s instructions in the selection process.

However, Gideon still experienced fear at the enormous task that loomed ahead. And God, once again, encouraged him to go forward.

“During the night, the Lord said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.” (Judges 6:9 – 11 NIV)

Gideon went to the Midian camp and overheard a man’s dream. The interpretation of the dream was that Gideon was going to defeat the Midianites!

This so encouraged Gideon that he roused his army and they attacked the Midianites and won!

I have summed up a whole battle in one line here. It makes it sound easy… but there would have been a great expenditure of energy and bloodshed! A scene that many of us would not wish to actually experience.

This was a step of faith. We cannot be people of Faith if we never step out to achieve the things God has called us to. We cannot let fear and uncertainty hold us back. We must press on under God’s Divine Instruction to continue to achieve mighty things for the Kingdom of God.

And even, when we have moments of doubt, God is so willing to re-assure us – in the same way, as He re-assured Gideon. He is a loving God; not a difficult God. His Ways are pure, and His Motives are right. He knows what He is doing. He knows the expected outcome. He only asks for our complete obedience and steps of Faith.

As a result of Gideon’s victory, Israel experienced peace for 40 years.

“Thus Midian was subdued before the Israelites and did not raise its head again. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land enjoyed peace forty years.” (Judges 8:28 NIV)

What an outcome! National deliverance! Gideon’s actions were not just for himself, but for the good of the whole nation!

Maybe there are gifts and plans of God inside each of us that will have a positive impact on our Nation. We cannot hold back on God, but we must ACT now, so that God may be glorified in our nation, and in our lives!

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