Straight from a Confident Heart
By Lisa Elliott
When was the last time you read the story of Gideon? Remember, that “mighty warrior”? The one God found hiding in the winepresses for fear of his life? Whether you remember him or not, I’d encourage you to read his story in Judges 6-8 before you read another word of mine.
It could be that you’re hiding out in the winepresses of your own heart today. If it is, you’ll find me in the other corner. Perhaps you’re here in response to something you feel ill-equipped to handle or a task the Lord’s given you to accomplish that you feel unqualified to accomplish.
While we’re huddled here together, let’s consider a few thoughts the Lord impressed upon my heart that I believe will give both of us the confidence we’re looking for.
Remember God’s faithfulness (Jdg. 6:7-11). The story begins with the Lord using one of His prophets to give a little history lesson to His people. He reminds them of how He rescued and delivered them out of slavery. “_I am the LORD your God._” He tells them. Such sweet assurance of His unfailing character and faithfulness to accomplish His will. Interesting that only a few short verses later, when the Angel of the Lord discovers Gideon cowering in the winepresses, He sat Himself down right there with him. How would it affect our confidence if we pictured the Lord sitting with us in our fears, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities? God is faithful. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Heb. 13:8). He’s promised never to leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5). Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him (Jer. 17:7).
See yourself through the eyes of the Lord (Jdg. 6:12). When the Angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “_The LORD is with you, mighty warrior._” Would you agree that how we see ourselves affects our performance, our worth, and our confidence? How much better to get our eyes off of ourselves and fix them on Jesus; the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:1). Rather than being self-confident, put your confidence in the One who has every confidence in you. That’s called God-confidence.
Your weaknesses perfect God’s power (Jdg. 6:13-16). It’s hard not to see things through the lens of our insurmountable problems, our inadequacies, and our weaknesses. We don’t have to hear from a gameshow host to be convinced that we’re the weakest link. But until we get our eyes off of ourselves and see beyond the mountain, we’ll never see the Mountain Mover. Remember, we are weak but He is strong. His power is perfected in our weaknesses (2 Cor. 12:9).
Bring your fears into the Light (Jdg. 6:24-29). The Lord told Gideon not to fear, but he still did. So fearful, in fact, that he waited until it was dark to build an altar to the Lord. His greatest fear being the opinion of others. In the end, his actions were still questioned. This shows us that public opinion shouldn’t matter as long as we’re abiding by the Lord’s bidding in our lives. But often it does. Therefore, it’s helpful to find situations throughout Scripture where the Lord steps into the impossible to make possible. Putting feet to our confidence. Such was the case for Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Mary, Paul and others. In each case, the Lord speaks into fears with the assurance of the peace He offers as a replacement. When we bring our fears into His light, we can be confident He’ll give us all we need to do what He’s asking of us; regardless of what others may think. “_Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ_” (Gal. 1:10). We can be confident that when we bring our fears into the Light, His perfect love drives out all fear (1 Jn. 4:18).
Test the waters (Jdg. 6:36-40). It took Moses putting his staff in the Red Sea before God scrolled it back. It took the priests getting their feet wet before God opened up the Jordan River for Joshua and the Israelites. In the same way, Gideon’s fleece allowed God to do what He does best—perform a miracle—despite Gideon’s doubt and fear. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not good to put the Lord to a test (Deut. 6:16). But it’s not a bad thing to simply test the waters He’s opening up to us by dipping our toes in. If it’s His will that you walk across on dry land, or even across the water, He’ll make a way that is sure. We can be confident in that.
Entrust your limits to the limitless God (Jdg. 6:34-35; 7:1-8, 16-18). The next thing we read is God summoning the troops. But before they head into battle, He weeds through the thousands and leaves Gideon with only three hundred men. Often the Lord removes our resources in order that we put our full trust and confidence in Him. I suppose that’s called faith. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Heb. 11:1). When we get to the end of our resources, that’s where God’s limitless resources begin.
Give credit where credit is due (Jdg. 7:19-25). Despite Gideon’s doubts and fears, inadequacies and limitations, God gave him the victory. It’s important to give credit where credit is due by worshipping the One who deserves all the praise, glory, and honour. Put your confidence in Him.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Heb. 4:15-16).
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
To book Lisa for a weekend retreat or day conference contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org