What if God asks you to do something you’re terrified to do? Gideon – From zero to hero
Have you experienced God asking you to do something you’re terrified to do? In this week’s podcast we talk about Gideon, how he went from being a coward to a hero, how we can follow that faith, and what it means in daily life to go in God’s strength and not our own.
This is ActiveChristianity’s “Living the Gospel” podcast. Join us as we explore different aspects of the gospel, according to the Bible, and how we can put it into practice in daily life.
Eunice: So, Milenko, as an editor of ActiveChristianity, what do you like best about what you do?
Milenko: Where do I start? I just love my job. Every single day we’ve got new things to talk about, new things to research, to write about. We have the most amazing conversations and discussions about things. And there’s always developments, like in media there are developments. Part of that is that I’m a host of this podcast now.
Eunice: Yeah, it’s pretty exciting that we just started this podcast, and in the last episode, we talked about one of the articles you had written, Joshua and Caleb and the spirit of faith. We thought we’d continue the theme here today with another hero of faith listed in Hebrews 11, and he is Gideon.
Milenko: Yeah, Gideon. He’s not actually one of your typical heroes of faith, or what you would expect a hero of faith to be like. But we’ve got an article written by Frank Myrland which covers this topic on our website. It’s called Gideon: From zero to hero, which says quite a bit.
Eunice: I think many of us are maybe familiar with that feeling. Not feeling very much like a hero at all, more like a zero. What do you think sticks out most for you from this story, Milenko?
Milenko: When you read the story of Gideon, it’s actually quite striking how Gideon was not a brave man at all. He really was doubtful about everything. He doubted his own strength, he doubted his own abilities, he needed confirmation for everything, he needed to be pushed, he needed to be prodded, he needed things to be proven before he could do it.
But, despite all that, he actually went ahead and did things. Throughout the story, you see how he really gets to know God, and that he actually believes God, despite his own doubts and his own misgivings. And that’s something really great for me, that he actually does what he thinks is difficult. So that’s this whole point, from zero to hero. From being nothing in yourself to being a hero. Not because he became stronger or more bold, but because he believed in God. That was the thing.
Eunice: Actually, when I think about Gideon, it reminds me of my own life in a way. Like, sometimes God just works in your heart, and you know that you have to do something that you know is right. For example, I’ve experienced, you know, that someone around you is backbiting, and you have to kind of speak up, because you know that’s the right thing to do and the conversation’s going in a wrong direction. But then it almost seems at that moment the most terrifying thing to do is to try to move the conversation in another direction.
So, I think for me, when I think about Gideon, I think that he is an inspiration for me because despite the fear, he goes ahead and does it. And, if I think about really why I’m so scared, I think the main reason is because I’m afraid of what the other people would think of me. So, by actually being obedient to what God puts on my heart to do, then I’m slowly being freed of this fear of man. And that’s something that actually is so interesting, that you don’t really maybe realize until you actually do it.
Milenko: And that’s exactly how Gideon had it as well. He had to face his own fears; he had to confront his own difficulties. And it actually says in Judges 6:15 how he had it to start with. He says to the angel of the Lord, “Oh my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” It doesn’t seem that he was a soldier, never mind being a leader of an army. He didn’t think he’d be capable at all. But God had chosen him to save Israel from the hand of the Midianites, and Gideon just had to start believing that.
Eunice: I think that’s when faith makes a monumental difference. It doesn’t make sense in my brain, but I just have to believe. And, I can imagine that Gideon’s faith was tested almost to the limit, and some of the things that Gideon was asked to do towards the end – of which we will hear in the story that we’re going to play soon – were actually almost so crazy, that there was no way that it would be achievable with human strength. So, what does it mean for us in our daily situations that we go in God’s strength, and not our own?
Milenko: The thing for us is that we’re not confronting an outward enemy like a huge army like Gideon was. But it’s written as an illustration for us in our life because we have an army to defeat as well, that is the sin that dwells in our human nature, which is against God’s will. And to be able to overcome that, to do God’s will … If I start out doing it in my own strength, which we all do, we pretty quickly find our limitations. Like, we want to say the right thing, but we find that we keep saying something that hurts other people. It’s not our intention, it’s not what we want to do, but it just happens. And if I do that often enough, I find that I stop believing in overcoming sin. That’s because I rely on my own strength, which is not strong enough to overcome. That’s for all of us. Even the best of us can meet our limitations.
And that’s where I have to believe in God’s strength – that if I’m obedient to God, and do exactly what He says, then I do get the power to overcome. The power is the will to say “No” to the sin in my flesh. The will to say “No” in temptation, and really, to hate it, to see that the sin is in myself. The enemy is my own sin in my nature. And if I believe in God, then I can overcome, even though I am weak by nature.
Eunice: That just made me think of the verse, “When I’m weak, then I’m strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10) Going from being weak to being strong is actually that acknowledgment that I can’t do it by myself, and to give it to God – is that right?
Milenko: Exactly, I am weak by nature, but my strength is in God, and God can do anything. So, if I’m obedient to Him, and let Him guide me, then I can beat any enemy. That’s just how it is. It’s not myself; the glory goes to God.
Eunice: Well, we thought we’d play that article for you now, so you can hear the story of Gideon and why he was a hero of faith.
Eunice: Well, that was the second part of our heroes of faith series, and next week we’re heading into September already.
Milenko: September … Well, here in the Northern Hemisphere that means the end of summer, and back to the books.
Eunice: You make it sound so ominous. But, next week, we’ve prepared something special for you guys. The theme wil be, “Back to school,” as you might have guessed.
Milenko: But you have to tune in next week to hear it.
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