Have you ever tested God? I know I have, and so did Gideon. Recently, as I was reading the book of Judges, I came upon the story of Gideon. Because this was such a familiar story, I thought I would skim over it, but God got my attention. I began seeing myself in the story. Maybe you can see yourself, too. See the full story of Gideon (here).
- He was insecure. I can be insecure.
- He questioned God by asking, “Why then has all this happened to us?” I have asked God the same question.
- He was fearful. I am fearful at times.
- He was hiding from confrontation. I have been one to avoid confrontation.
- He had doubt. I have doubts at times.
- He needed to know that he was truly hearing from God. I need to know it is God leading me, not my flesh or others’ opinions.
- He was weak and did not see himself as God did. I have so many weaknesses that I struggle seeing what God sees in me.
I have to admit that at first, it discouraged me just how much I related to Gideon. But, what I learned from his story really opened my eyes. What God was after was Gideon’s belief in himself and an undivided faith in God.
The struggle was real for Gideon, as it is for you and me. We battle so much self-doubt, fear, and insecurity, that it takes a process to get to where God wants us to be.
Look back at Gideon’s story:
While he was hiding from the enemy, God saw him as a “valiant warrior” (Judges 6:12). I tend to believe that living in fear of his enemies for seven years paralyzed him from ever seeing himself as God saw him.
Maybe you have a past that has paralyzed you from believing that you could ever be more than the sum of your past. Don’t you want to be set free from that? I know I do!
I have tested God over and over, wanting to confirm His calling on my life. Gideon also tested God to see if He would do what He said He would do. Check out the “fleece test” in Judges 6:36-40.
With each testing of God, Gideon’s confidence grew in himself and in God. I find this to be true in my life, as well. But, at some point, we need to make a decision to be all in, or take a seat.
I am encouraged that when Gideon tested God not once, not twice, but four times, God never got mad. He did not say, “Never mind, you are hopeless”. He did not lose patience, nor abandon him. God was aware of how Gideon viewed himself. He knew what it was going to take for Gideon to believe in himself, and believe God.
When I read about Gideon’s final test for God, it hit me! It was time for me to stop testing God, and choose to have an undivided faith, instead.
Gideon’s response to his last test drew the line in the sand. When he overheard the enemies interpreting a dream about how they would fall at the sword of Gideon, he bowed and worshiped God. See, Gideon was willing to do anything for God, but because of his fears and insecurities, he deemed himself altogether insufficient. Therefore, he needed confirmation that God was who He said He was, that He could do what He said He could do, and that he could become more than the sum of his past.
God knows exactly what it will take for each of us to believe in ourselves. It is a process, just like it was for Gideon.
For me, it takes a secure faith (believing God) in God’s calling on my life to hang in there. Because, when the storms come, and they will, I need my anchor to hold. Do not give up on the process you are going through to anchor your faith. God is not giving up on you! God can pass any of our tests with flying colors! But, the greatest test is really on us… will you believe God today?
Keep pressing forward. God sees you, even if you are hiding, and He is calling you to a greater purpose. So, live it, believe it, and own it.