In Fear & Faith We Walk On

As with many well laid plans, a schedule kink rose to the surface when I was asked to serve as a substitute teacher one Sunday morning. I hesitated at first – and internally grumbled just a bit wondering why they didn’t think to ask me sooner. I now only had 48 hours to prepare! After a few moments, I was able to adjust my attitude and look at things from a totally different perspective.

How?

I saw God’s hand in the timing of things. I was free to teach that Sunday, and God had already given me a great lesson to share. Gideon! I’ll walk through the story of Gideon with the students!

Just that week some dear friends had named their baby boy, Gideon. Intrigued with the details surrounding the Biblical account of Gideon, I wanted a quick refresher of all the details. As I read Judges 6-7, the roller coaster ride of Gideon’s faith emerged before me. His story is filled with the fragile nature of our spiritual lives: self-doubt and fear, conformity and sin, faith and obedience.

I know that there are some that question the faith of Gideon and others that are extremely cautious of the 'fleece mentality' that can be carelessly exercised over trivial things. The children’s Sunday School version of Gideon usually focuses on the fleece story and sometimes stretches over to the water test. The part that usually is not taught to children is the story of the idols – the tearing down and the worshiping of. Gideon had shining moments in his obedience to God in destroying the idols, but later - likely unintentionally - he was linked to his community getting caught back up into idol worship. (see Judges 8)

It is easy to want to criticize Gideon for his weaker moments. But, isn’t that the story of the Israelites as they wandered in the desert and worked their way to the Promised Land? Isn’t that, all too often, the story of our lives as well?

The cycle of sin is common to all believers. We sin, we repent, we live in obedience, and then eventually we sin again. The obvious goal is to come to repentance quicker and quicker and to live longer and longer in the period of obedience. Ah, yes. That is the goal! Some days and weeks we do better at reaching that goal and living in a land of peace. (Judges 8:28)

Regardless of where we may find ourselves in this cycle of sin, repentance and obedience, we have only to call out to God – in fear or with faith – and ask Him for guidance and grace. Gideon had a much bigger foe to battle than I did this week. I simply needed to teach a Sunday School lesson and serve with a joyful heart. I’m grateful for God’s guiding presence in the big and little things that come my way. How about you?

  • Are you walking in fear or in faith? 
  • Is God asking you to do something that isn't in your timetable?
  • Are you not so sure you want to follow through on where God has asked you to go? 
  • What blessings are just around the corner for you and those you will lead into a deeper faith? 
  • What miracles is God asking you to be a part of?

Freedom from sin and doubt are available for each of us today. An obedient lifestyle is ours for the taking, but we must continue to walk on in faith - putting fear behind us.





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