I was standing in a circle of twenty teens and five leaders. We were all holding hands, taking turns praying for our trip to Creation Fest in Harrisburg, PA. Our cars and vans were loaded with tents, food, supplies, and suitcases packed for our five day camping and festival experience. Though I had never attended Creation Fest and I had never been responsible for a group of teens before, the planning and packing had been exciting. The youth leader at our church had recently moved on, and since our sons were preteen we offered to take the youth group and a few other adults to Creation Fest. We were somewhere in the middle of our prayer time when an incredible fear came over me. I began to ponder the five hour trip with my van filled with teens, teens I really didn’t know very well. The reality of what I was about to do suddenly overwhelmed me with a fear that made me want to go home…literally! If this was the Gideon story and he announced that all who were afraid were to go home I would have been the first one to leave. I was actually thinking, “I’m going to walk away from this circle of people, get in my van, and drive home. Nobody can stop me. There are no suitcases in my van…”
Gideon had prepared for the battle, he had gotten everything ready, but sitting there across from the thousands of enemy soldiers it seems as though the reality of his impossible situation caused fear to rise up.
Your beliefs determine your direction.
What you think about when facing an impossible situation will determine how you respond.
Thoughts are powerful!
The words you speak when facing a difficult circumstance will determine your actions.
Words are powerful!
Negative, fearful thoughts and words have no place in accomplishing the impossible. They have the power to send you home from the battle that God calls you to fight. Though you see them as ways to keep you safe, they only put you right back into bondage, away from where God is calling you to.
Without a battle, there is no victory!
Without a victory, there is no freedom!
Negative thoughts and words of fear and doubt give the enemy ammunition for his attacks against you. Your thoughts become actions and your words give the enemy permission to bring the things you fear upon you.
What was I going to believe?
What was I going to do?
Would I go and get in my van and drive home as my thoughts were telling me to? Would I give into the fear that was causing me to dread driving a van full of teens for five hours?
Or would I push my thoughts aside, face my fears, and get into my van, trusting God to make a way where there seemed to be none?
God was for Gideon.
God didn’t give up on Gideon.
God wanted to remove all Gideon’s fear.
“That night the Lord said, “Get up! Go down into the Midianite camp, for I have given you victory over them! But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah. Listen to what the Midianites are saying, and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack.” So Gideon took Purah and went down to the edge of the enemy camp.” Judges 7:9-11
“If you are afraid go and listen…”
God wants to use your fear to be the reason you go to Him and listen.
Your fear is based on a lie. As long as you believe that lie you will have fear and it will keep you from the battles that will bring victory and freedom.
When you choose to go and listen to the words God has for you to hear, the words of truth that He has to tell you, they will dispel all your fear.
“The armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east had settled in the valley like a swarm of locusts. Their camels were like grains of sand on the seashore—too many to count! Gideon crept up just as a man was telling his companion about a dream. The man said, “I had this dream, and in my dream a loaf of barley bread came tumbling down into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent, turned it over, and knocked it flat!” His companion answered, “Your dream can mean only one thing—God has given Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite, victory over Midian and all its allies!” Judges 7:12-14
God’s words of truth dispel fear!
God’s words encourage and empower!
“When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship before the Lord. Then he returned to the Israelite camp and shouted, “Get up! For the Lord has given you victory over the Midianite hordes!” Judges 7:15
God’s words turn your…
Fear to faith!
Faith brings worship!
Worship brings courage!
Well, thankfully by God’s grace, I was able to push my thoughts aside, and I was able to face my fears. I did get in my van, along with about six teens, and I did drive to Harrisburg, PA. The trip behind me, I enjoyed the camping and festival very much. There is so much more to this story, but as I look back I realize it was a battle that God wanted me to fight. Mark and I have worked with teens ever since and it has been an incredible journey that was part of God’s plan to overcome my fears and to instill faith, worship, and courage.
Did you ever find yourself needing to take your own advice? I found myself in the middle of an impossible situation just this past week. It was something I had no idea what to do about or how to solve, but it was something that really needed some resolution. I even said to Mark, “I need to read my blog.” So I cried out to God asking Him to make a way where I saw no way. We prayed together asking God to show us what to do.
The next morning I began to hear the Holy Spirit speaking. Some time between feeding the donkeys and packing Kayla’s lunch I had an amazing revelation…
The Lord showed me a fear that was causing me to respond with thoughts and words that were creating my impossible situation. He showed me how my fear was causing me to strive, and to become consumed with thoughts and words that were actually bringing about the very thing that I feared.
Once a fear is exposed…
Once a lie is brought out into the light of God’s truth…
It looses its power!
The burden is lifted!
The Holy Spirit continued to show me what to do now that I saw my fear, the lie I believed.
I asked forgiveness of the one that I offended. While walking with a friend the Holy Spirit prompted me to tell her, to speak it out. In the gym God reminded me of His truth and replaced it with my true. So often I get caught up in believing I am a rescuer, but when I listened to God’s words of truth, He reminded me that I have been created to point others to their true Rescuer, Jesus. I then confessed my sin of believing the lie, and the striving I was consumed with, and asked God’s forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus.
God is a relentless, compassionate Father who wants to purify and refine you from all fear.
It is those impossible situations that create the opportunity to face your fears, so you can fight the battle God has designed for your good!
God will use your impossible situations meant for your harm to be the very circumstances that turn your fears to faith, your faith to worship, your worship to courage, and your courage to victory so that you will live in the freedom He intends for you!
For without a Battle there is no Victory,
and without a Victory there is no Freedom!