“Listen to what the Midianites are saying, and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack.” Judges 7:11
Yes, I realize I used this verse last week, but I find it is filled with truth that has really spoken to me this past week. God has been showing me how important it is to listen to what He has to tell me when facing an impossible situation. God knows that my natural response is to focus on what I see and allow my fear to keep me worrying, and anxiously striving to take care of my situation, but this verse reminds me that He calls me to come and listen to the words He wants me to hear, words that will greatly encourage me and actually make me eager to go into the battle that will bring victory and freedom!
Within every problem there is a promise from God,
an opportunity to learn something new about God,
and the ability to be changed from the “least of the least,” into “a mighty warrior”!
Gideon’s true was a valley covered with thousands of enemy soldiers. His understanding expected only defeat, and certain death. If his fear remained Gideon would have experienced the very thing he feared. What he saw and what he knew to be true was keeping fear alive within him. Fear was paralyzing him.
But this battle wasn’t a battle of human ability.
This was a battle to show the Power of God!
God needed a “mighty warrior” to fight the battle!
God is the only One who fully knows you. He knows the impossible situation you face and He knows exactly how He intends to work everything together for your good. He understands the fear you have and He wants to cast it out with His perfect love, His words of truth, and His precious promises.
“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 7:13-14
“O Lord, did I just hear what I think I heard? This was Your promise to me when I was in the winepress. This was Your promise to me when You told me to send all those who were afraid, home. Now here in the enemy camp, out of the mouth of my enemy, You reminded me once again of Your promise! O Lord, forgive me for my fear, for making it all about me and about how I see this battle. I am humbled by Your love for me, by Your ability to instill fear into the enemy, and by Your power to bring victory to Israel through the three hundred soldiers You have chosen!”
God’s words greatly encourage!
God’s words make you eager to do the thing you once considered impossible!
God’s words turn the “least of the least,” into “mighty warriors”!
Last week when facing an impossible situation I cried out to God and He spoke words that He wanted me to listen to.
They weren’t the easiest words to hear, but God is for me and He loves me, and His words are always intended for my good.
My “impossible situation” was concerning my relationship with my daughter. Those few minutes between feeding the donkeys and packing her lunch the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see my fear.
I feared she wouldn’t love me.
My relationship with my mom wasn’t one of talking and spending time together. We didn’t share our feelings, hopes, or dreams.
I wanted my relationship with my daughter to be different.
It’s strange how the very thing I wanted more than anything, the love of my daughter was slipping through my fingers and it seemed there was nothing I could do about it.
What was once an incredible relationship with my daughter was becoming just like the relationship I had with my mom; a distance was coming between us, something was pushing us apart. What was it?
The very thing I feared was happening!
This wasn’t what I wanted and I knew it wasn’t what God intended. This was the harm that the enemy meant. I didn’t believe the comments from others when they said…
“She’s just being a typical teenager.”
“Oh, she’s fourteen?” (as though that explains the issues we were facing)
These are lies from the enemy to deceive parents.
Believing these keeps the focus and the blame on the teen, and off the parents. These keep parents from going to God to ask Him what He has to say.
Perhaps some of “typical teenager” behavior is the result of the fears of the parents.
But, what the enemy means for harm, God intends for good!
That morning I saw very clearly that I had been striving for her love and because I feared I would lose her love, and our close relationship, I became obsessed, striving to make her happy.
The Holy Spirit helped me to realize my striving wasn’t causing her to feel loved, but instead she was becoming entitled, ungrateful.
And it was that entitlement and ungrateful attitude that I began to resent.
I saw that when love is motivated by fear it becomes twisted. It became about me.
My love had strings attached;
wanting to be loved back.
Love motivated by fear is manipulation.
The recipient of this type of love feels trapped.
Either they will stay in the trap and become compliant, co-dependent, or harbor resentment to keep the peace.
Or, they will flee from the trap to escape the expectations and manipulation.
How many parents have seen their teens go down the very road that was their worse fear?
How many times have kids inherited their parent’s fears, instead of God’s promises?
Though we may not be aware of our fear, it comes out in our words, in our actions. While subconsciously we strive to keep that fear from becoming a reality we are actually keeping it alive. We think we are preventing it, but the fear is actually controlling us and in response we control those around us.
The only way to keep our greatest fears from coming upon us or our children is to be free from the fear.
Because fear is the enemy’s greatest strategy it is clothed in deception.
Our flesh is very protective of our fears. The enemy keeps us deceived. So we come up with reasons, excuses, or resort to blaming others to explain away the symptoms of our fears.
It was easier to find things in my daughter to blame for the distance in our relationship than it was to see any of my own faults.
And in reality, I’m sure she does carry some of the “blame,” but that isn’t for me to determine. I am responsible for the things God shows me. And I have a feeling that when I love her as God intends for me to, the things that she does, those “typical teenage” things, will decrease.
When I first heard the words God said to me it was humbling to realize I had done so much to hurt our relationship. But, in His loving and gracious way, God brought to my mind that this fear has been at work generationally; it was something I inherited. In a strange way I found that revelation helpful. I better understood my own relationship with my mother. It took away my condemnation of her lack of demonstrating love towards me. My heart became gracious towards her realizing she too had fears that hindered her love for me. And as the Holy Spirit brought revelation I realized that I had the ability snd the authority to confess my fear, repent of my sin, and break the generational stronghold over my family relationships.
I am so thankful for the words God had for me to listen to. I’m grateful that they dispelled my fear, greatly encouraged me, and made me eager to fight the battle between my spirit and my flesh so that I could gain the victory over the enemy’s strategy of harm. I feel as though a great burden has been lifted from me and I have already seen evidence of God restoring our relationship!