Have you ever felt inadequate?
Have you ever had that feeling that you are not capable of turning your situation around?
Have you felt that the task before you is too great?
All of us have experienced these feelings of inferiority at some time. What may seem simple for someone may be a gigantic task for you. Please know that you are not alone. We have all been there. We all have battled the thoughts that accompany those feelings of inadequacies.
Rest assured they are just feelings. They have nothing to do with the truth of the matter. God says, ‘Fear not, for I am with you’. Your feelings is not your reality. The seed of greatness is within you. The Greater One is in you. He is always with you. You will not fail. ‘For I have never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread’ (Psalm 37:25). You may rely on Him to strengthen you. His ‘righteous right hand’ is with you to provide you with the power needed to be victorious.
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
~ Isaiah 41:10
Whenever I feel inadequate or just incapable of doing a task I am reminded of a young man who was a village coward. He did not think highly of himself. Well that was until God appeared to him and told him to go set His people free from the oppression of their enemy. That person was Gideon. The Bible tells us that the spirit of God came on him and changed him. From that day he was no longer afraid. Boldness came on him. He made his plans but God gave him a strategy that was different from any they knew.
You may feel that you lack the necessary know how to accomplish your task. Have you ever considered that you may be exactly where God wants you? Perhaps God wants to use you to do something new. God always likes doing something new! Whenever we think we have seen and done it all God always surprises us.
Gideon did did not understand the strength that was within him. When the Lord said ‘you mighty man of valor‘ it puzzled Gideon. The Lord could not have been addressing him. I believe he was wondering if God made a mistake. It was only when He eventually accepted that God was with Him that faith grew in him. The spirit of God came on him and filled him with faith. In the moment he understood that victory was guaranteed. He could see the end of the battle. He saw his nation victorious against the numerous nations that oppressed them.
Please remember that his growth was a process. It did not happen overnight. Gideon tried everything to get out of it. Don’t we do that very often. I am guilty of doing that. I cannot tell you how many times I have made excuses to get out of something. So many times we try to avoid what is challenging. We call on prayer warriors. We put off tackling the task. We do several other things to procrastinate. When time runs out we say, “See I did not have enough time. It just was not possible to do it!“. At first Gideon was not feeling brave. When he saw the size of the army that was against him he thought. ‘well you know what I had better get as large an army as possible. I may as well play the numbers game. With a very large number of fighting men perhaps I will prevail.’
If you know the story you would know that God drastically reduced that number. God said ‘if you go with that number the people will think they have won by their strength. In other words God was saying to Gideon.
“If you win with that large number and all your strategies you and your people will forget that I delivered you. You will not honor or glorify me. They will not see that you serve a Great and Mighty God. Your victory will not cause their hearts to be turned towards me. You will brag on your yourself. Your ability. Your wisdom. They will lift you on their shoulders. They will sing your praise. And they will go back to the worship of their dumb idols. You will immediately forget that I gave you victory.”
This is what God was saying to Gideon. I believe he is saying the very same thing to you. Right now! In this moment He is saying “trust me in the process. Let me carry you through. Stop looking for friends, family, the dog, the cat, aunt Sally, Uncle Bugger. Stop looking for them to come to your rescue. Let me do what I do best. Let me turn around your impossible situation. Be still and know that I am God!” God wants to speak to you right now. God wants you to know that you have been forsaken so that he will get glory out of your situation. It is time to face God. It is time to remember your source. Your strength.
Gideon gathered a vast army but God quickly reduced the numbers.
“Get rid of all who are afraid”
To Gideon’s shock and amazement two-third of the men left. The Bible tells us that 22,000 men left. This is what it is like to walk with fear. Fear often overwhelms us. We it is a weight we should never carry. The first thing we must do is remove fear from us. Fear only weighs us down. It provides no help. Fear cripples us. When you are pushing forward anyone that is not giving you encouragement and not standing with you on the word of God will be cause panic and discouragement when you face odds.
Trust me there will be odds. Some will seem insurmountable. Although God says go forth there will be dark days. There will be days when you think you will not make it through. I have a word that you must keep. Bury this word in your heart. Fear not God is with you.
When the great number of the men Gideon had to dig within to maintain his courage. He had to recall the initial encounter with God and what God had said to him. His faith was built on his trust in the word of the Lord. What word are you standing on? Gideon was hiding in fear when God called him. He told Gideon that he was a mighty man of valor. The words of God permeated his consciousness and changed his outlook.
God did a further pruning process. He removed those who wavered. Those that kept their heads down instead of looking ahead. Gideon was told to take the men to the brook to drink water. Those that knelt down to drink water were sent home. Why? They were the ones that would not keep their eyes on the victory. Then the odds came they would waver. Unbelief would rise up in them. Be careful of these companion. They also come in very large numbers. This was another 10,000 men. Gideon had to dismiss these guys also.
Things really looked grim now. He had only 300 hundred men. They stood against numerous armies. Yet Gideon prevailed without lifting a finger to fight. All he did was worship. His worship threw the camp of the enemy into confusion.
Gideon, ‘the mighty man of valor’, prevailed against great odds. What is valor, you may ask? Valor is great courage in the face of danger especially in battle. In the 1980s I often read a comic strip in the local newspaper called Prince Valor. He was a medieval knight who frequently engaged in battles. Often times, the odds were against him but he was always victorious. He and his men were always engaged in adventures that left you wondering how in the world will he succeed. He always had a battle strategies within strategies. This placed him one step of the enemy. Sure enough he would always triumph.
When you are faced with overwhelming odds you can consult your ‘Chief Strategist’. One word from Him will change everything. Don’t believe me? Ask Dr. Ben Carson. He was a candidate for President of the United States for the Republican primaries in 2016. In his biography Gifted hands, he stated it was the intervention of God that turned his life around. His mother despaired when he and his brother were failing in school. The family was poor. She was a single mother and a high school drop out. She worked long hours to provide shelter, clothing and food for her family. She knew the success of her boys was contingent on a good education. She had dropped out of high school. She knew she was ill equipped to provide them with the help necessary for them to learn. So she did the most logical thing. She turned to the Lord Jesus for guidance. After she prayed, He gave her a simple solution. Without question, she implemented it. Everything begun to slowly change for the boys. They excelled in their studies, far above their peers. That discipline and drive lead to outstanding successes in their profession. Dr. Carson became one of the foremost pediatric surgeons in the country. Eventually, it lead to him being encouraged to run for the highest office in the land.
I am sure that his mother never imagined the heights to which God would take her son. She was just seeking a solution to her current problem. But God had a bigger plan. This is often the case. We despair and give in to fear because we do not understand that God’s plan for us is greater than we can imagine.
The next time you despair. Remember the promise of Isaiah 41 verse 10. God is with you! You are only facing a giant for His strength to be revealed in you. Trust Him. Lean on Him. Ask for wisdom. Ask for knowledge. Ask for understanding. Ask for direction. Ask for help. Ask and it shall be given to you. The Lord desires to establish you. He will increase your strength. He will give you victory!
Heavenly Father, I thank you that you have opened my eyes to realize that I am more than the circumstances around me. I am more than my situation. I may not see how everything will work out but I know you have more for me. You know the end from the beginning. I will trust your word. I will put my hope and faith in you. With all my heart I will trust. Lord I commit to abandon my fears. I am a giant waiting to rise up. I will tackle all challenges before me. No longer will I allow excuses to cripple me. I break my agreement with the voices inside and outside that tell me that I am not adequate.
I thank you that your right hand, the Holy Spirit, gives me that wisdom, the knowledge and the understanding to succeed. I will follow your leading Holy Spirit. What you have instructed me shall be followed. I know you are capable of causing me to achieve great things.
My life will be a witness to all who know me. They will see that you can turn the life of anyone around. You can take us from obscurity to national and international recognition. By simply being obedient to you victory will be guaranteed.
Lord I understand that growing in faith is a process. It takes a deliberate series of steps of walking with you. Always obediently following your instructions and not being focused on the results. I will simply do what is requested. I will trust you Lord. With you as my Captain I will never fail. I will be triumphant.
Additional Scriptures for meditation: