Recently in my Hebrew Exegesis course, I’ve been studying the story of Gideon in Judges 6-8. The section starts off introducing Midian, a scary sounding state that is overpowering Israel. In Judges 6:12-24 we are introduced to Gideon. The angel of the Lord appears to him, calls him a man of valor, and tells him to go and save Israel from the hand of Midian. How does Gideon, this supposed man of valor, respond? He’s afraid and weak. He says, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” (Judges 6:15). The Lord responds to him by saying, “But I will be with you.” (Judges 6:16) The Lord further says to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” (Judges 6:23). Gideon then builds an altar to the Lord and calls it, “The Lord Is Peace.” God responded to Gideon’s fear by reminding him that He is with him.
Since working on this project, I’ve been meditating on this account of Gideon for a couple months now. I was thinking about what God calls me, and all Christians to do. One very clear call from God is to go and make disciples! Baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And teaching them to observe Christ’s commands. This is a call from God to share our faith with those who don’t know it, and build up and equip fellow believers who do. Despite its clarity, this call isn’t something that I always get excited about. Actually, I’m pretty terrified of it. Like Gideon, I am weak. I get really nervous when I talk to non-Christians about spiritual things. My heart rate skyrockets whenever I do. And when I have opportunities to pour into fellow believers, my first thought is, “I struggle too much in my own walk and with my words. How could I possibly help someone else learn?
But when I say, “Please, Lord, how can I do this? I am the weakest of all Christians.” He says, “But I will be with you.” Literally in Matthew 28 he says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Reminding us, reminding me, that I am going in mission under his authority, and he is with me. The Lord of Peace brings me to peace in mission.
Brothers and sisters, we have all been called by God to pursue the ministry of sharing the gospel and building up others in it, how do you feel about it? Let’s be honest, it is scary and we are very weak (no offense). But when we let that fear prevent us from pursuing our calling, we do not trust the Lord when he says, “I am with you.” Like Gideon, we must bring these worries to God and let his peace guard us.
Pray often, make plans to pursue this mission, and trust the Lord of Peace because he has called you and he is with you.