“The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.’”Judges 6:12
Have you ever been so gripped by fear for yourself or your family that you simply could not move? I was recently in a wreck on a freeway bridge over a lake. The cars were coming over the hill so fast that I was afraid to move. I’m not one to give in easily to fear, but that day, I was afraid for my life.
Gideon was a man who was very familiar with fear. The Israelites had been terrorized by the Midianites for seven years. In the sixth chapter of Judges, we find Gideon hiding inside of a wine press beating out wheat where the Midianites could not see what he was doing. It was at this point that the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and called him a valiant warrior (Judges 6:12).
I am quite sure that Gideon did not feel like a valiant warrior, but the angel said he was. God called Gideon to lead the men of Israel against the Midianites to defeat them. Gideon started with an army of 32,000 men, and God instructed Gideon to get rid of most of his army. Only when Gideon’s army was a mere 300 men did God instruct him to go against the enemy. God wanted to be certain that the Israelites could not say that they defeated the Midianites in their own strength. With odds of 450 to 1, it would be obvious that the Lord had given them the victory.
Gideon had difficulty overcoming his fear, but the Lord gave him assurance. He allowed Gideon to overhear discussion of a dream of one of the men in the Midianite camp, a dream which indicated that the Lord had already given Gideon the victory. You can read Judges 6-8 for the full account of how Gideon went from hiding in a wine press to becoming the valiant warrior that the Angel of the Lord said he was.
One of my life verses is Philippians 4:13, which says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
There are many times when I am not able to do in my own strength what the Lord has called me to do. This verse is the one that I go to in those times, and it is the one that helped me get off the bridge and to safety the day of my wreck. I challenge you to find a verse that will move you from fear to faith and to memorize it so you can draw strength from it when you face fear. You, too, can be a valiant warrior like Gideon.
Prison Ministry Coordinator
Anna is passionate about encouraging those who are incarcerated, their families, and helping those coming out of prison navigate a successful reentry. She also advocates for major changes to our criminal justice system. Anna is mother to Wendy, Corey, and Will and a Nana to four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.