Sunday, October 4, 2020

Gideon, the Fear Fighter

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” Judges 6:14

The irony of God’s teaching method humbles me time and time again. As I read over the notes I took in preparation for this post, they line up like so many arrows, aiming straight for my doubting heart. May the message that comes from my pen today meet you where you are, as it has me in producing it.

We grapple with the task of bringing forth words that are not our own but yet somehow belong to us as we use our unique writer’s voice. Our smallness and God’s greatness headlock, and for a long minute, a day, maybe a lifetime, we are immobilized, unsure if we can actually deliver words worth reading. His words, for others who are waiting for Him.

There comes a time in the Christian’s life when God asks us to do more than we think we can do.

Gideon understood this. He was the youngest in his family, from the weakest clan in Manasseh. His background was the equivalent to the lean author background section in my first book proposal. The one rejected seven times before someone took a chance on me.

The Lord found Gideon on the threshing floor, doing regular work, mundane work, work without an audience. Work he wasn’t sure would matter in the end because the threat from his people’s enemies the Midianites was so great. He was working out of fear.

It was in this place of Gideons’ fear that God came near.

The Lord is with you, mighty warrior (Judges 6:13).

Such a greeting must have stopped Gideon in mid-thresh, so ridiculous it seemed. Maybe he thought residue from the winepress he was working in had gone to his head and made him half-tipsy. 

Mighty warrior? Ha! With hay in his hair and sweat trickling down his back, his hands gritty with work that might not even matter in the end?

He felt nothing like a mighty warrior. This magnanimous greeting seemed unfitting for a regular guy like him. God’s greatness meets man’s smallness.

His response in verse 13 belies his cynicism. He had grown doubtful and exhausted by one disappointment after another.

This is the moment everything changed. The moment a common winepress became a sacred sanctuary where a regular person met the living God. The moment it occurred to Gideon that maybe, just maybe, he could do more than he thought he could.

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

Is God asking you to do more than you think you can do today? Gideon’s story holds three important principles that apply to anyone brave enough to try.

God Has His Own Name for Us

Your name, your author background (or lack thereof), or the nickname your Grandma called you is not the only name by which you are known. The Lord has His own name for you. He knows who you can be with Him by your side, who you were meant to be. Your Creator, the One who knows the plans He has for you, plans not to harm you, but to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), sees all the potential wrapped up inside wonderful you. He calls us by name and then helps us grow into that name, just like He did with Gideon and so many others throughout Scripture.

The Lord is With Us

The paradox in today’s story is that when the Lord sends us, He also goes with us. He never sends us without going with us to empower us to do the very thing He has commanded. He gives us purpose and then helps us fulfill it. We are never alone.

What We Have is All That’s Required

The Lord did not ask Gideon to gather additional resources and strength before obeying Him. He told him, Go in the strength you have… God knows how much strength we have, or don’t have. And He says it is enough. After all, He is sending us and will be with us, so we will lack nothing at all. What a liberating thought! Go. In the strength you have. Not what you lack. The Lord is with you!

In the end, Gideon built an altar in that place and called it The Lord is Peace (Judges 6:24). The threshing floor of fear became a winepress of peace. How lovely. How much we need this transformation yet today.

I wish I were better at applying these truths to my life. I find truth to be a daily decision, a constant choice of engagement. But the Lord is with me even in this. And He is with you in the work He is sending you to do. Let us go on in courage and faith together.

Lord, I choose obedience today. I will go as You have asked, and I will look to You for the victory. Amen.


Audrey Frank is an author, speaker, and storyteller. The stories she shares are brave and true. They give voice to those whose words are silenced by shame, the hard things in life that don’t make sense, and the losses that leave us wondering if we will survive. Audrey and her family have spent over twenty years living and working among different cultures and world views, and she has found that God’s story of redemption spans every geography and culture. He is the God of Instead, giving honor instead of shame, gladness instead of mourning, hope instead of despair. Although she has three different degrees in communication and intercultural studies, Audrey’s greatest credential is that she is known and loved by the One who made her.

Audrey is the author of Covered Glory: The Face of Honor and Shame in the Muslim World (Harvest House Publishers), an outpouring of Audrey’s heart to introduce others to the God of Instead. Shame is not unique to the developing world, the plight of the women behind veils, young girls trafficked across borders; shame is lurking in hearts everywhere. Through powerful stories from women around the world, Covered Glory illuminates the power of the Gospel to remove shame, giving honor instead. Available at favorite booksellers: Barnes & Noble , Books A Million, Amazon.

You can also find Audrey at, as well as on Twitter and Facebook


  1. I'm a little late to the party, but they say better late than never. ;) Very good post Audrey, and good encouragement. Thank you. Donevy

  2. Your post today dovetails beautifully with what the Lord is showing me recently through a book called You Are More Than You Know by Patsy Clairmont. Thanks for being faithful to your calling, Audrey.

  3. Thank you for your post. Of all the people in the Bible, I identify with Gideon the most. I often feel like a scaredy cat and it's reassuring to know that the Lord can use a scaredy cat and turn him or her into a lion.