God gives Gideon his first directive. Those who are fearful can return home. Talking about separating the brave from the fearful! Gideon lost 22,000 men because of this directive. Although they had enough faith to fight–they could not fight fearlessly. This was a requirement from God. Fear contaminates faith. http://ref.ly/Dt20.1-4. See also verse 8 of this chapter.
10,000 remained in Gideon’s army, and that was still too many. http://ref.ly/Jg7.4
What makes the difference between situations that evoke no fear, and those situations that evoke great fear? The perception is the answer to this question. Gideon is not one of the fearful men who return home. An individual’s perception of a situation affects both the degree of the person’s fear (how much fear will the person feel) and the way they respond to that fear. This involves what the individual will do because of the fear.
Fear is a natural human reaction to feeling threatened. This manifests itself either physically or emotionally. It is manifested in three areas:
Your Love from Others Feels Threatened
-Primary relationship: “If I lose my marriage partner, I don’t know what I will do or how I can go on living.”
-Talents and abilities: “If I don’t do well enough, I’ll lose my friends. Then I’ll be all alone.”
There is no manifestation of faith and dependence upon the Lord in these statements. The cares of this world weigh the individual down.
-Physical attractiveness: “If I start looking older and put on weight, I will lose the affection I need so badly.”
-Position in a relationship: “If you spend time with other people, then you do not really love me.”
The individual must learn that they are loved by the Lord beyond measure.
“As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.” Psalm 103:11
Your Significance Feels Threatened
-Identity: “If I lose my position at work, I will lose all that I have worked to achieve. Then what reason will I have to live?”
-Self-esteem: “If I embarrass myself in front of people, I will never be able to go back there–I’ll be too ashamed.”
-Reputation: “If anyone finds out about my compulsive habit, I’ll lose face with everyone.”
Self-fulfillment: “If I don’t complete my goals, my life will be a failure.”
Learn that you are so significant that the Lord chose to save you and has planned the future for you.
“God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2