God is able to work through the non-intellectual things in this world; for God deliberately choose what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. God uses the least, the weak, the afflicted, the despised, the weary, the feeble, powerless and the foolish things of the world to confound the mighty. So that no man should have pretense for glorying nor can boast in the presence of God (1Co 1:26-29) .
However, sometimes when we feel physically or spiritually weak, we’re tempted to take a “time-out” and wait until we are stronger again, or until we perform certain religious rituals or obedience to please God, thinking that God will use us again when we are stronger and pleasing to Him. That is not biblical. God uses you the way you are right now, and not the way you will be. You will never be perfect as long as you still dwell in flesh; no one is good but Christ Jesus. So, Stop looking within yourself, and start looking at Him who is altogether lovely.
In Judges 6, Gideon who was taking a “time-out.” It was wartime, and Gideon was hiding when an Angel of the Lord appeared to tell him that he would be the one to save Israel. Imagine Gideon’s astonishment: Jdg_6:15 “Pardon me, my Lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” Gideon literally means: “”Lord, I come from a “nobody” family and I’m the “lowest nobody” in my family””. He was so fearful and weary, and without any faith to start with and trying to run away from God’s assignment; so he asked God to give him a sign to prove it was God, even though he already knew it was God, in fact he asked twice for confirmation! As if just to prove God was wrong.
Jdg 6:37 prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that You are going to help me rescue Israel as You promised.”
Jdg 6:38 And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water.
Jdg 6:39 Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.”
Jdg 6:40 So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.
After God enlisted Gideon, He then reduce an army of 32,000 men to 300 men only. Then God took those 300 men army and won the battle by using not a single sword but each man carried a trumpet (shofar) and a clay jar with a torch. It was not by might but by the power of God. So it does not matter how weak is your present state, it only matters how strong is your God, for He alone deserve to be glorified. Hallelujah!
Gideon had many fears and doubts because of his experiences with devastation around him. So God did many amazing things for Gideon to believe that it was God’s will for him to work with God to triumph. Let’s see now another story from the New Testament: Apostle Peter. Peter started out as a man of many fears, lacking in faith, but he ended up with great boldness for the Lord.
On meeting Peter at the first sight, Jesus saw Peter a man of great faith by changing his name from Simon to Peter (= Cephas / Rock). Joh 1:40-42… Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, a Rock = Petra = Peter).
After receiving revelation of Jesus as the Messiah, Peter somehow did not follow Jesus yet and continued his fishing profession. For what reason/s the Bible did not specify, but I believe Peter did not believe that following Jesus would suffice him food to eat, so he actually went back to fishing again. Then later, Peter met Jesus again, as told in:
Luke 5:1-3 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
Luke 5:4-7 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
Indeed, Peter must have doubted why an experienced fishermen would listen to a carpenter. But perhaps in his doubts, he remembered that Jesus was introduced to him as the Messiah, so Peter gave it a try. To his surprise Peter drew in a net breaking boat sinking load of fish. Realizing the goodness and mercy of the Lord who showered Peter with financial blessing despite his doubt, Peter was brought down on his knees, in remorse and repentance (=changing of mind), he said in the next verse, Luke 5:8-9 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken;
In his walk as Jesus’ disciple, following Jesus wherever He went, Peter had many opportunities to witness Jesus demonstrating miracles, healing the sicks and raising the dead. Despite so, Peter continued to display fear, the lack of faith. In another occasion, when Jesus was seen walking on water:
And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” Jesus said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Mat 14:26-31)
Even though there was no connection between walking on water and the boisterous wind. Yet, Peter was distracted by the irrelevance, and lost focus on the mighty Messiah right before him. Peter meditated in the boisterous wind, fear rose up in him and his faith gave way.
The Bible continued to show Peter was a man overtaken by fear, when he sliced off the temple guard’s ear when Jesus was apprehended; and last but not least when he denied Jesus three times for fear of his life.
Jesus’ plan for Peter was not to fail and live in life of misery from past failures, but Jesus wanted Peter to live a life of boldness in faith. After the resurrection, Jesus made breakfast for Peter and delivered him from self:
Joh 21:15 “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love (=agape / unconditional love of God) Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love (= philio / brotherly love only) You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs”
Joh 21:16 “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love (agape) Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love (philio) You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep”
Joh 21:17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love (philio) Me?” Peter was grieved and he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love (= I could only philio) You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.….“
The conversation was indeed the most important conversation in Peter’s life. Peter admitted his failings, he stopped trying to be self-righteous. Jesus spoke unto Peter to tend His sheep despite his imperfection, for it is Jesus righteousness and perfection that Peter should rest upon. Having delivered from self-condemnation, and armed with the Son of God, Peter became very bold, and the leader of the disciples.
Peter was the first disciple to preach to the Gentiles in Act 2 with the Power of Holy Spirit descended from heaven, where also 3000 people were saved. The mere casting of his shadow upon the sick was capable of bringing about miraculous healings. Peter was the one who defended the inclusion of the Gentiles (non-Jews) into the Christian Church at the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem. When imprisoned, Peter converted his jailers, Processus, Martinianus, and forty-seven others. He brought the same boldness even in own crucifixion in 67AD.
God is perfect Love, Peter has learned to rest on God’s perfect Love, believing in His abilities and His Word. When you know the truth, as Peter did, that as born again Christians, the perfect Love of God entered you and cast out fear (1John 4:18). Jesus said: Take no thought, saying what shall you eat? Or, what shall you drink? Or, with what shall you be clothed? (Mathew 6:28-31). Note here: “take no Thought” – means: you have the decision to take or don’t take a thought – so stop doubting, just take it! If you have been born again, say this: “I am redeemed from fear. Jesus has delivered me from fear”.
2 Kings 6:16-17 – Elisha said – Fear not: for they that are with us are more than they that are with them…And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Angels are ministering spirits from God to protect and deliver us. There is more unseen forces for you than against you. Remember whatever fear Satan can bring to our minds is a fear of failure of God’s promises. The trick of Satan is to pervert the promises of God. God has a promise to cover everything in your life and God never lies, whatever He says will come to pass; God says His Grace is enough. God has given you His Word. You can escape from the corruption of this world. You can live free from poverty, sickness, failures, disappointments, rejections… You can have all the blessings of Abraham. You can use the name of Jesus and the full armor of God. You can, because of His Grace is enough for you. The moment you admit that you need God – that is the moment God’s strength can work mightily within you. The more we boast of our weaknesses, the more powerful God’s strength residing in us.
2Co 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.