Can you imagine the kind of inner conflict Gideon had right before he led that army of 300 men onto the battle field?
Let’s humanize him for a second.
I think he threw up a few times once he told Yahweh ‘Yes, I’ll do it’. And then I think he had a full-on panic attack every time Yahweh told him the army was too big, send some men back. I can feel his stomach churning as thousands of strong, able-bodied humans who could potentially help him win a war walked right off the training grounds and left him standing there, drowning in the complete inadequacy of the situation.
I think his heart was racing, and his mind was spinning.
I think he was having a violent physical response to resisting the urge to run and hide.
I think his becoming felt like an undoing, and I think he was so terrified and needed so much reassurance that he put the fleece out twice.
I think he felt alone and confused – like everything he’d come to believe about himself was a lie because it was.
I may not know everything about Gideon, but I know he was human. And while our individual responses to adversity may not be identical, they are never unique. We can relate to one another. He verbalized his insight and shared his unmitigated truth with Yahweh. He made it clear that he was weak, small, insignificant, not the one. A person doesn’t cultivate or change this kind of self-talk over night.
But He was an unsuspected leader, a warrior lying dormant among sheep. He was a bowl of potential hidden under a lid of fear, and when Yahweh took the lid off, he began to stir the potential for greatness He knew was there all along.
I think Gideon’s inward battle was waging just as fiercely as the battle Yahweh led Him into with his 300 men. Because when we decide to partner with Yahweh in purpose and He begins to change us, the inner conflict is wild.
We wrestle preconceived notions, societal norms, lies we’ve believed about ourselves and this world since childhood, and fight to break cycles we’ve grown accustomed to. Yahweh had to tell Gideon who He really was, and that contradicted all that Gideon thought and said he was.
He dared to wage war on his flesh for truth’s sake. And as he walked it out in the physical by assembling the army and going to war as Yahweh instructed, he also walked it out in the spiritual by contradicting his own restricted vision with a Word from Yahweh. He may not have believed what Yahweh said right away, but he knew enough about His character to know he could choose His viewpoint in favor of his own. But I do not believe it was easy.
Answering the call is painful. And ripping away from all you’ve come to know, believe, and love for the sake of deeper truth and a higher perspective is isolating and disorienting. We often paint Gideon as the underdog, the man who was counted out but ended up coming out on top. As if Yahweh gave him the instruction, reassured him, and that settled all of Gideon’s angst. But I want to challenge you to think about his story a little bit differently.
I believe he had a messy middle – a sincere ‘coming to Yahshua’ that wasn’t recorded in the pages of scripture. I believe he paced the wooden and packed dirt floors of the same barn he hid in from the same enemy he was assigned to fight and talked to himself and the Holy Spirit until tears flowed down his face. I think he got in the ring and beat his insecurity with identity until it was incapacitated enough for him to be obedient. I believe his decision to effect change cost him dearly and was incredibly difficult.
He rose to the challenge, but I believe he did it afraid. Gideon was chosen by Yahweh, and offered the opportunity to partner with Him in bringing about victory for his people. Gideon, and his 300, got the chance to take part in something that was bigger than themselves. They took on their fear of embarrassment, of persecution, of complete and total defeat, of massacre and slaughter, in order to effect change. They took on an enemy that had been plaguing their community for years, but that no one had successfully conquered.
And they won.
We may not be fighting against a physical enemy like Gideon was, but we do have societal ones, specifically hunger, homelessness, and helplessness. Right here at home, we have the opportunity to take on enemies that have been beating a significant portion of our Bahamian people for generations. We have the opportunity to partner with Yahweh is his purpose to eradicate these enemies through an initiative called Project Gideon. And the reason why I’ve painted this picture is because I want to manage your expectations.
This is not another fluffy, politicized, cutesy community service or civic outreach campaign – this is the war for human souls. There will be pain because there will be work.
We will be the force that shakes the hands of hunger, homelessness, and helplessness in our communities until they set us free. And if you decide to become one of the 300, so will you.
We aren’t promising ease or comfort. This is a tough mission – one that requires a made up mind and a heart dedicated to service. Saying ‘yes’ to this will change you because it will align you. It will place you smack dab in the middle of purpose, outside your comfort zone, in front of your fear, facing your insecurity. You will have to wage war against your selfishness, your pride, and your need to be seen and recognized. You will have to lay down your personal ambitions for the sake of the mission.
You will be uncomfortable, fearful, and maybe even sad. But you will also be moved to compassion, moved to restore respect for humanity and decency, and moved to be even more courageous in your fight. And as blunt as all of this sounds, I know there are people reading this who are ready for that kind of confrontation.
This is our opportunity to show up for one another, to prove that we care, to engage in a battle that actually matters. This is our call to action. This is our chance to show the nation what a fearful, but determined ‘YES’ can do.
Will you join us? Will you accept the mission and become one of the 300?
Visit the website to read more about the organization that is organizing this initiative and providing you with this epic opportunity to be a part of something substantial and necessary.
I am one of the 300…are you?