How can I grow closer to the Good Shepherd? Part 2

“I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.” John 10:14

I can also grow closer to the Good Shepherd when I REALIZE HIS INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF ME (John 10:14-15). “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.” (John 10:14). It was important for a shepherd to know his sheep. He must know their needs, weaknesses, and their problems. Without this kind of knowledge, he would not be able to adequately provide for the needs of his sheep. Christ is the Good Shepherd not only because He lays down His life for us, but because He has an intimate knowledge of us.

Jesus repeats His “I AM” statement when He says, “I am the good Shepherd.” “I AM” was the name of the Self-existing God who had revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14). Since Jesus is the Self-existing God, He knows everything about us – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and He still loves us. It is also important that the sheep know their shepherd. They must know his voice so they can respond when he calls them. They must learn to trust their shepherd so he can provide for their needs.

In this technological age, it is easy to begin feeling like a number on a computer instead of a person. We are identified by our Social Security number rather than by our name. We receive junk mail addressed to “Resident” instead of personalized correspondence. Such impersonal methods may cause some people to conclude, “No one cares about me. No one knows where I am or how I am feeling.” But that is not true. Jesus cares. He knows you by name (John 10:3). He knows you intimately (John 10:14).

We never need to feel like the young student who felt slighted when Edward VII, the king of England from 1901 to 1910, was visiting a city to lay the cornerstone for a new hospital. Thousands of school children were present to sing for him. Following the ceremony, the king walked past the excited youngsters. After the king was gone, a teacher saw one of her students crying. She asked her, “Why are you crying? Did you not see the king?” “Yes,” the young girl sobbed, “but the king did not see me.” King Edward could not have taken notice of each child in that throng. Jesus, however, gives individual attention to each of us. Christ knows who you are. You matter to Jesus.

You may think God has forgotten you and that He is a thousand miles away. But He is not. He has got His eyes on you. There has never been a moment when God took His eyes off you. Never. He has seen every breath you have ever taken, every thought you ever had, every word you have ever said, everything you have ever done good or bad, and He has constantly looked at you with eyes of love. 

It is hard for us to imagine that Jesus pays that much attention to us because we don’t pay that much attention to Him. We don’t notice God twenty-four hours a day. But every moment of every day God has His eye on you. Jesus said in Luke 12:6-7 “…  God never overlooks a single sparrow. And He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail – even numbering the hairs on your head!” For some of us that is not very difficult! God loves you with a love you have never imagined. He has always paid attention to you. He has never taken His eyes off you.

The more we understand how intimately Christ knows us and loves us, the more we will want to “know” our Shepherd on a more intimate level like the Son knows the Father. “As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” (John 10:15). The Son must know the Father to follow His will, just like the sheep must know the Shepherd to follow Him faithfully. Jesus taught that the relationship the sheep enjoy with Himself is unique, as His relationship with His Father is unique.

Jesus’ intimate relationship with His Father is what enabled Him to obey His Father even to the point of death on a cross (Philippians 2:6-8). He laid down His life for the sheep. When Jesus was verbally and physically abused by His enemies, He did not retaliate. Instead, “He committed Himself to Him Who judges righteously” and He “bore our sin in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed.” (I Peter 2:23-24). Peter explains further why Jesus bore our sins in His own body. “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (I Peter 2:25). When Christians face injustice and suffering, they can be reassured that they have a good “Shepherd” who cares for them and provides for them. This Good Shepherd is the “Overseer” of their souls who protects and watches over them.

I am reminded of a story I heard about a Christian woman who invited her unbelieving feminist female friend to church one Sunday. After the pastor finished preaching about the role of men and women in marriage from Ephesians 5:22-33, the feminist looked at her friend and said, “I could follow a man who is willing to die for me.” The Christian woman replied, “There is such a Man and His name is Jesus Christ.” Knowing the love that Christ has for us draws us closer to Him as our Good Shepherd. When you know that Someone genuinely loves you enough to die for you, you can trust Him to lead you and care for you.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, living in this time of COVID and social unrest, it can be easy to feel alone and unimportant. We may feel that You have lost our address and do not even care about us. But Your Word reminds us that this is not even close to the truth. You are our Good Shepherd and You know Your sheep intimately. Our feelings may tell us that we are all alone and unimportant to You, but Your voice of truth reminds us that You are always with us and Your eyes and ears never take their focus off of us. Your love for us is constant regardless of our past. You demonstrated this when You died for us even though we were still undeserving sinners (Romans 5:8). The more we focus on the truth of Your constant love and care for us, the more we will want to draw close to You. Your love casts out fear. Your love removes the barriers we have erected to protect ourselves. Though we were once lost sheep, we have now returned to You, Lord Jesus, the Good Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. We can now trust You to provide, protect, and guide His precious sheep so we can live to please You alone. The more we know You, the more we want to make You known. In Your matchless name we pray. Amen.  

Where to turn when we are weak and afraid

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them: for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

To prepare the new generation of Israelites to enter the Promised Land, Moses presented Joshua to the nation as God’s chosen leader who would take over the leadership of Israel very soon (Deut. 31:1-5). He charged the people to “be strong and of good courage” and to “not fear nor be afraid of” the pagan nations who inhabited the Promised Land (31:6a). Why? “For the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you ” (31:6b). Israel’s strength and courage was based upon God’s continual presence, promises, and power in their lives.

Where do we look for strength when we are weak? Where do we turn when we are overwhelmed with fear? Today’s verse encourages us to look to “the One who goes with” us. God is always with us even though we may not believe or feel His presence at times, especially when we are overwhelmed with our enemies (i.e. Satan, the world, and our own sinful flesh).  Just because others have abandoned us or rejected us does not mean God is like them. He promises never to abandon  (“leave”) us or reject (“forsake”) us. And He never breaks His promises because He cannot lie (cf. Titus 1:2). The Lord has an endless supply of strength and courage to give us in our time of need.

It may be difficult for us to admit when we are weak and afraid, but God already knows this about us. It does not take Him by surprise. So let’s lower our guard and let our good good Father comfort and strengthen us with His unwavering presence and promises. Remember, 1 + God = a majority so there is no reason to be afraid or overwhelmed by the battles we face.

“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6). The Psalmist reminds us thatGod watches our back when we are doing His work. Since no one is more powerful than God, we don’t have to be afraid of what people think or do. For example, in between my second and third year of seminary, I had an evangelism internship in the inner city of Dallas, Texas. I would go house to house or apartment to apartment sharing the gospel with pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers, and addicts. Knowing that my heavenly Father was on my side and would not abandon me, emboldened me to go to some “shady” places. God was faithful to give me the strength and courage needed to share His gospel message with whomever would listen.Prayer: Abba Father, I can be strong (not weak) and courageous (not afraid) in the presence of my enemies because You are always with me and will never abandon me nor reject me. Please lead me to victory over my enemies so the world may know that You alone are God and are worthy of all praise! My hope is in You and Your unfailing presence in my life. I pray Your Spirit will renew my mind with the truth that says one plus God is always a majority. With You in my life, I can never be outnumbered by my enemies. Therefore, there is no need to be afraid. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Facing fear with faith

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid.” Psalm 27:1

What daunting challenge are you facing or about to face? Some of you are about to take final exams in school or in life. Perhaps you or a family member is facing a terminal illness. Maybe some of us are looking for a new place to live or work. Perhaps God has called you to serve in a capacity that exposes your inadequacies and insecurities. Whatever challenges we are facing, I believe Psalm 27 offers us unending encouragement. 

The writer of this Psalm, King David, is facing a difficult circumstance. Some Bible students think he wrote this when he was fleeing from his son, Absalom (cf. 2 Sam. 15:1-37; 17:15-29). Imagine having to run for your life to avoid being killed by your own rebellious adult child? This may have been David’s challenge when he wrote this Psalm.

Instead of choosing to respond with fear, David chose to respond with faith in the One who is the source of his hope (“light”), deliverance (“salvation”), and “strength.” Notice the personal pronoun “my” in this verse. The Lord was not just “a” source of hope and deliverance to David, He was his source of hope and deliverance. David’s relationship with God was personal and dynamic.

What about your relationship with the Lord? Is God simply a theological thought or idea to you? Is He just a distant and uncaring deity? May be you think God is a figment of the human imagination or a superstitious “crutch” for those who need a coping mechanism? But for David, God was a personal Savior Who offers unwavering hope and strength to those who will look to Him in faith? Can you say that the Lord is your light and your salvation, and the strength of your life? If not, what is keeping you from saying that?

If you are not in a relationship with the Lord, please understand that God has revealed Himself to us in the Bible. If you want to know what God is like, read the Bible with an open mind like you would read a newspaper. The Bible is God’s love letter to us. God longs to have a personal relationship with us. But He will not force Himself into our lives. He is waiting for us to come to Him just as we are, and He will welcome us into His family and give us everlasting life (John 1:12; 3:16; 6:35). All He asks is that we believe in His perfect Son, Jesus Christ, Who died on the cross for all our sins and rose from the dead (I Cor. 15:1-5) to give us everlasting life (John 3:14-16).

When God is my light, my salvation, and my strength, there is no one and nothing for me to fear or be afraid of. Why? Because one plus God is always a majority. Since God is for me and not against me (cf. Rom. 8:31), no one and nothing can successfully oppose me. Therefore, there is no need for me to live in fear.

Let’s remember that fear takes us to places that do not exist. It either takes us to a past that is over or to a future that has not happened yet. Neither of these places can bring peace to our lives.

A wise man once told me, “In Jesus we have nothing to prove, nothing to lose, and nothing to hide.” Let that sink in for a moment. Since in Jesus, I have nothing to prove, there is no need for me to live in fear of failure. And because in Jesus, I have nothing to lose, there is no need for me to live in fear of abandoment. And finally, since in Jesus, I have nothing to hide, there is no need for me to live in fear of rejection or shame. Let’s ponder these truths as we go to the Lord in prayer.

Prayer: Lord God, You are not just “a” light or “a” source of salvation, You are “my” light and “my” salvation, and this gives me everlasting hope and security. I pray Your Holy Spirit will persuade me to rest in the truth that says, “In Jesus, I have nothing to prove, nothing to lose, and nothing to hide.” Therefore, there is no need for me to fear anyone or anything. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

How can we overcome fear in evangelism?

One of the greatest challenges we face as believers is fear in evangelism. It’s not that we don’t want to share Christ with others. Nor is it due to a lack of commitment. I believe most Christians would love to share the gospel with non-Christians, but they are overcome with fear. They are afraid of rejection. They are nervous about not knowing what to say. It is important to understand that fear in evangelism is normal. Even the apostle Paul was afraid to share the gospel at times. This is why he asked believers to pray that he would have boldness in preaching the gospel (Ephesians 6:18-20; cf.  I Corinthians 2:3). The issue is not having no fear in evangelism. The issue is how to overcome fear with boldness. How can we overcome fear in evangelism?

In Acts 4:12-31 there are four principles for overcoming fear in evangelism. In the context of these verses we see that as a result of healing a lame man in the name of Jesus Christ, Peter and John were brought into the custody of the Jewish supreme court of Israel known as the Sanhedrin (Acts 3-4). Instead of standing before the wealthiest, most intellectual and powerful group in the land as a victim, Peter and John stood before them as their judge. Peter accuses them of crucifying not only the One Who was innocent, but also the One Who was the long-promised Messiah (4:10-11). Ouch! That is boldness! Do you want that kind of boldness to speak up for Jesus?  Then…

GRASP THAT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT MESSAGE (4:12). Peter said, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (4:12).  Do you believe that? If you do, it will increase your boldness to share Christ with others. He is the only One who can save people from their sins. The more you are convinced that the gospel is true, the more boldness you will have to speak up for Christ. 

Who should have more boldness, a Christian talking about Christ, or a Buddhist talking about Buddha? A Christian, of course! Why? Because unlike the Buddhist, the Christian has a message from God (cf. I Thessalonians 2;2-4). It contains no error. We have only truth and Good News, not error and bad news to give peopleOnly a Christian has the message that proclaims Christ’s name as the only name by which God will save those who come to Him in faith. 

Why is Jesus’ name the only name by which people can be saved from hell forever? Because He alone is God (John 1:1, 14; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; I John 5:20) and He paid the full price of admission into heaven when He died on the cross and rose from the dead. All other religions, whether it be Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness, Iglesia Ni Cristo, etc., are spelled D-O. Their message centers around a false gospel – what the person must DO for God to get to heaven. Christianity, however, is spelled D-O-N-E. The work of paying the full penalty for all of our sins was“finished” or DONE when Jesus Christ died in our place on the cross and rose from the dead (John 19:30; I Corinthians 15:1-6). This is the true gospel based on what God has done for us, not what we have done or will do for Him. Knowing that we have the only message in the world that guarantees a future home in heaven for all who believe in Jesus Christ alone can give us more boldness in evangelism. 

GROW CLOSER TO JESUS (4:13). As Peter and John boldly spoke of Jesus before these educated and powerful opponents, their listeners could discern that these men had spent time with the Savior. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus” (4:13). These two lowly fishermen were not intimidated by all the intellectual knowledge and training of these men. They were more impressed with Jesus and they wanted this group to know Him in a personal way. This elite religious group acknowledges the boldness of Peter and John while noting their lack of education. 

Often a person’s boldness for Christ shrinks as his education increases. He or she becomes “too sophisticated” to be bold for Christ!! It’s better to possess boldness and lack learning, than to possess learning and lack boldness. And it is one thing to be bold with our social equals, but it is an entirely different thing to be bold – as Peter and John were  – with our social and educational superiors. True boldness knows no respect of persons. 

Boldness in evangelism does not arise from having a theological degree or a vast knowledge of the Bible. The key to boldness in evangelism is spending time with Jesus Christ. Peter and John had been in a discipleship relationship with Jesus for over three years. His heart became theirs. So the closer we get to the heart of Christ, the closer we get to the people for whom He died. His heart bleeds for the lost. Luke 19:10 explains: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” The heart of our Lord is a seeking heart. Aren’t you thankful for that? We would still be lost in our sins if Jesus did not seek us out. Look at God’s heart. First Timothy 2:3-4 say, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” God created hell for the devil and his angels (cf. Matthew 25:41), not for people. God desires that all people go to heaven and He wants to use you and me to introduce people to the Savior who can get them there.

Those who live close to Christ capture His heart for the lost. They bleed for the same people He bleeds for. And the more they experience Jesus’ love and grace in their lives, the more compelled they will be to tell others about Him and what He can do for them. 

Also, as we grow closer to Christ, we can approach people with a clear conscience (cf. I Thessalonians 2:10-12). We don’t have to consider witnessing to a lost person thinking, “I sure hope he doesn’t find out how I live or treat my family.” Instead we can walk up to someone who doesn’t know Christ knowing we are attempting to live a consistent Christian life. Notice, I said “consistent,” not perfect. If we are living with unconfessed sin, it will reduce our boldness for preaching the gospel since our fellowship with the Lord will be broken (I John 1:3-10). I cannot be bold for Christ if I am out of fellowship with Him. 

GIVE CHRIST OUR OBEDIENCE, NOT OUR OPINIONS (4:19-20). Overcoming fear in evangelism is not done in a classroom or convention. It is cultivated through obedience. Peter had just accused the Sanhedrin of crucifying the long-promised Messiah named Jesus. These leaders did not want to hear this, so they commanded them not to preach Christ any longer (4:18). To share Christ now would be to go against the highest authority of the land. What would they do? It’s one thing to share Christ in a friendly environment such as in the church, but what about sharing Christ with those who could take your life? What would Peter and John do? Would they hover in a corner… pray for the rapture…or plead with God to send someone else? No. Their response was immediate. There was no, “Would you allow us a day or two to pray about this?” 

19But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard’ ” (4:19-20). The apostles had made their decision. Obedience to God must come first, not a surrender to the fears and threats presented by people. They made their decision; their accusers could make their own. The apostles were so gripped by the message of the gospel that everything else became immaterial in comparison. They had the attitude, “If you miss this, you have missed everything.” Peter and John are compelled to make the truth of Jesus known and they continue to do so. 

God honors obedience. The humble, dependent heart that says, “Lord, I’m afraid to preach the gospel, but you are my Master. I am Your disciple. I will do it for You, Lord Jesus, with Your help” (cf. Luke 5:5). We cannot overcome fear in evangelism apart from obedience to a simple God-given command. 

The more you know Jesus, the more You want to please Him instead of people. Jesus is not interested in hearing our opinions about why we lack boldness in preaching the gospel. Some of those opinions may include :

“But, Lord, I don’t know what to say to these people. I don’t want to be embarrassed.”

“These people may ridicule me or reject me.”

“Lord, I could lose my life.” 

What’s at the center of all those opinions? The word “I” or “me.” Focusing on ourselves becomes distracting at the least and defeating at its worst. Instead of focusing on ourselves, let’s shift our focus to Jesus and what would please Him. He is more interested in our obedience to His command, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8; cf. Mark 16:15). 

The power and boldness of the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey. When we seek to please Jesus Christ instead of ourselves or others, we will always have boldness in our preaching. It won’t matter if our audience is receptive or not because our most important Audience is seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven, not next to you at work or school or on a bench at a film showing. Keep looking unto Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Seek to please Him, not people (Colossians 3:23-24). In order to renew our boldness in evangelism, we must resolve to obey Christ at any time. He may ask you to share the gospel when it is inconvenient or uncomfortable or even when it does not make sense. But when Jesus tells you to share His gospel with someone, JUST DO IT. He will give you the words to say through His Spirit (cf. Matthew 10:17-20). He will give you the boldness with which to say it (Acts 1:8; 4:29-31).

GO TO GOD IN PRAYER (4:23-31). When Peter and John returned to the rest of the church, they did not brag about how they stood up to the Sanhedrin. They reported all that the religious leaders said to them (4:23). The apostles were afraid and together with the rest of the church they laid their fears before God (4:24-30). Often times we tell one another about our lack of boldness in evangelism, but seldom do we talk to the Lord about it. God ought to be the first Person we talk to about our lack of boldness in evangelism, not the last.

As these believers looked up to God in prayer, they focused on four  things…

God’s Strength (4:24): They prayed,“Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them…” (4:24). Threatened by the rulers of Israel, these believers now turn to the Ruler of the universe who also created these rulers. The majesty of God’s creation dwarfs the earth and its problems. We must not let our problems dwarf our concept of God but let our concept of God dwarf our problems. Since God can create the universe in six days, He will have no problem giving us the strength to renew our boldness for preaching the gospel. 

God’s Scriptures (4:25-26): They prayed, 25Who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things? 26The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ.’” (4:25-26; cf. Psalm 2:1-2). These Christians are praying the Scriptures found in Psalm 2:1-2, which describe a future day of rebellion when the nations will gather against Christ under the Beast of Revelation at the end of the Tribulation period (cf. Revelation 16:12-16; 19:19). They were so familiar with the Bible that they could see the relevance of Psalm 2 to their situation. The more we know God’s Word and its relevance to our situation, the more boldness we will have in evangelism.

God’s Supply (4:25-26): When these Christians focused on Psalm 2 which talks about a future day of rebellion when the nations will gather against Christ under the Beast of Revelation, do you know how the Lord will respond to their opposition? Psalm 2:4 says, “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh.” This is like the laughter of a father whose three-year old boasts that he can outrun him or beat him in a wrestling match. It’s not going to happen. Likewise, God knows the boundaries of power among the nations and He is amused by their attempts to overthrow Him. That, my friends, is boldness! If God laughs at this spirit of rebellion among the nations, it would be inappropriate for you and me to be afraid of those who oppose the gospel. God has an abundant supply of boldness to give us if we will ask Him for it. 

God’s Sovereignty (4:27-28): They prayed, 27For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done” (4:27-28). These believers apply the future spirit of rebellion to those who crucified Christ. They understood the sovereignty of God – that everything happens according to His plan. And the more you believe this, the more confidence and boldness you will have. God allows difficulties in our lives to teach us that He is in control and that nothing is impossible with Him. Have you ever met people you think even God cannot save? That person you think will never become a Christian? Bring him or her to God in prayer and he can melt that heart of stone. 

Look what happens next. 29Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus” (4:29-30). They don’t say, “Lord, would You remove these troublemakers… save us from prison or death.” No, they don’t pray that. Instead they ask God to give them the boldness and the power to share His Word with those who could take their lives. We often ask God to remove our problems rather than pray for God to be glorified in them. Thank God these believers prayed in this way, otherwise the church would not be here today. If we don’t pray in this way, the church may not be in our communities for future generations. 

What happened after they were done praying? “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (4:31). The more we look up to God in prayer, the less fear we will have in evangelism and the more we will boldly speak up for Christ with others!

Someone once said that in Acts 1-2 they pray for ten days, Peter preaches for ten minutes, and three thousand get saved. Today, churches pray for ten minutes, preach for ten days, and three people get saved. A.C. Dixon once said:

“When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do; when we rely upon education, we get what education can do; when we rely upon eloquence, we get what eloquence can do, and so on…But when we rely upon prayer, we get what God can do.” How much bolder would we be in evangelism if more were happening in our prayer lives?!

If we want to overcome fear in evangelism…

GRASP that we have the right MESSAGE (4:12).

GROW closer to JESUS (4:13).           

GIVE Christ our OBEDIENCE, not our OPINIONS (4:19-20).

GO to God in PRAYER (4:23-31)

How do we overcome the fear of inadequacy?

“And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!’ ” Judges 6:12

When God first approached Gideon, He addresses him as the man he would become (“you mighty man of valor”) by God’s grace in his life (“the Lord is with you”), not the man he was at that time (6:12). Gideon did not understand how God would use him to save Israel from the Midianites since his family “clan is the weakest in Manasseh,” and he perceives himself to be “the least in” his “father’s house” (6:14-15). Gideon perceived that his own background and position in his family disqualified him from being God’s instrument of deliverance for Israel. 

Do you ever feel like Gideon? You say to yourself, “I don’t think I can measure up to what God wants me to do. I’m insecure. I don’t have what it takes. I don’t know enough. I don’t have the right background. How could God use me?” Often when God says He has something for us to do, it seems much bigger than us! We don’t feel adequate. But listen closely! It doesn’t matter whether we feel adequate or not. What matters is God has chosen us. If God has chosen us, it is going to work whether we think we are qualified or not. Our life message is not about us. It is about what God chooses to do in our lives.  

How did God respond to Gideon’s fear and sense of inadequacy? He assured Gideon by telling him,  “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man” (6:16). This is God’s answer to our fear of inadequacy. Because one plus God equals a majority. If God is near, we will lose our fear. Because of God’s presence in our lives, we can do anything He calls us to do! But the fear of inadequacy should not keep us from doing what God has called us to do because God says, “I will be with you.” God’s adequacy is the answer to our inadequacy and God’s presence is the answer to our panic.