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Andy Dufrene, William Wallace & Captain Miller

I enjoy watching movies, especially when the main character acts in ways that I admire and wish to be like.  One of the biggest admirable qualities that most of my favourite movies have is that the main character shows great courage. Characters like Andy Dufrene, William Wallace (FREEDOM), and Captain Miller.

The movie Saving Private Ryan is a story of how 8 soldiers receive orders to rescue a soldier missing in action behind enemy lines. The members of this rescue team go through awful obstacles in an attempt to complete their mission. The film defines courage, not as the absence of fear but rather as doing what’s necessary despite fear.

I love the story of Gideon. Known as the greatest judge of Israel, it would surprise us how he wasn’t so courageous from the start and how his courage and trust completely come from God. When we first meet Gideon, we see him hiding from his enemies on the threshing floor. God even called him a “mighty warrior.” Gideon, who was the least of the least receives a call from God to defeat the mighty Midianites who were very destructive to the Israelite's resources.

Gideon was a very unlikely hero to save the Israelites. I don’t know if it’s just me, but do you ever label yourself with “I’m not…..”  statements? I’m not courageous enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not a good leader, I’m not a good friend, husband, wife, sister, brother, etc. Maybe if you are like that you are in a good spot because it shows that there is room for improvement and that you need help. See when Gideon hears that he was called to save his people, he doesn’t believe it at first and tests God. This wasn’t the proper thing to do, but it showed us that Gideon had a lack of faith. God answers the tests, and Gideon moved forward with God’s plan..

God then wanted Gideon to bring an army to fight the Midianites, he had 32,000 men. But, That was too many for God. God then starts testing Gideon and eventually they end up with only 300 men! Check this story out, it is amazing. With only 300 men left, Gideon now knew it would take a miracle to defeat the Midianites by only using trumpets and smashing jars. The noise upsets and confuses the army and they end up killing themselves! God took care of His People.

Many times in my life I have felt all those “I’m not” statements.  I frequently feel times of inadequacy, maybe even times of fear and doubt of the unknown. This can come into play when it comes to my friends who do not know Jesus.  If I share with my friends and neighbors about Jesus, if I live missionally wherever I go that I won’t be accepted.  Last night I had courage, I played Hockey with my good bud Aaron Thompson from the church, I met this guy from the team and felt I should ask him what he does for work fully knowing he’d ask me what I do (often if you tell people you are a pastor, it is a pretty huge buzzkill in the conversation), when I told him what I did he kept on asking about my church, it was great. So next time I go, I can build on that discussion, “What are your thoughts about church?” “Would you like to join me next Sunday? Or something toward that line. Even sharing something small about faith can open huge doors in the future, plant the seed, and let Jesus do the rest. One thing that I have really thought about lately is the word GOspel. The word GO is in the gospel! The great commission, GO into all the world and make disciples! And we can do this with courage and boldness.

So what can we learn from Gideon?

  1. God can use a little bit of faith. When we are called to do something courageous, remember Emmanuel, GOD WITH US. We are called to be bold and courageous in our faith, just give it a try, what’s it going to hurt? Many worry about rejection, but chances are, nothing bad will happen. Remember, you have the greatest news in the world and that’s Jesus, he is worth being shared about.
  2. God wants you to trust him. Trust in him and he will help you to live a life on mission.

Praying for you!

Thanks for the read.

Pastor Trevor, Families Pastor.