So Gideon said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me. Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You.”Judges 6:17-18
How confident of a person are you? How easily can your confidence be shaken? How would you like to enjoy daily confidence?
Confidence can certainly be slippery. One moment you are on top of the world, the next moment you feel like you are under a large heap of darkness.
As followers of Jesus, we should have resources, ways of responding to times/seasons of insecurity, so that we can enjoy His promised interior life. No one walks in perfect confidence. The unpredictability of life and the frailty of people combine to make consistently feeling strong about oneself challenging.
I am working through Gideon’s transformation as an example that we can draw from to learn how to live more confidently. His transformation came because of rightly answering three questions. The first question, which we looked at last week, is, “Am I going to see myself as God sees me?”
The second question, which we will see today, is, “Am I going to be emotionally honest?”
Emotional honesty can be super challenging in a culture where emotional health seems to be getting more elusive. So, let’s look at Gideon and see his honesty in action.
In Judges 6:11-16, Yahweh recruits Gideon to be the deliverer of Israel and Gideon struggles to see himself as Yahweh sees him. Then, in verses 17-18, we read Gideon’s need for assurance, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me. Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before you.”
How confident does Gideon seem at this moment? He has received an assignment from the LORD. Yet, he needs something more. Gideon feels enough doubt and insecurity to pause. He is not confident enough in Yahweh’s faithfulness to move forward. So he is emotionally honest with the LORD. “I understand what you are saying but, please forgive me, I need assurance that You are going to be faithful.”
Remember, living Kingdom confidence does not come from trusting our abilities but from trusting in our Father’s faithfulness. And, at this point, Gideon is not feeling strong about Yahweh’s deliverance.
That is pure emotional honesty.
Yahweh responds in Judges 6:19-24 by giving Gideon the assurance he needed. In verses 25-32, Gideon acts powerfully and Yahweh delivers. Brilliant! BUT, in the next verses, Judges 6:33-40, Gideon again expresses his insecurity about Yahweh’s future faithfulness. Twice Gideon asks Yahweh for signs to confirm that He will be faithful. Paraphrasing Gideon’s words in these verses, “You were faithful to me in my last battle, but please forgive me, I am not sure that you will be faithful in my next battle.”
That is beautiful, real, and raw emotional honesty.
Walking in the will of our Father is not emotionally pure. While we are certainly offered green pastures and quiet waters we can still experience wide emotional swings. We can be emotionally strong and secure in one area of our lives and insecure and doubt-filled in another area. We can be strong for a season and then God our Father calls us in a fresh direction and we find ourselves struggling.
Expect some degree of emotional struggle in following the will of our Father.
Do not turn your emotions off.
Do not be ruled by your emotions.
Bring your emotional reality to our Father and share with Him how you are doing. The only kind of heart with which our Father cannot work is a dishonest one. In addition to Gideon’s example, follow the example of Jesus. While in the Garden of Gethsemane, in living out His Father’s will, Jesus said in Matthew 26:38, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death.” What??? Jesus said that! He followed those words in verse 39, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.” Wow! That is raw emotional honesty from a Man who is living in the will of Yahweh.
Emotional honesty is essential for inner confidence.
Consider these steps to cultivate emotional honesty in your relationship with the LORD:
- See God as your Father. He is not an amorphous blob. Rather, He is your Dad who loves you.
- Write down an issue in your life with which you are struggling. Write down how that issue is making you feel. If you struggle to identify the specific emotions, ask the Holy Spirit to name the emotions for you.
- Share what you have written with your Dad.
- Ask Him for assurance, like Gideon, that He will be faithful.
- Be still and give Him time to speak.
Take great heart in knowing that Gideon STRUGGLED with confidence. He was changed. You can be too. To live confidently and to have the tools to respond to times of doubt and insecurity is empowering. This is LIFE in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!