Last summer as I was in the initial preparation stages to teach on A Confident Heart, I began to notice a pattern where Gideon kept re-surfacing. Margaret Feinberg calls them sacred echoes, and this fall, Gideon has been quite an echo for me.
We studied Gideon via my church message series on Judges, in a women’s bible study by Priscilla Schirer, and here again in our P31 OBS. Apparently, my heart needed this lesson each time, as I can definitely relate to Gideon. I thank God our buddy Gideon is here to encourage us. As Renee Swope points out in Chapter 10, he certainly was a Wimpy-Kid-Turned-Warrior!
My husband and I sometimes joke whenever I feel like a spiritual wimp that I’m actually a Proverbs 32 woman. (No, there is no such chapter — though some days, I wish there were!) Have you ever felt like that? Like you just didn’t have the courage to do what God was asking you to do? I sure have! It especially hits me during relationship conflicts where I am dreading an encounter, or in a crisis where I completely fear the unknown.
I love how Renee describes this. She writes that we need to get to know God more deeply, in order to discover how dependable he truly is. She reminds us in A Confident Heart:
“We will only overcome our fears by walking through them, holding God’s hand and trusting His heart to lead, protect and preserve us.” (p. 197)
Isn’t that soo true?! She also writes on p. 199:
“By seeking to know and choosing to trust God, a wimp became a warrior. Gideon learned to follow God more consistently by depending on God’s strength instead of his own. He shifted his focus from doubting himself to believing his God. More than just helping him conquer the (enemy), God also helped Gideon conquer his personal enemies of doubt and fear. And he wants to do the same things in our lives. Oftentimes God will use our doubts to build our confidence by calling us to face our fears and do something we would never choose to do on our own.”
One of the ways we get to personally encounter Who God Is would be in learning God’s names. (See below, and p. 194). It’s one thing to know about someone. It’s another thing entirely to get to know their personality and nicknames! The same is true for God. As Renee explains, Gideon “would learn that it’s much easier to trust someone you know — someone you have experienced life with in a personal way… Our depth of knowing God comes when we depend on Him and discover that He is dependable.”
As we near the end of this OBS, my hope and prayer for each of us is that we would know God deeply. That we would fully encounter God’s names and write them on our hearts, so we might be encouraged by intimately knowing the God of the Universe.
As the old Christmas hymn goes, we pray O Come, O Come, Emanuel.
Emanuel means “God With Us” so we pray, Lord God, that You would come anew this Christmas. Ransom the captivity that lies not just in Israel, but in each of our hearts, and set us free until the day Christ appears. Help us to rejoice and to discover all the reasons why You are fully trustworthy. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
YOUR TURN: Share your thoughts below and be entered for a chance to win a copy of A Confident Heart Devotional this week!
- What were the highlights for you from Chapter 10?
- Have you ever felt like a “Proverbs 32 woman” or a spiritual wimp? How did you handle that?
- As we are nearing the final days of this study, what were the highlights for you from this book?
- Lastly, since Renee Swope is hosting our FB & Twitter parties tonight, what questions do you want to ask her? (Maybe she can include ‘em!?)
~ ~ ~
Finally, we’ve got some awesome goodies for you this week! Try all three of ‘em!
1. FREE STUFF. Check out this FREE printable of God’s names from Renee Swope. (I think it would even make a great Christmas gift in a cute frame!) Who in your life needs this reminder? Tell us below!
2. PARTY TIME! The Fun never stops! We’ve got back-to-back parties tonight, hosted by Renee Swope herself! Pick your favorite social medium, then join us for prizes & fun — each one is an “open house” style, so it’s okay even if you can’t be there the whole hour.
Facebook Party – TONIGHT, 12/10 @ 9-10 p.m. ET
Find the party when you click HERE.
3. JUST FOR FUN! You, too, can go from wimp-to-warrior! This time-saving recipe has been a God-send for me, on more than one occasion. Just be forewarned: If you’re using it for a birthday cake and you don’t allow enough time for it to cool, the candles might melt. Just sayin’!! (Not that I’ve ever had that happen or anything…)
Box Cake Mix (whatever you choose — include the eggs, oil, etc.)
Directions: Prepare a box cake mix as directed in a microwaveable, fluted bunt pan. (Either stoneware or silicone.) Spoon about half of the frosting tub in large dollops onto top of the batter. Microwave 9-11 minutes, checking after 9 minutes. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes. Using a knife, gently remove the edges from the pan. Flip the cake upside down onto a cake plate or platter. The cake will be cooked all the way through, and the frosting sinks to the bottom of the pan, creating a delicious glaze. Enjoy!