There are certain emotions that seems to stay with you, that you remember particularly vividly. The emotions I want to speak about have been a regular part of my life.
I can remember lining up on the starting line for a 400 m race representing my High School and realizing that the county record holder was in the next lane and on the other side was a boy whom I had never beaten.
I experienced these emotions when as a newly trained 20 year old policeman I was sent out on the beat for the first time.
I can remember feeling them again when our daughter was born and I realised the responsibility of being a parent for the first time.
Stepping into the pulpit for the first time as the pastor of a church caused me to experience them.
Just recently I was out on some mountain roads on my motorbike when I was surrounded by a group of bikers on less powerful machines than mine but who effortless swept through the corners and left me behind, and yup I felt the same thing again.
What was it that I felt in all of these situations and to be honest countless others
Inadequate and Intimidated.
Inadequate for the situation confronting me and intimidated by the situation.
Recently as I have thought about helping lead us as a church through this pandemic, I have felt those two emotions again.
Studying the Sermon on the Mount for our sermon series in October has made me feel that way again. How on earth can I live the kind of Kingdom life Jesus calls me to live?
I’m pretty sure one figure from the Old Testament would understand what I am talking about.
You know the story, if ever anyone felt inadequate for the task God called him to and intimidated by the magnitude of that task, it was Gideon.
Yet he accomplished what God called him to do. He overcame those feelings of inadequacy and intimidation.
Well, I think I have found the secret, it is in this verse
I think what is being described in that verse is the presence and power of the Spirit of God enabling Gideon to accomplish what he had felt was impossible. It’s a touch of the Spirit of God that enables ordinary members of God’s people to do what had previously felt to them extraordinary and beyond their ability.
I have read countless Christian biographies and have noticed the same pattern. People experiencing feelings of inadequacy and intimidation about what they are facing in life or are called to do, but then there is a “clothing of the Spirit of God” equipping and them and enabling them to overcome those feelings.
The clothing of the Spirit of God, a fresh infilling of the Spirit is the antidote to our feelings of inadequacy.
Maybe you know what I mean when I talk about feelings of inadequacy and intimidation stirred by what you are facing in life?
If so, maybe with me, you would pray what countless believers down the centuries have prayed and experienced right back to Gideon,