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This is lesson 2 of 5 in the Outrageous sermonlink series. See also the kids edition of this lesson.

Fear and insecurity are so common that you might think they are a requirement for being human. Consider the common sources of insecurity: our physical appearance, lack of control in our lives, fear of making the same poor choices our parents made, not having enough money, and fear of what other people think of us. Thankfully, God offers to overcome our insecurity.

Do you listen to God or the voice in your head?

We can see how God deals with insecurity through the story of Gideon in Judges. The time of Judges was one of the saddest points in the history of Israel. The people were regularly terrorized by foreign invaders, and, even worse, they were constantly ignoring God. God raised up Judges like Gideon to deliver the people. Gideon, however, was a reluctant judge.

Judges 6:13 If the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about?…But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.

Judges 6:15 “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”

Gideon didn’t trust God’s plan because he gave into his own insecurities. Gideon listened to the voice in his head, not God. We all have voices in our head that feed our insecurity. These voices may come from other people, a disapproving parent or teacher, our culture, or just our own feelings of guilt. Our insecurity becomes a huge problem when God tells us that we can do something and we reply, “God, I can’t.”

[Related: The Sin Cycle in Judges]

God sees what you can be, not what you are today

When the angel of the Lord found Gideon, he wasn’t really a leader. But look at what the angel says to him:

Judges 6:12 The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!”

It didn’t matter that Gideon was a nobody. God was going to use him in a great way. This is what God does for us. He sees the person we can become with his help. You may feel like a nobody. You may think you are only defined by your past. You may only think about the things you can’t do. But if you are in Christ, God sees you as forgiven, adopted into his family, and a new person.

[Related: Your Identity in Christ]

God is patient as you deal with your insecurities

Gideon had a difficult time believing all that God was telling him. And so he devised a number of tests to see if God really meant what he said. This part of Gideon’s life shows us that mastering our insecurity doesn’t happen in a moment. We have success and we fail. Through it all, God is patient with us. God didn’t move on from Gideon as Gideon doubted him. God was kind to Gideon through his struggles. And God is kind with us too.

God offers you peace in place of insecurity

Gideon’s story ends with an interesting twist. He didn’t overcome his insecurities. He obeyed God, but did it at night when nobody was watching. And after he freed Israel he created an idol that became a snare to his family. Gideon isn’t a positive example. He’s a warning of what can happen to us if we continue to live with our insecurities.

Instead of living with your insecurity, receive God’s peace. God’s peace is described in the Old Testament with the word shalom. Shalom refers to joy and wholeness. When you experience shalom, you are in harmony with God and his plan for you. This is what God wants for you. In fact, Jesus came to bring you God’s peace in every part of your life. When God fills us with his love, we can cast aside our fears and insecurities.

1 John 4:18 (MSG) There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. What is your top phobia? How does this affect your life?
  4. As you look over the list of common insecurities, what insecurities do you see most among you and your friends?
  5. Read Judges 6:12-15. How do we know that Gideon was listening to the voice in his own head and not God?
  6. How can you distinguish between God’s voice and the voice in our head?
  7. Read Judges 6:12. Why did the angel call Gideon a “mighty warrior”?
  8. Look at the list of who you are in Christ. What parts of this list do you struggle with accepting the most? Why?
  9. Describe the concept of shalom in the Bible. How is this different than our typical concept of peace?
  10. Read 1 John 4:18. How does a relationship based on love overcome feelings of fear?
  11. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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