rebelling against low expectations

What David, Gideon and Joan of Arc Taught Me About Being Scared


I took another spiritual gifts assessment last week.

I wasn’t surprised to find that many questions asked about what I am naturally talented at, what I enjoy, or what I am comfortable doing. I think the same way.

Writing is my passion, so I assume that God has called me to serve through Him through my writing. My younger sister is a talented musician, so she believes that she is called to be a worship leader.

As rebelutionaries, we train spiritually and develop our personal strengths so that we can serve God better.

But we can forget that God does not need our strengths at all.

(This is not to say that God does not use our strengths, talents, or training! In fact, He often gives us natural talents for our calling and calls us to train – see 1 Timothy 4:8, 14-16.)

But God does not always work through our strengths. Sometimes God calls us to do what we are unprepared for.

Sometimes God calls us to what scares us.

Gideon was the least son of the weakest clan of the smallest tribe of Israel, and he was cowering in a wine press threshing wheat.

David was a shepherd who played the lyre; maybe one day he could be the court musician.

Joan of Arc was a mere teenager, a peasant, and a girl; she could never do anything great.

But it was not their weaknesses that mattered. It was not them at all that mattered.

Gideon was cowering in fear of the Midianites, and God used him to defeat Midian and judge Israel.

David had no political or military experience, but God called him to be Israel’s greatest king.

Joan of Arc was just a peasant girl who knew nothing of war, but God used her to drive back the English and win the Hundred Years War.

God used Gideon’s fear, David’s humble circumstance, and Joan’s societal weaknesses to complete His plan.

God did not use their strengths, and their very weaknesses are what inspired many people to seek God and act in faith.

“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:27-28 NKJV).

Too often, we focus on our strength, our natural talents, and our preparation to guide how we serve God. But it is not about us and our strength.

It is about where God calls us.

God does not work around our weaknesses or in spite of our weaknesses. God works in our weaknesses.

God works through our weaknesses. God uses our weaknesses. God might even call us to the very things that scare us, just like He called Gideon.

So what scares you?

Is God calling you to trust Him and let Him use your weaknesses?

After all, by calling us to our weaknesses, God is glorified and our faith strengthened.

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Photo courtesy of Logan Smith and Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the author

Gabrielle Massman

is a homeschooled seventeen-year-old who seeks God’s Truth through literature and writing. Currently, she is working on publishing a Young Adult novel, Out of the Curse, that explores the relationship between God, purpose, and freedom. In her spare time, she enjoys studying ancient Hebrew, hunting, competitive swimming, and role playing.


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    • Really? That is really great! I think that spiritual gift tests can be really helpful, but sometimes they can lead us to put ourselves in a box and struggle to follow God when He calls us somewhere outside of our comfort zone. What have you been learning in your spiritual gifts class? I have never taken a full class on spiritual gifts, and I am still confused about several of the gift (such as prophecy.)

      • Well, I’ve only had one class… But so far we’ve been learning about all the different listed spiritual gifts mentioned in the New Testiment and then studying more in-depth on the gift of healing last week. This week we’re studying miracles. One thing that was really interesting was that we noticed that the lists are all different. I asked why Paul wouldn’t send the same list to every church, and my teacher said that he thought perhaps it had to do with the calling of the church. Just like each of our spiritual gifts will compliment our calling, perhaps each church needed different instruction on spiritual gifts because they had different callings.

        Yeah, my teacher talked about how everyone will be stronger in some areas than others, and you can certainly be gifted in more than one place. He also talked about how gifts sometimes change or are added to(for instance, perhaps you have the gift of serving, and you later gain the gift of hospitality or miracles by God’s discernment.). So I don’t think we’re struggling with being put in a box in our class.

        We aslo discussed prophesy a little, and what the teacher was saying- and I’m still a little confused on this myself-was(note that this is very Baptist theology) that prophesy is generally understood in baptist circles as inspired preaching. I’m still not sure what to think of this, so I’m looking forward to when we get to prophesy so that I can read all the Scripture on it.

  • Dear Gavrielle, just read with a VERY special friend, and I have to say this summed up 9 th grade in a pretty raw way. I mean, just the fact that we’re facing our fear and going OUT THERE, into the wild and unknown territory. Is SO hard to face sometimes. But I did it. I faced it and I know I can do it again, I can face it again. Sometimes, the valley seems better, sometimes the mountain feels easier but I am gonna stick to God and go through it. Sometimes I get really scared, but as I learned…there’s no such things as ghosts, except the Holy Ghost.

    • Hey, Kelcie! It is very hard to face our fears and take that leap of faith (especially when we are currently in a comfortable time!), but it is definitely worth it. I will be praying for you, Kelcie! One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 18, and it talks about how God rescues us from disaster and then trains us. You might enjoy reading it!

  • The fact that God doesn’t need our talents is very humbling. But it is also inspiring as well, because it demonstrates yet again his incredible grace…

    A great message! Thanks very much!

  • Wow. This is so convicting. I love how you said “God does not work around our weaknesses or in spite of our weaknesses. God works in our weaknesses. God works through our weaknesses. God uses our weaknesses. God might even call us to the very things that scare us…” Thanks:)

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →