Monday, November 30, 2015

God's Got You Covered






And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.  Judges 7:2






We can do all things through Christ Jesus!  We have no cause to be hesitant or fearful in regard to standing up for Jesus against a world that has been blinded by the prince of darkness!  

The prince of darkness rules this world, but we serve a God who created the heavens and the earth and not only that, He is sovereign. 

The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.  Psalms 103:19

King David understood this as he proclaimed,

God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.  Psalms 62:11

So know that God’s got you covered!  When we have God in our lives, there is no need to be fearful.  Let’s take a look at how God mobilizes His people to subdue the power of the enemy. One such example is the account of Gideon.  [Judges 6-8]

One of the great Biblical principles of mobilization is that God accomplishes great things through just a few people who are mobilized for His purposes. This is called the "Gideon factor" of mobilization because it is illustrated by the account of a man named Gideon (Judges 6:11-24).    When the angel appeared to Gideon, he was not talking about fighting or penetrating the land. In fact, he was doing just the opposite. He was hiding from the enemy who had come into the land after Israel had sown their seed. The enemy was stealing the harvest and Gideon was attempting to reap a limited harvest in secrecy and fear.

This is a picture of much of the "reaping" activity going on in the world today. People are attempting to reap a spiritual harvest for God while cowering in fear and hiding from the enemy.  When the angel spoke to Gideon addressing him as a "mighty man of valor", we can imagine that Gideon looked around and said to himself, "I don't see any mighty warriors".  He did not really recognize that the "Lord was with him".

And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.  Judges 6:12

All Gideon saw was the overwhelming situation which surrounded him. He asked,

"If the Lord be with us, then why is all this befallen us? Where are all His miracles which our fathers told us of?"  Judges 6:13

When you look at the conditions of the world around you, you may question "If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened? It is discouraging. It is overwhelming. Where is God's miracle-working power?"

It is in this context of fear and doubt that God still calls "Gideons" today. The truth of the "Gideon factor" is that God calls weak people to do mighty things. The angel told Gideon, "Go in this thy might...have not I sent thee?" The only motivation that will empower us to meet the difficult challenges of our generation is the promise and our faith to believe that the Lord is with us. This promise of His presence is given to those who are mobilized to action and respond to His call to go:  

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen 
 (Matthew 28:19-20)

Gideon questioned the angel, "How can I do this? My clan is the weakest and I am the least in my family." Moses felt the same way. So did Jeremiah and even the Apostle Paul. You may also feel that way. You may feel limited by your social standing, finances, educational background, or abilities.  But God works through weak people who are mobilized to respond to His call:  

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are. That no flesh should glory in His presence
.
 (I Corinthians 1:26-29)

The particular ability with which God gifted Gideon was not only his skill in commanding an army. It was the capability of motivating others to join him in the task. We know he was successful in this because 32,000 men responded to his call to arms!

But after God encouraged Gideon in his recruiting efforts, He demonstrated that He works just as well with a few as with many. God eliminated 22,000 of the potential fighters. Anyone who was fearful was allowed to go home.  God then proceeded to sift out 9,700 more men. Those who were not concerned and alert (who were not watchful while drinking) were also sent home. This left just 300 men...1% of the original volunteers. Imagine how Gideon must have felt, facing an army of 135,000 men!   

And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.  Judges 7:7

But God accomplished great things through these few men. They won the battle with the enemy. They reclaimed the territory rightfully theirs. They were able to reap their harvest.

When the Midianites, Amalekites, and others gathered together against God's people, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon. The Hebrew word translated "came upon" literally means "clothed".

But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him.  Judges 6:34

God's power was given to Gideon at the point and time of need...not before and not after. You will find the same is true in your life. The mobilizing power of God does not come upon you until you heed His call to go.  Gideon's victory involved a good strategy and carefully coordinated, organized action, but it was more than that. It was an effort ordained and mobilized by the power of God.

You may be a weak and fearful person working with weak and fearful people who are few in number. But God can give you His power just as He did Gideon. Are you low on men, finances, and material resources? Rejoice...God delights to do great things through limited natural means...And when He does, He will get the glory!

The account of Gideon demonstrates that a handful of warriors, mobilized by the power of God, organized around a common vision and strategy can succeed against overwhelming odds!

Bible Study
11/30/16