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Sunday, April 6, 2008

GIDEON AND ME

Gideon in the book of Judges found himself in the middle of a time of punishment from God for the sins of his nation. He was threshing grain in a wine press. In that day, wheat was threshed beside the wheat fields. Wine presses were in the vineyards; usually quite a distance from wheat fields.


Israel was greatly impoverished and under seige from the Midianites and other enemies. They would swoop down and steal Israel's grain, livestock and substance. As Gideon was in hiding threshing wheat, hiding from the enemy, an angel appeared and sat under an oak tree. After Gideon saw him the angel calls out " The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour."


Gideon had to be astonished and quite perturbed at this statement. He was in hiding and fear that his grain would be stolen. Gideon asked many of the same questions I ask when my situation is exactly the opposite of what I may read in God's Word during devotions.


Gideon asks the angel if the LORD is with me why am I in the situation I am in? Where are His miracles I read about in the Bible? Our Fathers told us of God delivering us from Egypt but He has forsaken us and delivered us into the hand of our enemies.



As I pray and begin to believe His promises, like Gideon, the Spirit of the LORD confirms that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. The angel told Gideon to go in this his might-He is sending him. This is Gideon's, and my might; HE sends, and calls, and confirms.



But, like Gideon, I begin to reason and reject the calling. Gideon said "how shall I save Israel?"
"My family is small and poor, I am the least in my father's house..."


The LORD again says He will be with Gideon. The enemy can and will be defeated. Gideon asks, as I do at times, " show me a sign ". In a sign of my faithfulness I may make an offering to a ministry or perform a good deed while going through this process. Gideon did the same. He slew and prepared a meal for the angel. He offered these up as offerings to the LORD.


In my walk and during my lifetime I have had to remove many teachings I received and realize that we are living in different times, a different dispensation that my Father and Grandfather. The denomination I was raised in is just a shell of what it used to be. I have had to let go of what used to represent Godliness and find Him for myself on a personal, intimate level. Like Gideon, I have had to destroy what is not suited for the last days in which I live.


Gideon was in some fear as he destroyed his father's altar and grove erected to Baal. The Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon and he blew a trumpet to summon the men of Israel to fight the enemy.


Again, doubt must have entered Gideon's mind because he again asks God for two signs that he was the one who was called. Both signs were given in the affirmative and Gideon was ready to go! Or was he?



He gathered all of the resources he could. 32,000 fellow Israelite warriors answered the call. He is now ready to go. Or is he? God does not operate by great numbers. He said that no flesh shall glory, or boast in His presence. So the force is wittled down eventually to only 300 men.



Through stealth, wisdom, and advice from the Almighty, this small band of warriors defeated a vast array of Midianites and Amalekintes and all of the children of the east who were gathered like grasshoppers in number. The Book of Judges says the camels in the enemy camp were as the sand of the sea in multitude.



The sword of THE LORD, and Gideon slew 120,000 as the enemy fled, cried and fought against each other in mass confusion.



God is not into numbers. He works with one man, one woman. This lonely, fearful man threshing wheat and hiding from the enemy, uncertain of his calling and fearful of his life and livelihood became filled with, encouraged by, and enpowered by the Spirit of God. God answered his doubts and his requests for signs or confirmation.



As Believers we are empowered by the Spirit of the living God. My calling may be on my job, with my unsaved family, with spending time interceeding for the unsaved friends I have. My calling may be to support ministries God has laid on my heart with prayer and financial support as He blesses.



I feel the greatest calling of Believers is soon upon us. To have the peace that passes all understanding in the midst of the troubled times we are entering. God is not willing that any should perish. He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He said that in the last days sons and daughters will prophecy and old people will dream dreams. I now qualify as an old person, according to my neices and nephews!


My dream is for a massive turn to God in the world in these last of the last days. God is not going to let Satan have the last say on this planet. His Spirit will fall on the most unlikely people and masses will be saved as a result of their prayers and witness. We may end up like the first martyr of the Church age by being stoned to death, but Jesus rises up from His throne to welcome us into His Kingdom!


What a reception that will be!

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