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What to Do When the Odds Are Against You: Empowered by God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 9, 2020 3:00 am

What to Do When the Odds Are Against You: Empowered by God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 9, 2020 3:00 am

The 19th century novelist Charles Edward Montague said, “There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it.”

There’s truth to that. And there’s absolutely no limit to what a man can do when He’s empowered by God and seeks only God’s glory. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie shows the example of a man who drew on God’s strength and provision to accomplish an impossible feat. We’ll see what the Lord wants us to learn from this account.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by some special friends of this ministry.

Pastor Greg wanted to see a special word of thanks to the harvest partners who make this ministry possible next time your online check out Pastor Greg's personal goes out of his way to avoid ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

Why so he gives the Lord. We all want to do today. Pastor Greg Laurie point so we can do God's focus on bringing you arts about God says nobody would do the work through you. Novelist Charles Woodward is no limit to what a man can do as long as he does not care a strong credit there's truth to that, and there's absolutely no limit to what is empowered by God to lead God's glory today on Pastor Greg Laurie shows an example of a man who drew on God's strength to accomplish an impossible see what the Lord wants our Bible turn to the book of Judges chapter 6 Judges chapter 6 and run our world changers series which is normally based in Hebrews 11 that still is to the point, but the character will get a look at today the world changer were going to spend a little time with is only mentioned in the word in the great heroes fall abates over the deal with the text that tells a story in the time of my messages.

What to do when the odds are against you. That's all he can address the message. The odds against anybody right now.

Are you facing some challenges and difficulties and it's not looking good for you what to do when the odds are against you and I will get a look at a man that had no potential that we can see whatsoever, yet he became a bona fide world changer and his name is Gideon and Gideon, well it's kind of surprising. He made it into the Hall of Fame.

This is not a perfect guy. He had a week beginning and quite frankly he didn't have the best to be neither. But he made it into this exclusive list of courageous men and women who put their faith in the action in order to find interesting about Hebrews 11 the hero solid faith in what I call world changers is God never mentions their sentence.

He tells us about their accomplishments done through faith, but he never mentions their flaws or their shortcomings, but other verses do this particular record. Those things are not mentioned. So we look at a guy like Gideon. This gives hope to people who are not extraordinary but more on the ordinary side you want the best student you want the class president. You weren't the most beautiful you weren't the most handsome you are that person when they were picking who was going to be a what team to play baseball your one of the last ones picked was that anybody here that was me so sad.

You know there a bunch of people you will take uppers will dig up person and at the end, it would be me in the three-legged dog okay and they would still kick the dog over me. Then finally, so that they are a fireball to glory glory. You can be first base.

I will excited. I can play first base know we want you to be first base. We want to put our cleats and you will we slide into it. I know what it's like to be that guy. Listen to this God goes out of his way to find people like that.

God goes out of his way to find ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Why so he gets the glory. See because that person will say there's no way I could have ever done that my own and that is really the story here people to change the world and you know what Gideon's world was messed up big time. Really, it was a horrible situation. Other people were morally upside down and that's because they're spiritually upside down whenever there's a spiritual breakdown there's going to be a moral breakdown and there's going to be a cultural breakdown in the verse that sort of explains everything is Judges 17 six it says in those days Israel had no king, so the people did whatever seemed right in their own. I the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes let me do I paraphrase everybody just did their own thing.

Sort of like well today were so mobile, so we don't. I don't believe in your truth that your truth, I have my own truth and I'll do what I want to do a live by the dictates of my conscience because my God would never tell me to do thus and so etc. they just sort of make it up as they go.

Some things were in chaos not unlike the wild West. And so the Lord raised up judges judges to rule over Israel.

13. In total, 12 of them were men. One of them was a woman by the way, when we think of judges don't think of like Supreme Court judges running around and wrote these were more like law, men of the old West. Think of Wyatt Earp showing up in town to try to bring some law and order. So God raised up these judges who work in many cases warriors as well so were sort of picking the story up chronologically.

As we look at the world changers and Joshua has passed from the scene.

Remember, God raised up Moses to deliver Israel out of Egypt and lead them through the wilderness to the brink of the promised land, God raised up Joshua to take them into the promised land, not Joshua has died Reminds us that God is looking for world changers for every generation. Moses was a world changer for his day, Joshua was a world changer for his day, and now we need a new one and so the Lord is going to pick up this guy Gideon and things were messed up because here's the problem.

It was the year 1256 BC. It'd been 200 years since Israel marched on Jericho, though they saw the walls fall by the power of God. At that great city things that change because they did not finish the job God told Israel to drive out the inhabitants of Canaan, the Canaanites, which included the Amorites, the Hittites, the ammonites, the Jebusites, the parasites all the sites God said try them out and Israel obeyed partially so now what is happened is these Canaanites have come back to haunt them and ultimately rule over them. This happens to us as Christians sometime you will commit our life in Christ will say Lord you can have the key to read door to every lock in my life except to overhear leave this closet alone.

I keep my skeletons in this closet.

I want to mess with this other area of my life, Lord you know you can have everything but leave my finances alone. You can have everything but leave my marriage alone only by singleness alone will leave my career alone that my Lord don't know if I let him be Lord of all is the Lord at all and so they allowed the Canaanites to continue to grow and get stronger another to come back to haunt her like if you try to cut down little tree in your backyard but you didn't uprooted you just cut it off and left the stump. It's only a matter time till it will sprout again, and so now these Canaanites and come back with a vengeance and why did this happen because the Israelites and turn from God, and they turned up false gods and we read in verse one. Israel did evil in the side of the Lord, and he handed them over to the Midianites by way footnote the Midianites of the first to domesticate the camel ever spent time around. The camel there really were looking animal. One person said a camel is a horse that a committee design you know it's like nothing makes sense about a camel there ugly, but they're incredibly efficient. They can go days without drinking water. They can move very quickly and they spit. I know this from experience it over and Israel. There's like you know there's camels you can climb on the back of them be a few shekels and get your shot taken your photo taken make don't charge you anything to get up on the camel, but they do charge you to get off right so you're up there and they still write your phase will so imagine you're the Israelites and over the hill comes Midianites armed to the teeth writing camels. They look like creature from Star Wars or something. It's frightening and so dominating the people and the people are hiding their freight their devastated and so they started calling on God. God help us. By the way, there's nothing wrong with calling out on the Lord. If you're in a moment of crisis. Let me take it a step further, your stupid if you don't call out on God in a moment of crisis will under no Christianity's four-week people. It's a crutch on a Christianity is in the crotch Christianity as a whole hospital. Okay you need God's help and if you have half a brain you're calling him and here's the good news.

The Lord will hear you if you call him him when it's sunny and wonderful Oregon stormy and the horrible you'll hear your prayer. He says in Jeremiah 33 three God speaking called me and I'll answer you will tell you great and hidden things you have not known so the Lord is not going to answer their prayer in a very unusual way is going to send the answer to a guy named Gideon in a moment see all the world may value confidence and self assurance God values those who are humble and will seek Gideon qualified best next hearing about listeners lives have been changed because of the radio ministry of a new beginning is so encouraging a new beginning name Pastor Greg and staff. I'm a proud mother of two and a fairly new born again Christian, I struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for many years that have been sober for some time now. I thought they come close to the Lord that Lane last year, something happened to me, something I still to this day can't even put my finger on it except to say I was completely attacked by darkness.

My world as I knew it seems to turn upside down. I felt completely alone and it felt like I had no one to turn to.

Even now just thinking about it. Tears flowed down my cheeks and my absolute determination to stay out of my own head in the negative thoughts that seem to be letting I turned on the radio and began listening to your program. It was as if the Lord was speaking directly to me through you. Your words were quenching thirst.

I didn't even know I had sermon by sermon.

I began to feel God's undying for I really believe that you all played a huge role in saving my life and bringing me closer than I ever could have imagined to the Lord. I want to say thank you with all of my heart. I feel like you all are my family and I will forever have a place in my heart in my mind and on my radio show have these daily studies in God's word encouraged you one from Pastor Greg an email and let them know. Send it to great do it today while you're thinking about. Again, that's great over in Pastor Greg's world change and today we're learning from a world changer named Gideon in the message titled what to do when the odds are against you as our story begins, we find Gideon trying to prepare a little bit of weeks hiding behind the walls of a small wine press. Hardly a picture of heroism and courage. He was like the rest of Israel hungry, hurting and humiliated.

The Lord said, there's my man, so the story begins. Judges 6 verse 12 and the angel of the Lord appeared and said a reading from the new living translation hey mighty hero, the Lord is with you. Gideon said to him, oh my Lord of the Lord is with us a while all these things happen to us and where are all of his miracles which our fathers told us about same. Did not the Lord bring us out of Egypt and all the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us in the hands of the Midianites.

Then the Lord turned to him and said go and this might have yours and you will save Israel from the hand of the Midianites have I not sent you. There interesting response on the part of Gideon. He complains here is the Lord coming together and he says okay why is all of this happened to us. Your words, all the miracles that we hear about of the old days, I heard about a mom that was teaching some Bible stories to her children actually do her daughter a particular that she told her daughter about the great battles of Joshua in the story of Daniel in the lion's den and the little girl turned her mom and said you know what mom, God was a lot more exciting back then. Maybe you feel that way sometimes you hear about the stories of things that have happened in other generation and content attribute Gideon got to do. So what are you talking about Gideon. You brought this on yourself. You and your people with your idolatry. But yet the Lord did not do that effectively said look we we got a job, let's get going. So like when you're trying to leave your house and get your kids ready and because she was missing in and you're searching for a doll. Sadly, it's that bad looking for his golf so you know your lookout. We go to crazy kids just get in the car will sort it out later. We've got you just get in the car okay and the Lord is saying that the Gideon got enough time to deal with your whining and your lame questions. It's going to happen and it's going to happen right now. So let's get now. Gideon immediately protests for safety, Lord, how can I save Israel. My clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I'm the least of my father's house modern interpretation of that would be a on the run to the letter on the lowest of the low got together when you're the guy want brings us to point number one if you're taking notes number one God uses people who are humble. God uses people who are humble by the way, if you talk about how humble you are. You're a long ways away from real humility that people's eyes.

I'm a very humble person. I'm so humble that I mumble like humble I'm so humble. I dropped the agent just mumble your actually probably really arrogant because you're always talking about how humble you are. See humble person a really humble person doesn't tell you there humble there just shocked that you would even notice them. They would be surprised that God would call upon them.

That was Gideon. He was genuinely humble that someone who sees himself for who they are fed, Gideon asked the Lord of verse 15 whom I call my that you would call me and I love the responsible Lord, Lord, in effect, says it's not about who you are. It's about going so we think God says really nobody will my on the great I am the one that's going to do the work through you. So let's get going. I love how is greeted initially verse 12 mighty hero. The Lord is with you.

What can the thing is that the sake to a guy who's hiding.

I mean, picture, becomes the angel look hey mighty Carol Lord to give you probably like another mighty hero in there until you can be talking to me. David by going to a kid who can throw football right and say hey Tom Brady house gone or little girl that's failing about Classe. Einstein, how are you doing.

It's almost like a Margarita call them something like that. I don't think Gideon felt like a mighty hero. I think you probably felt more like a pathetic zero, but yet God reassures him that he is the one. But first, there's going to be a test before he leaves Israel in the battle and this can be a test in his own home. God told Gideon to tear down the altar. His father Joash had erected to a false God's a good tear that altered out and by the way why you're doing it. I want you to take his prized bowl and I want you to barbecue. It just so he understands what's coming down and Gideon did with the Lord told him to do now is not easy bringing us a principal number two world changers are faithful and little thing God says go tear down the altar of your father and give you did it and by the way the Bible says he did it at night so would be critical of him or I should've done it or not he should have done in the light of day yet so what he did. It you know there are people today that love to criticize. They think they have the gift of criticism always find what's wrong they never of solutions, they never want to be a part of the solution. They just like to critique, why don't like the way you guys do this.

I like the way you guys do that, Greg.

I like the way you do evangelism. We don't like your Crusades and we don't like the way you call people to Christ you don't do it right. Okay Alaska. How do you do it. We don't do it all while I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it okay on that scene everything I do is perfect.

It isn't but I'm doing the best I can do to reach people with the gospel. So my question is a one of these other people doing it's easy to be a armchair quarterback when world changers are willing to put it on the line there willing to take chances and take risks, and so he did with the Lord calling to be verse 27 says he did it at night because he was afraid of the other members of his father's also in the people of the town and you know what happened after he tore down the altar of his dad, the people were so angry and they wanted to execute Gideon pretty harsh but amazingly interesting little twist in the story the father of Gideon the guy who set up the altar to bail is the one who defends up and the father says to the people who are you defending bail.

Why do you argue his case it feels really a God. Let them defend himself and destroy the one who broke down as altar, gently deep down inside dad was proud of his son, Joash was proud of Gideon my boys doing really well effective even seems like the faith of the father was rekindled, but this brings up an important point. The hardest people to reach your own family the first place. You need to take a stand for your faith in Christ is with the members of your family with your father with your mother with your husband with your wife with your son your daughter your extended family. See, I'm now a follower of Jesus Christ. But a lot of times their skeptical because they probably know you said you been you know knee-high to a grasshopper that you know what this kid going to tell me. And so you need to just live it made we think they need a sermon every day, not you. There's a point when the sermons are done, just start living the sermon now would be a godly example. Listen, even Jesus, when he walked among us during this earthly ministry did not reach his family and by that I mean they did not believe in him. Can you imagine having Jesus as a sibling hello yes Jesus had brothers and sisters. The Bible tells us this and imagine being compared to Jesus show Mary Mata got the get together to come on really. Can you not do your chores, why can't you be more like your big brother Jesus. He does his chores. No one ever tells him to do them. He doesn't cheerfully look how he makes his bed every day. Look how obedient he is looking how respectful he is to to myself in the Joseph kid, you need to be more like your brother Jesus about a dozen babies little wooden bracelets and is shop the WW JD where these what would Jesus do mom caught Jesus is like perfect mom he like never loses his temper. So you think okay perfect example everyone would believe know they did. They didn't believe until he was crucified and risen again from the dead. So the point is make your stand in your home so Gideon passed the first test will buying colors is a lot more to learn.

As pastor Greg Laurie continues his message here on a new beginning called want to do when the odds are against you love a final illustration for today. In just a moment will pick up again on her next program and you can get an instant replay of anything you missed today by going to our website you can hear the study again and even download a permanent copy if you'd like, or listen. By way of our harvest mobile app or call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 and I were so happy to make available a new resource for the holiday called the Jesus storybook Bible, a Christmas collection by Sally Lloyd Jones effect. She's here with pastor Greg and me today along with pastor Greg's wife Kathy Sally. I think that when we speak to our children are told our children Bible stories.

We're so careful to not admit our own fears our own shortcomings and what I love about your stories is that you're very real and honest with children. You're not shielding them from some of the gentle realities that they need to begin to be talked to about that. There are things that go wrong. There are times when we are afraid.

How do you take those and difficult times in a child's life and address them to your stories based on what the Bible is shown you, I yes I think that's a right you don't hide the fact that sad things happen and you children right now we live experience had things happening using grandparents who went who knows said they know and children night from a very early age that not everything is right with the Weldon. So unless we tell them the truth. They can't trust us. So I think that just to encourage that of a stately we have to say at an age appropriate ways.

But if we can process scary things with children while they on our laps, then they can have that feeling was well aware that in a safe place and that will just prepare them and equip them because I think the main thing is when yes we protect children, but we also have to get them ready so I think this yeah perhaps the telling of the truth is, yes, everything is not all right with the world, but the headlines didn't come from the knees. They come from this story, which is the story underneath all the stories and it's about the God he was still in charge even though everything looks completely out of control. He's not. And he has a good plan I think is just declaring the truth so that the child knows when not set of making it too easy and simplistic when telling them. Yes, everything is under control while great insight from Sally Lou Jones, everybody who you're listening to right now and it's easy. It's a prolific author of children's books, and most notably, the Jesus storybook Bible and now of the special book that were offering called a Christmas collection of stories, songs and reflections for the Advent season written Sally's beautiful way and narrated also by David Touchet the outstanding actor. I illustrated again by Jago who she's worked with before.

Really has a great style as an artist. I really appreciate the graphic quality of this and this is a beautiful book, hardcover book with this button you push periodically with interactive features with the David Soucie's voice in a Christmas song and a lot here and this going to be a delightful, very helpful, a resource for you in the Christmas season to get your children or grandchildren focused on what Christmas really is all about the most important of all stories and so we want to send you a copy of this book for your gift of any size. They help us continue on with our radio ministry that we call a new beginning because as you know we teach the word of God every day and we give people an opportunity to come to Christ, so that's important you view believe more people need to hear the Bible taught and they need to hear the gospel so they can believe in Jesus that we appreciate whatever you can send to our ministry and really I will send this to you for your gift of any size you frankly pay quite a bit of money for this.

If you were to order it online abide in the store and some of you can give a little more and maybe some of you not give as much forget what you can and will rush for your copy of the Jesus storybook Bible Christmas collection. That's right. And you can contact us right away at 1-800-821-3300. We are here around the clock to take your call at 1-800-821-3300 or send a note to a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or just go online to and look for the Jesus storybook Bible Christmas collection. When next I pastor Greg has more insight from the humble man of God, named Gideon, but before go for today. He has a final illustration to share years ago when I was a brand-new Christian I was attending Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, so I made an appointment with pastor Chuck Smith is now with the Lord and I sat down in his office and he was there behind his desk and and I said pastor Chuck, I want to be used by God. I want to serve the Lord here and I thought he might civil Greg wanted to do one of the Bible studies here. Maybe preacher me Sunday morning and Chuck said okay great I wanted to go talk to one of my associate pastors as they miss pastor Romain why didn't know pastor Romain was. I found out fast enough he is to be in the Marine Corps. He was a drill sergeant and here I come. Some young hippie kid said here to serve the Lord and Chuck sent me to you and only knew exactly what that meant that med free janitorial work. So I said okay Greg, here's a broom go sleep over there when you're done, go over there and clean the toilet Tuesday. I didn't volunteered to be a janitor. I volunteered to serve the Lord, but they understood if I could not be faithful in the little things how good the and trust me with anything greater and they got a lot of free work out of me.

By the way doing that but I understood I just need to do what I must do and then I would be given another responsibility and then maybe I can answer the phone, and counsel someone, then maybe I can go make a hospital call and then maybe I could go teach a little Bible study. Jesus said in Luke 16 unless your faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities so start small and possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email,

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