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January 5, 2022 7:00 am
Welcome to this edition of PowerPoint with gently belittling the program tell you how you moments. First, here's the message fighting the good fight. Judges chapter 6 and seven.
Let's begin reading at verse 11 were going to read verses 11 through 15 now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terror, but that is a tree or flaw which belonged to Joe as the abuse right, while the son or his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites and the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said the Lord is with you all a mighty man of valor and Gideon said to him, please, sir, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us and where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us saying, did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt, but now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of many of the Lord turned to him and said go in this mind of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian, do not send you.
He said to him, please, Lord, how can I save Israel the whole my clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my father's house story begins with this man Gideon beating out wheat in the floor of a winepress in the middle of Israel. These were terrible days in the life of God's people. The Midianites were oppressing Israel, the Midianites were cruel and torturous people they would rain the country and rob them of their crops and of their food and their provision and the start time was a result of the people rejecting God and rebelling against God. As a matter of fact as you read the book of Judges. It is a sad story. One sad story after another. In most cases because there is a cycle of defeat that is repeated again and again and again God's people rebel by God's commandments and begin living in idolatry and as a result of their rebellion came retribution and God would send judgment upon his people typically in the hands of oppressors who would come and control the land of the nation as a result, the people would cry out to God and God. He was always there in mercy, love and grace when his people sincerely cry out to him would respond to their repentance and then there would be restoration and then rest would be given to the land and you would think that once this happened, the timer to that the people would learn the lesson but it just happened again and again and again.
And this is one of those down. This is one of the cycles with because of idolatry because of rebellion against God because of sin in the lives of the people they are now living under oppression and depression there hiding in caves and this is why I Gideon rather than working in the open. What you would typically do if you were beating Wheaton, separating the wheat from the shaft. He's down the bottom of a winepress hiding from these Midianites living in fear and living and failure in living without faith the people according to verse six of the same chapter cry out to the Lord and the Lord responded. So God calls a champion God chooses an unlikely hero, a reluctant warrior this man whose name is Gideon and he is called to fight the good fight of faith before that happens in his life before that happens in your life in my life. If we are going to fight this good fight of faith and win these battles in our lives. Whatever your battle may be, it begins.
Number one by renewing our faith renew your faith.
This man is without faith.
He's living in fear and frustration. Hope is gone. He wonders if God even can do what he used to.
Then he said if God loves us. If God really cares about us.
Why doesn't he deliver God says okay I will deliver you and you are my man Gideon God sent a word to getting he gave him a word because this angel of the Lord, a mysterious visitor shows up while he's down there beating wheat and the angel of the Lord said, hey 00 mighty man of valor. He's thinking he couldn't be with me. I was born in the wrong family. I am of the tribe of Manasseh, which is the weakest most suspect tried in all of Israel and besides that, in the tribe of Manasseh. My family is that the weakest of the week we we are not a good family. There were idols in the backyard of his father and not only that, but of all my siblings.
I am the I am the runt of the litter. I am on the last I am the least. I am the most unlikely person you could ever choose yet God chose God said, I am with you he is as low as you can go you know the enemy always wants to keep you down plant those fears in your mind you're not good enough. You're not smart enough. You're not strong enough to overcome this. You are a worthless loser is never going to get any better in your life you no matter your life is never going to change and over and over.
It goes and therefore so many have given up, but God is calling you to something so much better. The Lord is with you what the Lord is saying to you this day is in you are in overcome her price. We have been given victory in Christ. Don't let the devil tell you this is as good as it gets, that your new marriage is never going to get better that your kids are never to wake up to spiritual reality that that your health is never going to improve. Don't believe those lies because the Lord our God is still a God of light and miracle God can and chooses to do the impossible and God who is able will use you if you will be available to him. No problem for God, anything you are face now the angel of the Lord is in fact the Lord himself.
This is what we know as a theophany, which is an appearance of God in the Old Testament God from time to time in various places.
Typically what is calling someone to do something great for him shows up on earth before Christ. This is a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus himself, and this man now is face-to-face with God and he begins to realize Gideon's goes on to say how can I save Israel. I am the least.
And yet God now promises him power. He says go in the power that I will give you what is the point of this home. My amazing scene in which God calls this unlikely very unusable person to do this right need for him. Fact is that God chooses people, not because of their sufficiency but because of their inadequacies. God chooses is not because we got it all together.
God calls us to do something not because we're the best of the greatest, but he calls us even in our weakness, even in our brokenness. He speaks to us in times in which we are down and says I am going to use you not because you were strong, but because I am strong, I would use you because you recognize your own inadequacies and trust in the sufficiency of God. So here's a spiritual principle, it is not who you are, but whose you are that matters. You are a child of God.
You have been called of God and not to live in defeat and despair, but to live in victory and what is the victory faith is the victory to believe and trust in God. The apostle Paul spoke in first Corinthians chapter 1 and said not many mighty, are called, not many noble, but God's chosen the weak things of this world to confound the strong God has chosen the base things of this world the noble things of this world to confound the why what I want you here in this message. The day most of all is that God uses us when we recognize the spiritual principle that without him we can do nothing. We are weak and without strength. But our sufficiency in the battles of life. Whether we're contending for the faith of proclaiming the gospel or whether we are struggling with personal issues in our life. Our strength is not in ourselves, but our strength is in the Lord. I love what verse 34 of chapter 6 says. Look at verse 34 of chapter 6, then get Gideon said to God, partly verse 34, but the spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon and he sounded the trumpet and the abuse rights were called out to follow him.
Now look at that little phrase the spirit of the Lord closed Gideon in other words, God is now in the man and Gideon is wearing allowing the Lord to wear him like a suit is this great spiritual principle that when we fight the good fight and face the conflict each day in life that his strength is our that the Christian life and living life victoriously is not a matter of what we do.
It is what he does in us again. Not who we are but whose we are.
His strength becomes our strength that his sufficiency becomes our sufficiency and we are strong in him and in the power of his might.
Greatest spiritual lesson that I have learned since I became a follower of Jesus Christ is this true, we are saved by his life. Therefore, we can live the Christian life. If we will restore our faith and trust in the God who is living in us PowerPoint with Jack Graham in the message.
Fighting the good fight when he set aside daily time to connect with God to give me the ability to live a godly life and fulfill his plans for you in the coming year and we'd like to help me walk even more closely at the Lord in the year ahead by sending you pastor grams 180 day devotional moments in the word. It's our way to thank you for your gift today to help proclaim the gospel to more people around the world to PowerPoint.
Succumb now to get your copy of moments in the word. When you give: 800-795-4627 that's 1-800-795-4627. You can also text the word PowerPoint to 313-1316 PowerPoint to 313131. And don't forget to visit Jack Graham.org shop where he stored gift online or sign up for Dr. Graham's free daily email our website again is Jack Graham.award. Now let's get back to today's message fighting the good fight will fight the good fight of faith store your fate in the God. He says who you are and him and then secondly, remove your fears, remove the chapter 7 and Gideon has organized an army of volunteers to go fight these Midianites verse one of chapter 7 look at it then Gerald Vale. I love that he's given the nickname Gerald Vale and that nickname means contender with Vale and all the people who were with him. Rose early and camped beside the spring of Herod and the camp of Midian was north of them by the heel of Laura in the Valley. But in verse two the Lord said to Gideon, the people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel boast over me saying my own hand has saved. Now therefore, proclaim to the ears of the people say whoever is fearful and trembling, letting return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead. So Gideon has gathered this army he's got 32,000 volunteers and God says before you go to battle. I want you to tell any of the volunteers in any of these recruits if they are afraid to go home 22,000 of his men go home. Two thirds of his army leaves because you know fear is contagious and you cannot win battles in life.
If you are afraid where there is fear. Faith is diminished. If you have faith in God and trust in God. There is no reason in life to be afraid now, let me hasten to say that that bravery is not necessarily the total absence of fear out to you what bravery is you want to know what courage it courage is controlling your fears or asking God to control courage is overcoming your fears.
There's not a brave man or woman alive who doesn't face difficult circumstances who is not tempted to be afraid but brave people, courageous people are over comers. They deal with that and particularly they deal with their faith in God against all the fears on the enemy Satan specializes in promoting fear in our minds. And so God says tell all the fearful people to go home but then God said you got too many with you still verse four. The people are still too many take them down the water and I will test them. There for you. So another test is An here's where it gets a little sticky estimate exactly what is happening because what is happening is is very unusual and somewhat mysterious as to what kind of test. God is giving so I know what this test about God chose those 300 who were looking in alert and ready indiscipline and he told all those on discipline was those who were laughing like dogs to go home. The problem is when you read the text. That's not what it says were not even sure why God sent one group home and 300 except this that God was privately personally testing the hearts. God knows what is in our hearts and their series of test in life when we are being tested.
When we don't even know it. So it's not a Marriott think we can make the point that well you will hear the lepers in here are the kneelers in God took the kneelers and said to the laugher's go home.
That's not what this is about what this is about is God is reducing this army down to a size of bed and fighting men whose hearts are loyal and faithful to him who are tested and tried and are ready for the battle but who are so small, so we so insignificant that when the victory is one they will know we didn't do this. God did. God is constantly testing us and looking at the hearts of men and women discovering who is ready and who isn't ready for battle. So let me just say that if you want to be ready for the final ready for battle, reset your focus.
Let your heart be pure towards him look to him in the small things alive in the insignificant lies know that God is looking God is testing God is working and he knows who is he is and who will serve him faithfully so reset your focus. So now they're down to 300 and Gideon's thinking how am I going to go against the hundred and 35,000 Midianites with an army of 300 and so naturally Gideon is a little concerned. The Army is prepared, but the odds are 450 to 1 no chance. So what does God do. God told Gideon to go on a surveillance mission. God said Gideon take your servant pure and go down at night in the middle of the night to the camp of these Midianites and be prepared for what I'm to do and so that's what Gideon did. They snuck down there spying out the camp. Now get this picture here. These two men in the middle of the night.
These two Jews in the middle of the night there down there in the camp of the spheres Midianites and they overhear a conversation, a Midianite in his tent is saying you not going to believe the nightmare I just salinity about the stream.
There was a barley love huge barley loaf that came rolling down the hill down in the valley in the camp of the Midianites into our camp and that huge barley lovestruck the tent of a Midianite and that to just collapse. Terror now is in the eyes of his buddy because he says I know what that means, that means the barley love represents Gideon and his army of the Jew and his arm is in a barley love was food for animals, and it therefore represented this this ragtag gnarly group of 300 men. Gideon's army, a barley love smashing the tent of the Midianites, and that man said God has given our camp into the hand of duty.
Now think about this for a moment, God is not only working in the camp of Israel working in the believers lives, but is working in the camp of the Delta. God is not in control of the enemy. He's always in control of the and when Gideon learned this lesson the first thing that he did where tone is that he worshiped verse 15 as soon and Gideon heard the telling of the stream, and his interpretation he worshiped worshiping in the camp of the enemy because there he remembers God's faithfulness. That's what I want you to do reset your focus remove your feet renew your faith and recall. Remember God's faithfulness in your life. The victory is sure. And God is fighting behind the scenes in your behalf.
God is doing some things in your life right now that you can't see but you see, faith sees it in faith believes if God be for us, who can be against us are victory is in Christ alone.
When you recount and remember that blessings of God upon your life. The faithfulness of God in your life. This is why every day when I get up. The first thing I do is open the word of God worship God and receive from him those promises in that provisions because life can be scary.
Life can be hard and the battles can be rough, but when we remember God's faithfulness. When we read these stories and when we feed upon the word of God we are strengthened for the battle. Remember God's faithfulness. So when you're in a fight fight for your family fight for your kids struggle with temptation battle for your faith. Remember that the Lord is in charge and he's the commander in chief and so Gideon worships in the camp of his enemy.
So now God has given him a strategic strategy in worship, he finds out what he's to do and God says to Gideon, all right tell the Army this tell your gnarly 300 this watch me when I blow the trumpet you blow a trumpet, and when I shout, you break a jar that I given you, and you hold up a torch that is inside that your see God gave them three weapons, not swords, not shields, not spheres, but he gave them trumpets.
He gave them a clay pot or jar and he gave them a torch and God said, tell them all to getting companies of 103 groups of 100 and surround the camp. Then at the right moment blow your trumpet and he did that and everyone blew the trumpet and then he said break the jar. They share those jocks that hold up those torches hold up those lines and then show for the sort of Gideon. They did that exactly as they were assigned and when they did that God put fear in the hearts of those Midianites they began to run and flee, and the victory was one with those guys just standing there but you know, blowing a trumpet, burning a torch and breaking a jar that's all they did but there's a spiritual lesson in that for us is that God has told us to clearly blow the trumpet of faith.
The sound the clarion call in our generation in our praise in our proclamation where to shout our victory. Did you know that your faith in the words of your faith releases the power of God to work in your life and through your life. We are to speak faith and not doubt, faith, and not fear. We speak the word of God. They overcame him by the word of their testimony in the blood of the Lamb and they loved not their lives unto death, and so we are to shout the victory shout we are to simply blow the trumpet of faith we are to break the base we had this treasure in earthen vessels, that bases assemble our brokenness before God, and God uses us when we are broken and open to him because that's when the light shines forth. Learn blowing listening to PowerPoint project crammed in the message.
Fighting the good fight. Looking ahead to a new year to three with expectation. They can also fill you with desperation if things get worse. But if the world gets crazier. But if you don't have the strength to face what comes your way is through spending daily time in God's word that we find the strength, peace and hope.
We need everyone to help you do that sending you pastor grants 180 day devotional moments in the word moments and the word is our special thanks for your gift this month so called to request a copy today: 800-795-4627 that's 1-800-795-4627 can also text the word PowerPoint to 313-1316 PowerPoint 313131. And don't forget to visit Jack Graham.org shop RV store online or sign up for Dr. Graham's free daily email our website again is Jack Graham.Ward pastor. What is your PowerPoint well Scott, I really do love one of my favorite biblical stories. What a hero faith. This man was, but there was nothing about him on the outside it appeared that he was a hero and yet God used him in a powerful way.
The amazing thing about Gideon was that he was anything but a champion when God first called so that's a real encouragement to all of us who don't feel like champions. And yet we know if God calls us. He will provide everything we need to do is work in a powerful way. I've said this before God doesn't call the equipped he equips the called. Now that's worth repeating. God doesn't call you because you are equipped, he equips you because you are called to think about Gideon again for just a moment.
He was probably the most likely not to succeed if you were comparing him to what the world standards where he was beaten down. He was hopeless. He lost his faith. Can you imagine God using somewhat in this condition. Nevertheless, God spoke to Gideon through the angel and said the Lord is with you, oh mighty man of valor. As we said in the message today, Satan tries to keep us down. He does his best to convince you that your life is never going to change that you're never going to change that your marriage is never going to improve that your kids are never going to come back to the Lord that you're always going to be sick and that you're never going to conquer your fears and you know what far too many of us believe the lies that Satan is telling us but you know what's so wonderful about our Lord so great about our God. He doesn't see us like we see ourselves as believers, he sees us in Christ the Lord Jesus sees your potential. Just like God saw Gideon's potential and in addition to that the Scriptures tell us in Romans 837. We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. If you are a follower of Christ, you need to stop believing the defeating lies of Satan and start believing again who you are in Christ and what he is promised and how he is provided for you and start trusting in him to do the impossible in your life.
Yes, your enemy is powerful, but God is all-powerful, your enemy is mighty but God is Almighty. That means there's no problem there is no difficulty, danger, darkness, fight or struggle to you face in life that God can handle. If you will just respond to his call and that is today's PowerPoint. Remember when you give a gift to PowerPoint will send you Dr. Graham's 180 day moments were call one 800 791 800 795 also text the word PowerPoint 3131 PowerPoint 31 Joyce again next time.
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