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June 16, 2022 9:00 am
Today on Summit life with Judy Greer. Scripture says that your word God is allowed to my feet always thought that verse was a little because I don't want to laugh about the spotlight.
I want to see the end of this road. What God does is gives you enough to take a step and then you take the next step many riddles little more you take the next step God cultivate your faith as you know, like with their theologian Jeannie Greer.
As always, I'm your host Molly, but events you and God wants to use that he often humbled in this refining process. He shapes us into an instrument that can be used for his glory. In fact, the Bible often shows us how God used flawed characters to accomplish amazing feats. Pastor Jenny titled today's message the underdogs secret and make sure you listen all the way to the end where will give you more information on a practical new resource to help you engage in hard topics right now. Let's join Pastor JD in Judges chapter 7 of a powerless people going up against the ideas force in the region. This would not be like wake forest taken on do this would be like a JV middle school team take on Kentucky this year. Okay that's all you need to read this Judges chapter 6 is where were last week. It was all that God had set the Midianites in Israel to chasten them because of their disobedience, but when Israel cried out in pain. God had compassion on them, and he raised up a deliverer for them a deliverer named Gideon. Gideon was not as I explained your typical hero.
When man first encountered Gideon he is cowering in fear and a whole but God turns them into a man of bravery by assuring him of his presence with him what the end of chapter 6 God tells Gideon to go and mount a resistance against the massive marauding and Midianite militia and Gideon true form demurrers so God has to reassure him to a couple of tests that we now call the police test is a Gideon finally gets the courage the guy will give him the victory and that's where we begin a chapter 7 verse one Ventura Bell to remember number that's Gideon's nickname Jerry Bell and all the people who were with him.
Rose early in a camp beside the spring of her road and the camp of Midian was just north of them first to the Lord said to Gideon, the people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites in the other hand, West's Robo server may say my own hand has saved me first three now therefore proclaiming the years of the people saying whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead and 22,000 of Gideon's 32,000 person Army went home and only 10,000 remained first for the Lord then said to Gideon, the people are still too many to take him down to the water and everyone who labs the water with his tong as a dog laughs you shall set by himself.
Likewise, everyone who kneels down to drink and the number of those who labs putting their hands of the mouth and laughing like a dog was 300 men because does that verse seven the Lord said to Gideon with those 300 men who will save you and I will give the Midianites into your hand.
Let all the others go every man back to his home. God intentionally weekend, Gideon's army.
There is so much for you to learn about how God works in your life. Through that there is number one when God wants to use us often will first weaken us, not God never delights in hurting us. But God wants us to trust him. The second thing that God is trying to teach us of the reduction of Gideon's army and this is another common thing we looked at in Judges number two God would send salvation, not the human mind he would send salvation to the weakness of humble obedience.
God does not send his miracles the human mind. He sends them through faith and humble obedience.
Here's another bird story for you I told you this, nothing there's been a while though it's the woodpecker who the faithful woodpecker just N a telephone pole that that that that that that that not doing anything to make a noise right make a little tiny hole and also to get struck with lightning to slip the tree into a little better like it was back in his life. Dang girl flies off and goes and gets his buddies and brings her back, says there she is, boys look at what I did what I couldn't do that woodpecker would be billed make a small indentation and our only biggest following additional bowl, God sent the lightning. That's a picture of what God does is you and I faithfully obey is not her abilities as a parent is not my ability to provide it's not my ability as a preacher sent up here how to safely obeying God since the lightning bolt because that's always how it works.
He saves not the human power but humble obedience will God finally gets Gideon's army down to the size that he needs it.
Verse nine. That same night. The Lord said to him, arise Gideon go down against the camp drive given in dear, and but if you are afraid. That's a given. Go down to the camp with your your servant first so Gideon takes purer and they sneak down to the Midianite camp Midianites or along the valley like Locust of abundance, their camels will outnumber like the sand is on the seashore, imagine adding to so much that you can count them. Verse 13 Gideon sneaks into the camp. Behold, as he comes close to what Danny overhears a man telling a dream to his comrade and the man says behold I dreamed a dream, and behold a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian and came to the tenant struck it so that it fell and turn it upside down so that the tent lay flat in his comrade answered. This is none other than the sort of Gideon. God has given into his hand, Midian, and all our camp now. Do not miss the humor the picture of Gideon is not of the spear. It's not of a hurricane. It's not even of a hurled rock. He is a tumbling piece of bread. What team chooses that for their mascot, there were the biscuits you would like this biscuit flattens a mighty tent now.
Not much of a camper and if you do a piece of bread in a tent. I set up it might fall down, but not for a soldier, and Gideon recognizes in this, that God is reassuring him so insulting him reassuring them first 15 as soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation. He worshiped and returned to the camp of Israel and said arise arise for the Lord is given a host of Midian and our hands. The third thing we learn from this story is God patiently deals with faltering faith. This is a very sweet lesson to me, but I find really comforting them a story that God takes such time and such patients to reassure Gideon. You see, we often picture God as this one. Sitting up in the heavens saying if you don't have absolute confidence in me all the time that I will reject you. But that's not what you see here is now you see a God who is taking time to cultivate faith. The God who was sympathetic with fear and doubt reminded me of the men who came to Jesus in Mark nine with a very sick son and says to Jesus what has to be considered blasphemy. He says to Jesus, Jesus, my son is very sick. If you're able could you do something I would expect Jesus to respond with. If I'm able do you know who I am. Jesus doesn't say that he said everything is possible.
One who believes he gives him a very tender invitation to believe and how does the man respond to Jesus's invitation, the masses, Lord, I believe kind of help my unbelief. In other words I'm 6040 on this God my maybe 46 generally know what was your what is Jesus a back to them if I had been Jesus I would've said a double minded man is unstable in all his ways want to go home and rest of Scripture and come back when you're ready to go all in. That's what I would've said thankfully I'm not Jesus. Jesus says what he does.
Anything is feels the boy what you see in their is God's okay with you down God's okay with you coming to him with your questions. He knows your fear is okay with you asking them if you doubt here this weekend. Listen to me it's okay.
It's okay, God's not scared. Your questions just ask them. Ask God to reveal his faithfulness to you.
God is tender and he's compassionate with developing your favorite.
You also gotta consider point number four and that is that at some point you're going to have to take the risk. Think for a minute about what's going on in the same genes afraid and some to reassure Gideon God tells Gideon to go down into the Midianite camp at night. If I had been Gideon out of said God I'm not sure if this came through or not, but I'm afraid I don't want to be sneaking down into the Midianite sleeping chambers at night. Can we do the fleece test again thought of athletes right here right I'll turn my back on the tent and maybe to fold up an origami structure and then I'll know that you're really with me.wow, that's what I would've asked for, why did God make Gideon go down into the camp in the place of danger, to get reassurance is to teach us this lesson that if you want God to develop your faith. It means that you gotta take some steps of faith of your own.
You see, here's how it works or faith works. God reveals a little you take a step God reveals little more you take another step, the way Scripture says this is drawing near to God and he will draw near to you a picture if you will to men on the stage behind me. Each one of opposite sides.
It's as if one takes a step in the other one takes a step that's how God develops or faith. That's not to imply that you work your way to God all that it same as this is how God develops faith you draw near to him and he draws near to you or Scripture in another place, says that your word God is a lab to my feet have always thought that verse was a little because I don't want to laugh or my feet on a spotlight. I want to see with the B end of this road just as you'll get headlight you get a lamp you enough for the next step. But you take that step and I'll show you the next step. You see, that means that if you're here this weekend waiting on God to answer all of your questions before you will follow him.
You're never going to get there, what God does is he gives you enough to take a step and then you take the next step in any reveals little more and then you take the next and God cultivate your faith as you go, ponder that question when we return to her teaching in just a moment. I wanted to quickly tell you about ideal email devotional from Pastor JD that available to our son at night.
I know the busyness of life can quickly check out any joy we feel in our walk with God as we delete each morning with the word from the Lord. These devotionals even follow along with our current teaching here on the program you can stay plugged into these messages regardless of your schedule to sign up for this free resource that Jeannie Greer.com/resource unit also learn more about our featured monthly resource when you visit Dallas return for the conclusion of our message today. Once again, here's you need to take that step. Some of you, but what does that mean for some of you that means you need to begin to read your Bible reading with the person who invited you this way.
What I mean is you guys read the Bible and you come by once a week and you talk about what you learned, that would be your step of faith God develops her faith by making us take faith risk of our own. We've all heard the letter little bird story birds that teach their young to fly by pushing them out of the nest. We will know now I know the first time when I would hear that as a kid I would always think about it from the perspective of the little bird little bird like mom what you like what mom knows the burden fly. Mom knows the birds never to fly Bill, she gets a middle place where he has to do that.
That's what God is doing with you is inviting you to take the steps of faith, so Gideon divides the men and the three companies of 100 each.
He gives each man a trumpets jar and a torch.
What is the one of things missing from that list about a sword slingshot RPG, whatever, but none of that. He tells each of them in light your torch and put it in a jar. They're working alive in the valley wall all around the Midianites up on the mountain when I blow my trumpet each of you were going to blow your trumpet and then you're gonna smash your jar and raise your torch with a weighted verse 19 into the beginning of the middle watch that's currently important after they just set the watch.
The three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars they held in their left hands. The torches in the right hands.
They blew the trumpets and they cried out a sword for the Lord and for Gideon. The irony is, nobody has a sword verse 21.
Every man stood in his place around the camp and all the Army ran all the Midianites cried out and fled the Lord said every man's sword against his comrade and against all the Army. Here's how this works. Usually a torch and a trumpet signified an entire battalion you got 300 torches and 300 trumpets around the Valley, the smashing of the jars. Think about what that would've sounded like what sounded like a clash of hundreds of thousands or maybe tens of thousands of swords be raised at once.
Right now you've got what looks like 300 battalions.
The sound of tens of thousands of swords you got the trumpets and on top of all that the middle watch means it's about 3 AM. The first watch of soldiers. 1/3 of the Army has been out watching there, back in their dead tired way to get some sleep. The second watch is just gotten up there all groggy third watch is fast asleep. You wake up to the sound of swords and trumpets in this fearful scene and on top of a lot. Now you got an army marching back into your camp, you'll realize in the dark that your army generally pulled out their swords or to fight me will kill each other. The end but the end of a battle we all live happily ever after several Midianites by mimicking me point out something here about not stretching too much here, but let me point out, so nothing is really awesome that that's teaching us what is number five.
God can turn weakness itself into strength usually cool about the situation to me.never tells Gideon how to do this. Didion seems to come up with that plan of his own cowardly noggin.
Yet it was his weakness that forced him into that ingenuity.
God's reduction of Gideon's army forced him to come up with a new plan in one and it was a better plan because that plan resulted in victory without a single Israelite casualty not one for getting a dollar 32,000. Even if you got the victory. Some of what it died. Now he does it in a way that fixes the whole thing and nobody dies Didion's weakness actually became the source of his strength often in weakness, God will reorganize not just one part of your life will reorganize the whole thing turned out weakness into one of the greatest blessings in your life. Example take this out of appear, put it in the rehearing the story one time of a man who is all you have three kids with his oldest daughter turned 13 he began to get very concerned about her because like many parents are fearful of his daughter started to hang out with the wrong crowd, and she started to walk around his board sullen look on her face all the time and she said the church of the board and chief at home. She just you, distance herself from her parents. She started to date this boy that was bad news.
He was like two years older than ours 50 years old and and and she started to dress in a just in a way that humans are dressing and dartboard part make up and dressed all golf and everything in the alley Wednesday from his little girl triggers the pastor he surpassed was done. Everything right we've always been there we've always come to church, we come to church.
You know were pretty regular here in an additional understand what you want told my daughter we just get in arguments and the pastor said well if you let me be really bold with you in this moment. I want to tell you that the problem is that your families a spectator church. I guess you guys are here a lot. All you do is sit on the sidelines and not about the ministry all the problem is that the world that your daughter lives in is telling her a better story than you were telling her the world is giving her adventure. You're just basically presenting God as somebody who lectures her on the weekend and the world is more enticing to her. He says if you win your daughter's heart and party not to tell a better story so that he makes sense to him. So he goes home just a little research he gets his family involved in the church and ministry of a volunteer and they get involved in a local ministry and he also adopts and oversees orphanages, their project he takes his family says to his three kids were going to own this as ours, so I need some ideas what we can do the kids begin to contribute ideas and they begin executors ideas. The guy says that in the next few months. His daughter even begin to give some ideas and begin the lead out on her own but have set over the next 18 months.
I watched the most remarkable thing happened without me commenting on any of these things, they all disappeared.
She said she began to change her wardrobe.
She broke up with the boy. She began to bring a Bible and a notebook to church and it all came because we got the sidelines and got into ministry know why do I share that with you. He had a weakness with his daughter. But God use that to transform his entire family and get them off the sidelines and end of the game which now effective herd affected everybody you realize that in certain situations what God is doing with you is usually one point to transform your whole life you might be here because you need God's help with X, Y, and Z and God says you know what I want to help with X, Y, and Z but will got to go back with a through X, Y, and Z.
When you go back to beginning and I need to go to work. They are maybe what you came in for this week is not what God wants to do in your life.
Maybe he wants to turn that point weakness into something that will transform your entire life here is number six, the final one that Gideon teaches us success is joining Jesus wherever he is, Gideon's life teaches that I would summarize Gideon's life in one statement, showing Jesus where he is because it is better to be with Jesus before the most impossible odds than to have the odds in your favor and be without Jesus.
Listen Christian maturity is when you learn to say, I'll go anywhere with Jesus and I would not want to be anywhere with any size army in my back without them the mature Christian knows you see the Jesus plus nothing equals everything in the mature Christian knows that Jesus or everything without Jesus equals nothing mature Christian says in Christ. I give up all that I have risen Christ of 40 got all that I need to.
The question is not what I prefer. The question is not what also capable for the question is simply what is Jesus one for me is where he is is what I want to be, God shows up to me and the judges chapter 6 of my life and I'm afraid I don't want this.
I'll go where you are because where you are is where success is as you define success. The question for the mature Christian is only God, where do you want me out as well be with you Hudson Taylor the missionary again, who opened up China said it this way. I love it all God's giants, all of them have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on God being with them. That's it.
Hudson Taylor says there's three stages.
Any work that God does in the world impossible difficult done. You are in a situation some of you where you are up against what feels like it is impossible and that is divinely ordained. Do you want to see God begin to work in your life if you are from impossible to done to get yourself a posture of weakness and confess your need of God and begin to obey him and go where he is.
That's the whole point.
That's what he's been trying to teach you from the very beginning of your life. Success is joining them about the putter. Right there and say dust ends the story of Gideon, but unfortunately I cannot Gideon story does not end well you see your to see that the end of his life. Gideon gets proud his power and success goes to his head. He starts reading his own press releases. He starts using this position for personal vendettas.
He makes an idol commemorating his victories in the Israelite start to worship that I'll to hear that story you cannot come back next week but for right now I just want to say something that really pertains to what we talked about today. The danger the danger in your life is never a Midianite army of any kind.
The danger is you losing that posture of weakness. That's the only danger for the Christian. The only danger that can destroy your life the only one is not. Sickness is not poverty if I was your job. It's not even your marriage breaking up the danger that will destroy your life is for you to get proud and lose your sense of dependence upon God.
Christians more often than not will pass the test of adversity, but they will most often fail the test of prosperity when you get strong when you begin to think yourself. I have all that I need. That's when you fall apart. Never forget where you were when God found you never forget the grace he showed to you and how much you go to that grace is young, talking to some of you that are not depended on God.
I want when your life you were because you broke you and you got depended on God, but you can't remember the last time you had a meaningful conversation with God. The reason you don't pray the reason you don't cling to God daily 3G don't get up in the first impulse is I've got to talk to my heavenly father is because you're not depended on you gotten puffed up with what God's provision has been God's provision has turned into a curse to you. You need to be aware that after the greatest spiritual victories you can slide right back down into the hole from whence you came, Christianity begins with the statement. I'm not righteous enough to save myself.
I'm utterly hopeless. I'm utterly unrighteous Lord Jesus, you have to do it all. It continues every step from that point forward with this statement.
God, I'm utterly impotent to do what you want me to do. I need your power for every good thing in my life. Every good thing when you feel like Gideon against an intimidating enemy without the resources to defeat them. When God came to his greediest work. These are the moments we rejoice that kind is in control and empowers his people to do great things.
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