New Wine for New Wineskins May 2010

By , May 8, 2010 3:57 pm

Let the Weak Speak

Let the Weak SpeakPart 21 – Gideon & Barak – Whose Hand Are You Holding?

Remember – the purpose of this series is to release the potential that is within us to build successful ministries, kingdom businesses, and to be world changers who really make a difference in this world.  That will always involve change but we don’t need to panic because all of the change God requires from us is by way of exchange.  And so we simply come to the place of exchange – the Throne of Grace – where we have the opportunity to trade our weakness for his strength!

We are no longer wearing ourselves out chasing signs and wonders – we are signs and wonders and so we are destined to be the most exciting thing that is going on wherever we are!

Isaiah 8: 18

18 Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me!
We are for signs and wonders in Israel
From the LORD of hosts,
Who dwells in Mount Zion.

Joel 3: 9 – 10

9 Proclaim this among the nations:
“Prepare for war!
Wake up the mighty men,
Let all the men of war draw near,
Let them come up.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords
And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’”

IT’S TIME TO LET THE WEAK SPEAK!  LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

We have been going through the Hebrews 11 “Hall of Faith” and looking at the lives of some of those listed there who although they were far from perfect were successful in overcoming the weaknesses of their flesh and fulfilling God’s purpose in their generation by faith!

Last time we began to do what the writer of Hebrews does and race on through the rest of the folks that are mentioned here who all overcame their weaknesses by faith and saw the supernatural strength and power of God manifested in and through their lives!  We looked at Rahab the whore who became harvest and exchanged her history for an awesome destiny.

Hebrews 11: 31 – 40

31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. 32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.

And then there is Gideon.  Gideon was full of fear, insecurity, and inferiority and yet the LORD spoke to him as a mighty man of valour.  When are we going to get the message that God sees us very differently from how we see ourselves?  He always speaks to our potential because he knows the plans that he has for us that can only be realised by faith – by believing what he says and trusting in the ability that he provides!

Gideon’s response to the statement that the LORD was with them was that if that was the case then why were all the bad things happening to them.  Sound familiar?  How many people still question God’s ability to heal and deliver simply because they don’t see it happening?  That is an experience-based belief system that will always leave you bound by your circumstances!  Remember – faith people don’t go by what they see but by what God says!  The LORD just keeps right on speaking to Gideon as the mighty man he sees him as and tells him that he is going to use him to save his people.

Judges 6: 14 – 16

14 Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”

Romans 10: 15

15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent?

How many people just went – without the knowledge and assurance that they were sent.  Being sent is what gives us authority.  Our message is not mere words and theories – it is supernaturally charged with the power of God to bring salvation, healing, and deliverance!

But how does Gideon respond to this statement of the LORD’s confidence in his ability?

15 So he (Gideon) said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
16 And the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

Do you think the LORD didn’t already know Gideon’s family history or that he doesn’t know your background?  Your identity is not based on your background or upbringing, or the place or circumstances of your birth – you are who God says you are!  Jesus said that there are things that are impossible with men but with God all things are possible!  The key to Gideon’s success was that God was with him and that reality will be the foundation for our success also.

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

After an appeal for a sign to confirm his calling during which the LORD reveals himself to Gideon as YHWH Shalom – The-LORD-Is-Peace, Gideon tears down the altar of Baal and the wooden image of Asherah (a Canaanite goddess) that his father had erected, and builds an altar to the LORD in its place (“on top of this rock” [stronghold]).  It is important to recognise the demonic strongholds that have weakened our families over generations and pull them down so that we can replace them with the truth of God’s Word and be renewed in his strength and restored to his plan.

The strongholds of generational sin, sickness and poverty need to be pulled down so that we can be worshippers in spirit and truth (accuracy)!

Gideon was a bit like many in our generation – he was hooked on signs.  The LORD worked with him on that where he was at but he also had a higher plan – to make Gideon a sign and wonder!

Gideon’s army was whittled down to three hundred by first of all commanding twenty-two thousand who were fearful and afraid to go home.  That left ten thousand who the LORD tested and found three hundred who he said he would use to save the day by defeating the opposition.

The enemy armies were so large that they are described as being “as numerous as locusts” and their camels were “innumerable, as sand by the seashore in multitude”!

But God gave Gideon a strategy that caused three hundred men to put an innumerable number of enemies to flight!  When God is on your side you are always in the majority!  If God is for us who can be against us?  What was the battle cry that sent the enemy packing?

Judges 7: 18, 20

“The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!”

What is the sword of the LORD?  His Word!  When we take the word of the LORD into our hearts and into our mouths we are always going to experience victory!  We must rid ourselves of all the arguments as to why God wouldn’t work on our behalf.  All of the fear, insecurity and inferiority must go!  All we need is faith that takes God at his word and we can overcome all of the impossible situations we face in his strength!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

And then there is Barak.  He felt like he needed someone to hold his hand rather than simply trusting in the LORD.  This is a common weakness among God’s people.  Even Jesus’ sinless flesh longed for his disciples to stand with him through his experience in Gethsemane.  But he pushed through alone and refused to yield to the temptation to quit even though no-one else stood with him.

Barak however refused to go out to battle unless Deborah went with him.  She told him that she would go with him but that the honour for the victory would go to a woman because of his hesitation to simply take God at his word.  There is no gender discrimination in her statement and in the New Covenant we are told that there is no distinction between male or female in Christ.  What Deborah was saying was that Barak was more than able to carry out the LORD’s command on his own and in the strength that he provides when we simply acknowledge that his word is enough.

There are believers today who think that they will serve the LORD more fully when they find a wife or a husband but the reality is that they are more likely to find the right life-partner if they have already put their hand to the plough and are active in kingdom ministry.

However, in Barak’s case we see that hesitant obedience is better than outright disobedience and so he still makes it into the Hebrews “Hall of Faith”!

We need to recognise that even if nobody else is willing to stand with us when God has said to do something then his presence with us is more than sufficient!  Paul said one time that everyone had deserted him but he also knew that God’s strength always manifested in his weakness and so he may have been lonely but never alone!  Leadership can sometimes be lonely and a faith stand can sometimes be lonely but we must believe that the LORD is with us and so victory is assured!

LET THE WEAK SAY, “I AM STRONG!”

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