The Design of Faith for Victory! (Part 2)
Dear Visionary Leader:
Last week, we were discussing the design of faith, and reading about Gideon in Judges. We looked at the People of Courage and the Priority of Commitment. This week we continue in the story of Gideon with:
The Process of Confidence
In Judges 7:9, we read, “And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him,” -that is, unto Gideon, “Arise, get thee down unto the host. For I have delivered it the army into thine hand. But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Purah thy servant down to the host: and thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host.’ Then went he down with Purah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host. And the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand of the seaside for multitude. And when Gideon was come behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, ‘Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came into a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. And his fellow answered and said, ‘This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all of the host.’ And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, ‘Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.'”
Now, what happened here was this: Gideon goes out to reckon or just to find out what’s happening. He goes on a little spy mission under the inspiration of the Lord. He infiltrates the camp, and he hears two of the Midianites talking. One of them says, “Say, boy, I really had a weird dream last night. I want you to see if you know what it means.” He said, “I dreamed that a loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the camp, and it went right through the armies, and it hit a tent. It went down into that tent, and the whole tent just collapsed and fell flat on the ground! What on earth do you think that means?” And the other fellow said, “I know what it means. That loaf of barley bread was a man named Gideon! And God is going to use him to defeat our army.” And when Gideon heard this, he was so excited that he worshipped the Lord, and he went back and told his three hundred, “Hallelujah! God has given us the victory!”
What changed his mentality? Well, you’ll have to understand the principle here. Barley bread was the poorest, coarsest and the cheapest of all of the bread. I mean, if a man couldn’t get anything else to eat, he’d eat barley bread. In the dream, a barley bread loaf that rolls into this mighty army and destroys a tent. Now, what God said to Gideon is, “Gideon, you are that loaf of barley bread.”
Do you remember when the Lord said to Gideon, “Hail, thou man of valor. I want you to deliver My people”? Do you remember what Gideon said to the Lord? He said, “Lord, Lord, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I’m the least in my father’s house.”
Gideon was saying, “Of all of the tribes in Israel, Manasseh’s the worse. Of all of the families in Manasseh, my family’s the poorest. And of all of the kids in the family, I’m the runt of the litter. You reached the very bottom of the barrel when you got me, Lord. Surely, you don’t want me!” But the Lord is saying to Gideon, “You may be like a loaf of barley bread! You may be very poor! You may be very unrefined! You may be very coarse! But I am going to use you!”
The Bible says, “The Spirit of the Lord clothed Himself with Gideon.” Wouldn’t you like God to wear you like a suit of clothes? Paul said, “It is not me, but Christ that lives in me; and the life I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Oh, what a difference it makes when God is in the man!
God was showing Gideon a great secret. It is not your ability; it is your availability! It is not your fame; it is your faith! It is not your scholarship; it is your relationship! It is not who you know; it is who you are that counts with God! God hath chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. God just takes ordinary people. If you take time to read the whole story of Gideon, you’ll find out that Gideon wasn’t such a sharp guy. He messed it up on a number of occasions. He was a fellow who failed in many ways. There are some bad things written about Gideon. But aren’t you glad that when God comes to write the record, He doesn’t write the bad things ’cause our sins he remembers no more, but he never forgets our faith?’ Isn’t that great? He won’t remember our sins, but He can’t forget our faith! It is faith that made Gideon the man that he was! Gideon was an ordinary man! Gideon was a loaf of barley bread! And if God can use Gideon, God can use you!
There are some people, who say, “Well, I just serve God in my poor little old weak way.” Well, quit it! He doesn’t want you to serve Him in your poor little old weak way! He wants you to serve Him in his mighty, dynamic way! Because God takes ordinary people and gives them extraordinary power! There must be a life of confidence.
Don’t you insult God by saying that God cannot use you. I tell you, those people in the host of Midian, they were afraid they were going to die. They were afraid before Gideon got there. Did you know that? Did you know what there is in Hell right now? We speak of the regions of Hell or let me say in the Kingdom of Darkness. Do you know what the Kingdom of Darkness feels right now? The Kingdom of Darkness, Satan and all of his dominions, are afraid that one of these days you’re going to awaken to the power and the authority that God has given you. Did you know that? There is a trembling in Hell that Christians will awaken to the power and their authority over all the powers of darkness.
The Purpose of Compliance
In Judges 7:15 and following we read, “And it was so, that when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, ‘Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.’ And he divides the three hundred men into three companies. And he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. And he said unto them, ‘Look on me, and do likewise; and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that as I do, so shall ye do. When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of the camp, and say, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.’ So, Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and broke the pitchers that were in their hands. And the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow with: and they cried, ‘The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.’
How would you like to have this for an arsenal 300 hundred men, along with clay pitchers, oil lamps, and a trumpet? All Gideon had was this small army against a gigantic army!
Yet Bible says, “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds.” I imagine that if the Midianites had seen them coming, if they had known that they were coming with clay pitchers, if they had known that they were coming with little oil lamps, and with trumpets, they would have laughed them to scorn! But I’m so glad that Gideon had three hundred people that he could count on who did not question God, they simply obeyed God!
There must be compliance of faith. Do you want your life to grow? If God’s plan doesn’t make sense to you, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense! God has a plan. The world has one way; God has another way! We are to live a life trusting the Lord.
Would you like a promotion? Would you really like a promotion? Let me tell you how to get a promotion. In Psalm 75: 6, we read: “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south; but God is the judge.”
What on earth does that mean? Promotion doesn’t come from the east; it doesn’t come from the west; it doesn’t come from the south; but God is the judge. What direction is left out? North, well, why north? If you read Leviticus 1:11, you will find that the north side of the altar was the place of sacrifice, that’s where the blood was poured out. I think what God is saying is, that promotion comes through people who are willing to obey and to sacrifice. The Lord Jesus went out of Jerusalem to Calvary through the north gate of sacrifice.
There can be no conquest without compliance! You may be saying, “I want to live a life of faith! I want God to be real to me!” You want God to be real to you? Take your Bible and start obeying it. Is that too hard understand? Do you think God’s going to give you faith when you don’t obey the Word of God? “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
The Power of Confession
In Judges 7:18 and following, we read, “When I blow the trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of the camp, and say, ‘The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.’ So Gideon and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and broke the pitchers that were in their hands. And the three [hundred] companies blew the trumpets, and broke the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands with which to blow: and they cried, ‘The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.
Can you imagine this? Here are three hundred men. They circled the camp of the Midianites. At just the right moment, Gideon, who has an earthen pitcher, it’s turned upside down, inside that pitcher is a little oil lamp that’s burning. However, you can’t see the light. It’s pitch-dark because the light is burning inside the pitcher. But just at the right moment, he smacks that pitcher! It breaks! It crumbles! The light is lofted high! He puts a trumpet to his lips, and he gives a mighty trumpet blast! Not one man, but three hundred men break their pitchers, hold high their torches, blast with their trumpets, and then they give a great shout, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” Three hundred voices like one voice. Can you imagine what happened in the host of the Midianites? All of a sudden, the place is ablaze with light and there is the ecstatic sound of a trumpet. There is a shout of victory!
Suddenly, there went a thrill of terror through the camp and the host of the Midianites. These men obeyed the Lord. Why did God say do it that way? There’s a great spiritual lesson if you would just learn it. What does this speak of?
Trumpets in the Bible always speak of testimony. In 1 Corinthians 14:8 it states: “If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for battle?” The blast of the trumpet speaks of a sure testimony. Not an uncertain sound. What did the light speak of? Jesus said, “You’re the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men.” Light also speaks of testimony. There are two kinds of testimony: what we say, that’s the trumpet; what we do, that’s the light. Both must be sounded in the battle.
Every Christian is to be a light and sound production. What we say and what we do. It was easy to blow the trumpet, but the light wouldn’t shine until the pitcher was broken. What does the pitcher stand for? The pitcher stands for these lives of ours. In II Corinthians 4:6 we read: “For God Who hath commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; but we have this treasure in an earthen vessel.”
What does Paul mean by that? All of us have the light of God in us. The Lord Jesus has shined into our hearts, and there is a light within my life! The light of my life is Jesus! He Lights up my life. He’s the light of the world, and He lives in me! But you’ll never see that light until this earthen vessel is broken.
Do you know what the average Christian needs? Do you know what the average church needs? A spirit of brokenness. Do you know why’ we don’t have revival? We sit in our churches, heady, unbent, unbroken, unbowed, unbloodied. The Bible says, “A broken and a contrite spirit thou wilt not despise, Oh, God.”
In Judges 7, we read, “They stood every man in their place.” There was a sure testimony, because it was like a trumpet. There was a sacrificial testimony because of the broken pitchers. And there was a steadfasttestimony, for they stood every man in his own place. What would happen in your city tomorrow if every Christian would do the same thing? I mean; living a broken life! I mean, letting his light shine! I mean, sounding the clarity and call of the trumpet of the Lord Jesus Christ! And standing, so help me God, regardless of what the enemy might do!
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking