From Sunday’s Sermon – “This Won’t Be Easy”

August 9, 2011

Our sermon this week comes from Judges 7:1-10.  In this passage, God is speaking with Gideon before he goes into battle against the Midianites.  Here, we find a great example of trusting in God during a test.

 You may be thinking: Gideon was a mighty warrior fighting an actual war, how does his battle pertain to the challenges and situations I face in my life in 2011?  Well, I’m glad you asked because Pastor Dudley provided 3 ways in which we can manage the stress in our life when we know it is a test.

 First, you must Live Victory with Less.  When God came to Gideon, God reduced Gideon’s army from 32,000 soldiers to 10,000 soldiers and then finally down to 300 soldiers.  We must realize God’s limitations on Gideon, and on us as well, are not meant to be liabilities.  God attempts to guard your pride and in doing so, the glory will be God’s and not your own.  We should not be afraid to lose something in the process.  What ever you are attempting to hold onto too tightly, something you think you need, that something or someone can derail you from what God has for you.  Pastor Dudley summed it up by saying, “it’s not about the limits but the leverage.” We can be greatly blessed by God but according to the world’s standards appear to have less.

 Secondly, you must Reassess Your Unchecked Assumptions.  Gideon assumed he was going into battle with 32,000 soldiers and that all 32,000 were at his disposal.  Well, his assumption was wrong.  Although, all 32,000 soldiers were fit for battle, in God’s plan for this particular battle only 300 were the right soldiers.  Trusting in God when facing a fight can allow God to show things to us we could not see when we were approaching the fight operating on the power we assumed we had.  This protects us against our hidden mess and weaknesses and thus brings to light what we are really working with.  When it comes to God, everything has to be on the table.  We should place our focus on what God leaves us to work with during the test and not on things or people or opportunities we perceive as lost or lacking.  If you notice, God doesn’t allow us to get too comfortable with things or people that weren’t meant for us in the first place. 

 Lastly, you must Make a Meaningful Move.  Within this passage in Judges, God’s advice to Gideon is contradictory to the natural eye in at least 3 instances.  First, God asks Gideon to go up so he could get down.  Next, God sends Gideon into battle with a very small amount of soldiers, which usually would spell defeat.  Then, God tells Gideon to go fight in the middle of the night, a time in which it is difficult to see.  Even though these 3 situations are in contradiction to the natural manner in which humankind thinks, they are in direct alignment spiritually to what God had in store for Gideon.  In those moments when things in our lives don’t make sense, God reveals God’s self in those moments.  These moments provide space, time and opportunity for God to move in our lives.  As children of God, we are blessed.  God has already given us the victory.  In reading the passage, Gideon didn’t try to argue or bargain with God, he just complied with what God instructed him to do.

 A companion verse to the passage in which this sermon is based upon is Philippians 4:13 which states, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (NIV)  The phrase, “I can do”, comes from a word which also means “endure”.  God has already deposited into us what we need to handle the tests life has in store for us during our journey.  So stand firm in life as it is because you have what you need to handle it.  Be mindful that God will allow us to face pressure and stress in order to see if we really trust in God or in our own power.   Everything in your life is designed to clear away the distractions so your focus will be upon God. 

 When your life gets hard, do you really trust God?  When your body gets sick or a friend or loved one dies, do you really and truly trust God?  It is easy to say we trust God but the only way to know for certain you really trust God is when you are being tested.

 As always, your comments are appreciated and welcomed.

 © Kevin Dudley

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