Summary: God is calling people to rise above who they think they are, and become more in His power.
April 17, 2005
Subject: Gideon’s Call
Title: All the Power You Need
I want to begin today by telling you good news. God is in this church today. And because He is here, there is no obstacle big enough to keep us from becoming what He has expressly called us to be. If you have ever doubted as to whether we will ever make an impact on our town, I want you to consider this. Has the Holy Spirit ever moved in this church? Has God’s power to heal or provide or conquer ever been evident here? Maybe it has been so long that you wonder if it is possible for it to happen again. I’ve got good news for you. Jesus said, “Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to My Father.”
Ernest B. Beevers tells this story. In a seminary missions class, Herbert Jackson told how, as a new missionary, he was assigned a car that would not start without a push. After pondering his problem, he devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children out of class, and had them push his car off. As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years. Ill health forced the Jackson family to leave, and a new missionary came to that station. When Jackson proudly began to explain his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man began looking under the hood. Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary interrupted, "Why, Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble is this loose cable." He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, pushed the switch, and to Jackson’s astonishment, the engine roared to life. For two years needless trouble had become routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting that power to work. J.B. Phillips paraphrases Ephesians l:19-20, "How tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God." When we make firm our connection with God, his life and power flow through us.
When I was called to ministry the very first thing that came to my mind was, “How could God use someone as insignificant as me?” I still ask that question, but now the answer has become more evident. God uses the weak so His power may be established.
In our passage today we will see how God, once again, took an insignificant human and called him to a leadership position for the purpose of drawing people to Himself.
As we look today at the story of Gideon’s call, keep in mind that the same God who called Gideon has also called you, not because of your abilities, but in spite of them. When you are weak remember, God has all the power you need.
I. GOD’S ABIDING PRESENCE (11-16)
A. God’s Confidence in Times of Trouble. “11Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites.” This passage begins by showing the fear that Israel was living under at the time of Gideon. The Midianites oppressed Israel for seven years (6:1) Gideon was fearful that they would come and take away his grain. That is why he threshed wheat on the wine press floor. He was hiding it from the Midianites. Why had Israel fallen into such hard times? 6:1 says it was because the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. Yet God had not forsaken them. He was about to raise up a military leader to deliver them. And this leader was the most unlikely person. He was a farmer. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (quickview) , “27But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29that no flesh should glory in His presence.” Though God will always have a plan to deliver us HE doesn’t always use the most likely candidate to do it. “Man looks at outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” When God calls, HE is confident that the object of His calling can do the work. So why aren’t we confident? Verse 12 tells us how God looked upon Gideon. “12And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” God obviously saw something in Gideon that he failed to see in himself. That is the way it is for most of us. When the bible refers to “The Angel of the Lord” instead of “an angel” it is likely referring to a pre - incarnate visitation of the Lord Jesus Himself. In the Old Testament Jesus would take the form of a human and appear to God’s people.