Summary: The power of your greatest potential hinges on one simple thing. Are you available to God?
INTRO: 1. Few understand the level of the Oppression the children of Israel faced at the hand of the Midianites - Prisoners in the Promised Land.
a. Problem was not the Midianites
b. Problem was not the world around them.
c. The Problem was that the Children of Israel had stopped being available to God.
2. Too many believers today live like prisoners in the land where God has given great and precious promises.
3. But soon Gideon would make himself available to God.
4. When we make ourselves available, we will regain our stance, our land, our abundance.
5. God ordained a showdown and invited all the opposing forces to participate and 135,000 showed up thinking it was there own idea.
6. Gideon called what seemed to be a suitable force by physical standards of a mere 32,000.
a. But God doesn’t choose armies, but individuals.
7. Like the Church today large enough to accomplish almost anything, but few have made themselves available.
8. God chose only 300 out of the 32,000.
9. What does it take to be truly available for God’s use? What does God look for in His instruments?
10. The Men God chose to use were men who were “living on call”.
a. ILL. My brother-in-law finds himself ‘on call’ some weekends - he’s given a beeper, the plant knows that he’s available at a moments notice no matter what he’s doing or were he’s heading.
b. Are you willing to in a moments notice drop all and pursue God’s revealed will.
I. THE GLORY OF OUR AVAILABILITY IS OUR INABILITY
a. Although 32,00 seemed small compared to 135,000 - they still thought they were able.
b. God wished to remove their ability.
A. GOD SEES OUR INABILITY AS HIS OPPORTUNITY
1. Chooses the most unlikely candidates: Gideon, David, the 12 Disciples.
2. God’s not impressed with our resumes
3. God does not choose us in spite of our inabilities, but often because of them.
B. GOD REFUSES TO TAKE OUR INABILITIES AS EXCUSES
1. Gideon - “Am I not sending you?”
2. It doesn’t matter what we take or were we’ve been - but who sent us.
3. Paul had learned to abound in his inabilities
2 Cor 12:9 And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
C. EVEN OUR TALENTS AND ABILITIES ARE TAINTED UNLESS ENERGIZED BY THE SPIRIT.
1. Hebrew - “The Spirit of the Lord clothed himself with Gideon”.
2. Not by power, nor by might, but by My Spirit..
II. THE GREATEST OBSTACLE TO OUR AVAILABILITY IS OUR FEARS
a. 32,000 thinned to 10,000 when asked to face their fears.
b. 10,000 were not fearless, but refused to let it become a hindrance.
A. THE MAJORITY WILL ALWAYS CHOOSE THE WARMTH OF SECURITY
1. ILL. Rich Young Ruler refused Christ for safer life.
2. ILL. Children Of Israel refused the Promised Land by choosing the “safe” way.
3. God’s will doesn’t always flow in the boundaries of safety.
B. FEAR PRODUCES THREE THINGS
1. It will Paralyze our lives.
2. It will Confuse our lives.
3. It will Repel us from life.
C. BUT THE SPIRITS WORK IN US WILL DESTROY THE AFFECTS OF FEAR IN OUR LIVES.
2 Ti. 1:7 For God has no given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind
1. Spirit of Power will destroy the Paralysis
2. Spirit of a sound Mind will destroy the confusion
3. Spirit of Perfect love will cast out all fear and compel us to march into God’s will.
III. THE FOCUS OF OUR AVAILABILITY MUST BE THE NEEDS OF OTHERS.
a. This time around he thins the numbers again with a test.
b. Those who drank with their face to the waters was not concerned with anything but
c. It’s time to look up and look around us.
A. WHEN WE LOOK AROUND US WE REMEMBER WHY WE’RE HERE.
1. The 300 could see the poverty and oppression in the men around them.
2. Jesus didn’t come to build great Cathedrals, but to touch the hurting.
3. There are multitudes of oppressed, prisoners that God wants to touch through us.
4. We’ll stop seeking just to be blessed and start seeking to be a blessing.
B. WHEN WE LOOK AROUND US WE WILL ALWAYS FIND AN OPPORTUNITY TO MINISTER
1. Those with their faces to the water couldn’t see those who couldn’t reach the water or the enemy dragging them away.
2. Christ didn’t have to look for people to minister to, they were all around him.