Summary: Enemies . . . you have them. You need them. You must be aware of them and handle them correctly. Welcome to the fight!
Pt. 4 – Enemy Earned
Over the course of this series I have tried to make you aware that you have enemies. There is no way to avoid this truth. I have also tried to share some thoughts with you about how to spot your enemy. I have tried to teach you that you can’t become tolerant of your enemy. I have also tried to help you change your perspective about having an enemy so that you will realize that having an enemy actually makes you stronger and better! This morning I want to wrap this series up by challenging you to shake off apathetic and safe living so that you can earn an enemy.
TEXT: Judges 6:24-30; 7:9-14
24 So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 25 That same night the LORD said to him, "Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of altar to the LORD your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering." 27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the LORD told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the men of the town, he did it at night rather than in the daytime. 28 In the morning when the men of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar! 29 They asked each other, "Who did this?" When they carefully investigated, they were told, "Gideon son of Joash did it." 30 The men of the town demanded of Joash, "Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it."
9-12 That night, GOD told Gideon: "Get up and go down to the camp. I’ve given it to you. If you have any doubts about going down, go down with Purah your armor bearer; when you hear what they’re saying, you’ll be bold and confident." He and his armor bearer Purah went down near the place where sentries were posted. Midian and Amalek, all the easterners, were spread out on the plain like a swarm of locusts. And their camels! Past counting, like grains of sand on the seashore! 13 Gideon arrived just in time to hear a man tell his friend a dream. He said, "I had this dream: A loaf of barley bread tumbled into the Midianite camp. It came to the tent and hit it so hard it collapsed. The tent fell!" 14 His friend said, "This has to be the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite! God has turned Midian—the whole camp!—over to him."
II. Enemy Earned
a. Make them murder mad.
If Gideon had done nothing (like he always had) no one would have opposed him and no one would have wanted to kill him and the Israelites would have stayed in bondage.
When was last time someone tried to kill you? I am going to make a very blunt and bold statement . . . If you don’t have someone/something trying to kill you (emotionally, spiritually, relationally) then you aren’t really following Christ wholeheartedly!
Nobody opposed the disciples until they earned an enemy. Nobody tried to stop their travels, no one tried to intimidate them, and no one wanted to crucify them, beat them, or behead them until they did something! Have you ever noticed that while they were fishing for fish no one bothered them? Once they started fishing for men they earned an enemy!
One man said correctly that “The best people in almost any field are almost always the people who get the most criticism.” He goes onto say, “Focus on impact, not approval. If you believe you can change the world, which I hope you do, do what you believe is right and expect resistance and expect attackers!”
Do Something . . . Risk Something
We fail to be resisted because we fail to believe that we can change the world. Your level of opposition reveals your level of risk.
I am concerned because some of you have no enemies. That is a clear indication that you aren’t really doing anything for God. Everyone likes you, everyone wants you in the room, and everyone accepts you. Jesus was crystal clear about this fact . . . at the moment we follow Him completely we would be hated. Too many of us are not hated!