Summary: A sermon to Challenge the listener to trust the Lord and be a willing servant, even when we are not sure of our own abilities.
I. Gideon: Learning to Trust God
a. Judges 6:1-8:3 – Kodak moment: girl at the pool w/dad, trusting dad to catch her.
II. GIDEON THE COWARD 6:1-24
a. Israel is in bondage to the Midianites
b. They are fearful and trapped in the mountain caves 1-10
c. God sends the Angel of the Lord (v.13)
d. But Gideon is bitter, discouraged, and blames God for all their troubles. (V.13)
i. The Angel calls Gideon a Mighty Warrior, but is he? - God treats him that way!
ii. My Fair Lady – Eliza Doolittle, "The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves but how she is treated. I will always be a flower girl to Mr. Higgins, because he always treats me that way."
e. He is making excuses and asking for signs.
f. Gideon doesn’t STAY a coward.
g. God changes him to a challenger of false worship.
III. GIDEON THE CHALLENGER 6:25-32
a. God challenges Gideon to “be all he can be!”
i. First he had to deal with his own personal sin - Baal altar in his own town
ii. Then he could lead the nation back to God
b. God is challenging us to “be all we can be” in Christ.
i. As individual Christians and as a Church.
ii. He sees beyond what we are now to what we can become.
c. God is calling us to tear down the idols in our lives
i. Challenge ourselves first and then others about our relationship to Jesus
d. God will never use a “secret saint” to win his battles.
IV. GIDEON THE CONQUEROR (6:33-8:3)
a. First, Gideon conquers all his fears
b. Then, God thins out the ranks… 32,000 men
i. Those who are afraid are told to go home- 22,000
ii. Then the army is cut right down to 300
c. God won’t use the careless and un-vigilant
d. Then there is the Dream of the Barley Bread
i. I dream of bread…
e. 300 men with only lamps and trumpets?
f. But that was enough to frighten the Midianites out of their wits, and give the victory to God and Israel.
V. When God goes to battle…
a. Throw away the odds!
VI. Some observations from the story of Gideon
a. God is always looking for men and women of faith, who are willing to trust God and let Him use them.
b. God isn’t looking for perfect people - just people who want to be molded and used in His service.
c. Gideon gives us all hope that we too can be winners.
d. People of fear make excuses. People of Faith say- HERE AM I SEND ME! Let’s put our trust in God and it will amaze us what we can do for God and what God will do for us.
Monty Robbins tours the country demonstrating an interesting technique in breaking in horses which have never been ridden. He explains to his audience that through a series of words, hand signals, and eye contact he will communicate with the horse and ultimately gain the trust of the horse. The traditional way of breaking a horse is to weight the horse down for hours and sometime even days until the will of the horse is broken. This "language" he uses gains the trust of the horse as he and the horse are reconciled together. He will demonstrate his technique by telling his audience that he will reconcile with a horse which has never been ridden, saddle, and ride the horse within 30 minutes. And he does so every time. Once he has ridden the horse he will ask the crowd, sometimes of 2,000 or more people, to begin screaming, stomping, and making loud noise at his command. The crowd will do as he says causing the horse to panic and run wild. As the horse runs wild he will once again "communicate" with the horse and the horse will come over by his side and Monty will get on the calm horse while all of the noise is going on. Monty explains that this is because he has reconciled with the horse and gained the trust of the horse.
We need to learn to listen to the voice of God and trust in Him!