Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Final message in the heroes series...

In Hebrews 11 we have this great list of people who lived by faith. They were just normal people, but because they trusted God with everything they had they became extraordinary! It wasn’t that they were special...it was that their faith was special. What I love about looking at their stories is that they do more than just inspire - they remind me that if I am willing to trust God with everything I have that I can be like them...

This morning I want us to look at verses 32 and a man named Gideon. (Read Hebrews 11:32)

The writer of Hebrews is about done with talking about the importance of faith - and he says, “I don’t even have time to tell you about the lessons we could learn from” - and he lists a bunch of names... One of which is Gideon!

I have to tell you, I love the story of Gideon! I’ve loved it ever since I was a boy... Israel had wandered off from God. They had actually turned to worshiping other Gods and so God had given them over to the Midianites. They were a brutal people! Life was hard, and the people began to cry out to God - and when God answered everyone was probably surprised! ...because instead of something dramatic - he chooses a boy!

Here’s lesson number 1 this morning: No one is too small to be used by God

One of our great weaknesses is getting caught up in the trap of believing that God only uses powerful, good looking, wise, or fill in the blank, right? We say, “I’m not a celebrity, I’m not rich, I’m not ____________ whatever - so God wouldn’t ever use me...”

(Judges 6:14-17) Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.” Gideon replied, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me.”

The past few days, our leadership team and staff attended a conference here in town called the leadership summit. In the closing session, Bill Hybels preached about the impact of a little woman - this one little nun named Mother Theresa. The impact of her life made big ripples! She left a huge wake... But she was very small and seemingly very insignificant - BUT - she was fully devoted to God. As a matter of fact, one of her personal vows to God was “I will refuse you nothing.” Anything you want to ask Lord, the answer is yes...

I think that God is looking for people like that - In 1 Chronicles 16:9 - it says “The eyes of the Lord are roaming to and fro over the earth in order to strengthen those hearts that are fully committed to Him.” God is on the lookout for men and women who say, “Lord, here I am - I give you my all”

But listen to this... You will have doubts. You will have things that will rock your faith. You will have questions that you will not be able to answer... Gideon needed proof and so he asked for a sign!

By the way, in the past year there was a book that came out the chronicled Mother Theresa’s doubts... Even she had moments and days and weeks where she felt as if God was silent and distant.

Gideon lays out a fleece in Judges 6:36-40. He had already felt and heard from God, but he still needed reassurance...

When I got my calling to go into ministry, I really didn’t want it. I had heard God, but I had so many doubts, so many questions - I needed reassurance big time. I remember reading this story about Gideon one night and deciding to lay out a fleece of my own! Of course, all I could find was a pink bath towel - but that was enough! I carried it outside and prayed over it and laid it on the lawn... The next morning, at the crack of noon I ran outside to go find out if God had answered, but it wasn’t there - my father had seen a towel in the yard when he left for work and thrown it inside... I took that as a definite maybe!

We all have doubts - learn to wait patiently on the Lord and he will answer you...

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