Summary: God will use you accoring to what He wants you to do and in His power.
September 16, 2007
Text: Judges 6:7-24
Subject: Knowing Who You Are
Title: Who Are You? - You Are More Than You Think
Jack was walking along a steep cliff one day, when he accidentally got too close to the edge and fell. On the way down he grabbed a branch, which temporarily stopped his fall. He looked down and to his horror saw that the canyon fell straight down for more than a thousand feet. He couldn’t hang onto the branch forever, and there was no way for him to climb up the steep wall of the cliff. So Jack began yelling for help, hoping that someone passing by would hear him and lower a rope or something.
HELP! HELP! Is anyone up there? "HELP!"
He yelled for a long time, but no one heard him. He was about to give up when he heard a voice. Jack, Jack. Can you hear me?"
"Yes, yes! I can hear you. I’m down here!"
"I can see you, Jack. Are you all right?"
"Yes, but who are you, and where are you?
"I am the Lord, Jack. I’m everywhere."
"The Lord? You mean, GOD?"
"God, please help me! I promise if, you’ll get me down from here, I’ll stop sinning. I’ll be a really good person. I’ll serve You for the rest of my life."
"Easy on the promises, Jack. Let’s get you off from there; then we can talk."
"Now, here’s what I want you to do. Listen carefully."
"I’ll do anything, Lord. Just tell me what to do."
"Okay. Let go of the branch.""What?" "I said, let go of the branch. Just trust Me. Let go."
There was a long silence.
Finally Jack yelled, "HELP! HELP! IS ANYONE ELSE UP THERE?"
Last week I challenged you to do something. I called the church to a time of prayer and fasting. I told you the church would be opened up every morning and evening for prayer. I challenged you to take the time to get a good look at yourself and ask the very personal question, “Who am I?” Once you see who you are then you can seek to find who God is and finally who you are in Christ. The reason that I want you to see who you are in Christ is that until you get to that place in your life you end up being like Jack, holding on for dear life. That is not the kind of life that God has in store for you. God intends for you to be a people of faith, a people who can hear His message, believe His promises, experience His power, receive His favor, and see the proof of all those things manifest themselves in your life.
Today we look at the calling of Gideon to be a deliverer for Israel. I want you to understand this one thing. The spiritual climate of Israel in the time of the judges is given in Judges 17:6, 6In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. That sounds very much like the attitude that prevails today, even in the church.
Open your hearts to receive a blessing from God today.
I. GOD’S MESSAGE IS FOR ALL TO HEAR. (7-10) Israel is under the oppression of the Midianites. Of course in hindsight we see that their oppression came because they turned away from the Lord and chased after other gods. Verse 6, 6Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the LORD for help. Isn’t it amazing that people always know what to do in times of trouble? They cried out to God. God sends them a prophet to speak His word. Before you can be delivered from your oppression you must hear the Word of God. 7When the Israelites cried to the LORD because of Midian, 8he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 9I snatched you from the power of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove them from before you and gave you their land. 10I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.” What the Lord spoke through the prophet is the same word that He is speaking to the church today. Don’t you know that I recorded all those miracles and healings and signs and wonders in My word for your benefit? Don’t you know that I have given you a record of those things to strengthen your faith? Don’t you know what I have done in the past I will do again? Why do you think that we have all those things written in the Bible? 1 Corinthians 10 says that all the bad things that came as a result of disobedience were recorded as a warning so that we would not fall into the same trap. The works of Jesus are recorded as a testimony to who He is and who He has called us to be. They are faith builders. The message given by this unnamed prophet was to prepare the nation for the deliverance to come. That’s a biblical cycle – first the word then the work then the word. The works confirm the word. The word brings forth the supernatural works. The works draw attention so the word can go out again. God’s message is one for all to hear. It is a message of repentance. But you have not listened to me. Now do something about it!