As God’s people, we are living in a time where everything is changing. But how thankful that we can come to worship God like this, in church and through Zoom. Nothing can limit us from worshipping God.
In our life, we worry over many things especially during this time of Covid pandemic. Many people think that Covid is a thing of the past, then suddenly this new variant Omicron comes up! We must have confidence in God and know that God uses crises and challenges to catch our attention. The last two years is no different, it was a time of trial for all of us.
The presence of God is truly having the favour of God. Even a minute of the presence of God is worth many years of our labour.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that all scripture is from God and it teaches us what is right and the truth. It corrects us and tells us how to get right, and stay on the right path.
During the time of Gideon, the Israelites were oppressed and tormented for seven years by the Midianites. Scripture tells us that Gideon was afraid and fearful, hiding, threshing wheat in the winepress. The winepress was the wrong place to thresh wheat, yet Gideon did it because he was worried about what might happen if the Midianites saw him. God’s choice to use him was an unlikely choice. Yet when the angel of the Lord appeared to him, He said, “The presence of the Lord is with you, mighty warrior”.
So, he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”(Judges 6:15 NKJ)
God called Gideon a “mighty warrior” but he doubted it so much, saying: “Pardon me Lord….” He also gave excuses that he can’t do it, saying his tribe is the smallest, he is the least, and that he is not qualified. But the Lord turned to him and said, “Go! I will be with you!”
The Promise of God’s Presence
The Lord is with us, even right now in these challenging times. Gideon did not stay in discouragement; he did not stay in the winepress worrying. He believed in the promise of God’s presence and went forward.
As people of God, we have a destiny to fulfil – to become warriors of God! And not stay as worriers. We have a message of hope through today’s word, and in this season let us share this message of hope with others.
Gideon was not the only one who doubted, Moses also did the same thing, he said he cannot speak well and God replied, “I will send Aaron with you”. The prophet Jeremiah also told God when he was called, that he cannot speak for he is a child.
God knows our weaknesses better than us, so our excuses are not valid with Him. With the enablement of God, we can do the impossible. Today God gave us the same promise He gave to Gideon, and to Moses, “Surely I will be with you!”
The presence of God makes us men and women of courage. Even in this time that we are living in. just as God promised Joshua, He will also be with us! We need to be strong and courageous!
“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. (Joshua 1:5 NKJ)
Jehovah- Shalom – The Lord is my Peace (Judges 6:24)
This is the promise God and Jesus gave us, what a great promise! Now the world is again in panic mode because of the new variant. We need the God of peace now; Jesus will give us His peace! We must have a correct understanding of peace. Peace is not the absence of calamity; peace is the very presence of God in our lives, God that resides in our hearts. We need to know the God of peace so that we can overcome all the storms in our lives (Philippians 4:7,9).
For Gideon to be a warrior, he needed this fresh encounter with God. God opened his eyes and he realised God is with him. We too need to have this fresh encounter with God and have a quickening in our hearts daily in our lives. We all need an encounter with God, that He may proclaim Himself in our lives! That God is Jehovah- Shammah in our lives. So that in our faith life, we can be a warrior for Him and not a worrier. Gideon built an altar there and he worshipped the Lord. An altar is a place of worship, sacrifice, and offering – this is so beautiful to God.
Worrying gives you something to do but you go nowhere. Between warrior and worrier, there is a middle ground, another word starting with “w”- it is Worshipper!
The Provision of God’s Power
But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him. (Judges 6:34 NKJ)
Earlier we read that Gideon is so afraid and hiding in the winepress. But now, he was sounding the trumpet, that is a call for war! Now Gideon is ready! And the Lord says to gather the people, and 32,000 men gathered but God said that is too many for Me. Not for men but too many for God, in the end, God selected only 300 men, those who drank water by bringing their hands up to their mouths. And these 300 faced 135,000 of their enemy soldiers and gained victory.
Do More With Less!
This is an important principle I want to leave you with. Accomplishing God’s purpose is not with the bottom line of our financial statement, is not by the size of our congregation, or the efficiency of our plans. We have a story to tell because we have an amazing God; our God always do more with less! Don’t be discouraged if our sanctuary isn’t full, or if you’re the only believer at home. Because God can do mighty work, don’t be discouraged; do more with less! The key is so that we can boast of Him and not boast of ourselves.
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24 NKJ)
Our God Himself deserves all the glory and all the honour! In these difficult times, God is calling us to not hide in our winepresses but to go share the Word of God for Him. How can we do so? God has promised us He is always with us, and He is Jehovah- Shalom and He is our peace. So let us walk out of the sanctuary of God as a warrior, because He is with us!