GIDEONíS ARMY

I believe that the example of Gideonís Army deserves our wider consideration here. In Judges 6:6 we read that Israel was brought very low because of the hand of Midian who had prevailed over them for 7 years. They were powerless to do anything about their situation and they cried out to God to help them in their plight. God moved on a man who was from the smallest tribe of Israel, from within its weakest clan, and who was the least in his family. Hardly a promising figure through whom God would work to deliver Israel in its near hopeless situation. But as we see so many times God chooses the things that are not to bring to nought the things that are (1 Cori 1:28). As we also see he was at the time of his calling a man lacking in faith (6:36) and fearful (6:27, 7:10), in other words probably like most of us, but God saw within him someone with the potential to do great exploits for Him. Though he had fears and doubts he was, nevertheless, prepared to "take risks for God" because he was so burdened about the dominance of the enemy over his land, and was no longer content just to hear of the past deeds of the Lord which his fathers had recounted to him (6:13). God calls him first of all to bind the power of the spiritual forces of darkness by destroying the altar of Baal and Asherah, and then when the Spirit takes hold of him, he blows the trumpet, sounding forth the call to battle against the enemy. He doesnít attempt to liaise with others over Godís calling, because if he had tried to do so by perhaps holding a national conference on the issue he would no doubt have been dismissed out of hand. The answer to the nationís dire situation was clearly not one that could be solved by human methods and ingenuity but only by supernatural means. Initially the call was made to his fellow clan, and then as he increases in confidence to the rest of his tribe, and then to the surrounding tribes. Having further validated his call (6:36) he moves forward in faith, again without consulting anybody, and doesnít attempt at this stage to involve any of the other tribes of Israel such as Ephraim, and doesnít do so until the victory is secured, at least in part. It is then that he finds himself severely chided by the Ephraimites for not involving them in the initial call to battle, and he could so easily have been discouraged by this vicious attack on him. On the contrary he refuses to be drawn into this, or to be side-tracked in any way by this opposition, or by the subsequent problems at Succoth or Penuel, because he knew what God had called him to do. Instead of this he sets his sight on the ultimate victory over the enemy by seeking to capture the two kings of Midian and the remainder of the Midianite army because he knows that unless he does so freedom for his land would not be secured.

I love this story because it shows us what God can, and is only too willing to do with individuals and small groups of people, whoever they are, who are completely open to Him and willing to be used by Him in any way He directs, even if it does mean stepping out of the boat and walking on water. Edward Jeffreys and his team were one such group, who like Gideon moved forward in faith, once they were sure of their calling. From a human point of view it was completely illogical for Gideon and his army of 300 men to take on the might of the Midianite army, and it could also be said that it was unwise and foolhardy of Edward Jeffreys to embark on such a venture with a team of only 2 people. Had he tried to arrange a conference on what God had called him to do he would no doubt have been very much discouraged from doing anything. But both these men, however, were so sure of their calling and in the process of time God vindicated them in their step of faith.

Our country today is very much in the grip of the enemy and I believe that the need today is for God to raise up "Gideons" and "Gideonís Armies" in our land, men and women with the call of God on their lives who are crying out to God over the dire spiritual need of our land and who will -:

  1. Take risks for God, firstly by binding the spiritual forces of darkness that are gripping and dominating our towns and cities, and who will then by faith "blow the trumpet" in order to take the land for Jesus, whatever the cost.
  2. Will not be discouraged by any opposition on the way but will not rest until Godís purposes are fulfilled, and their towns and cities are truly taken for Jesus.
  3. Will only listen to God rather than men, who will be led by the Spirit rather than be influenced by human logic and reasoning.

As with Israel at the time of Gideon the awful situation we are in today will not be solved by human methods (we have tried to do so for too long) but only by a supernatural moving of God. It is no longer sufficient just to hear and read of the revivals of the past, wonderful as they are, but we need to see these things again in our day.

Let us pray, therefore, that God will raise up such people in the desperate days in which we live, because I donít believe that anything else will do.

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