Has God given you dreams about your future? Have you sought His will for your life? Has there been a hope in your heart that you can not lay down? Most of us who have known The Lord for any length of time, have learned to wait on God to do His will in our lives. Waiting is the hardest part. There was a time in my life, when due to a stroke, I could not speak, although I could understand everything that was going on around me. At that time, the Holy Spirit was doing the talking, and I was listening.
He showed me times, that He had been speaking to me. This had happened much more than I realized. I should have done so many things differently, but I was too afraid to do God’s will. Through that experience, I began to comprehend, that I could have done so much more for the kingdom of God. If I would have believed that He was there, urging me to do His will, some things would have turned out differently. It is true that it takes time to hear The Master’s voice and obey. I became painfully aware of the fact, that I had been hearing Him for many years, but not living as though I had faith and complete confidence in my relationship with Him.
Since that time, I have thrown down the gauntlet. I am going to live with the knowledge that God loves me, and that He will be faithful to help me walk in the plan that He has for my life. Furthermore, if I make a mistake, He is also able, to stop me in my tracks, and turn me the right way. Everyday, I ask Him to guide me. He will do that through His Word and by His Spirit. I am convinced that He wants us to live our lives with GREAT FAITH! I will answer to Him someday, and no one else. I am going to live earnestly, with excitement, and guided by the Hand of God!
Recently, Ed and I discussed a story in the Bible, that talks about one man who did just that. At first he was afraid. But God encouraged him. He tested God to make sure he was hearing Him. Then, even though he was afraid, he went out to do God’s will, and won a great victory. Here’s that story.
Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, and other eastern tribes, would camp out in the land and ruin the crops and every living thing, including all of the animals. The Israelites cried out to God for help. So God went, disguised as a prophet, to a righteous man, named Gideon. The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”
Notice that as Gideon was hiding from the Midianites, the Lord called him MIGHTY WARRIOR. God saw him as He was, even before he had accomplished all of God’s purposes. He looked into Gideon’s heart. He was a MIGHTY WARRIOR. What has God told you that you are? Does he call you MIGHTY WARRIOR? Surely, He has put things in your heart, that you have not seen come to pass yet, just like He did in Gideon’s heart. Or maybe God has called you by your true name, and you are afraid.
Now Gideon wanted to give the prophet a meal, and when the prophet struck the food with fire, Gideon knew that the prophet was really, The Lord. Gideon said to God, “I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece, and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” That night God did so. The fleece was dry, and all the ground was covered with dew.
God was not angry with Gideon, as he put a fleece before Him, and did it a second time, to make sure He was in God’s will. Likewise, He is not angry with us for searching out His will today. We can present a fleece before the Lord, when asking Him for answers to important decisions. My advice when you do a fleece, is to put a time limit on it. Don’t ask for something bad to happen if God answers your fleece a certain way. Then believe He will answer!
So Gideon knew for certain that he was supposed to go to war against the Midianites. He took the men of Israel with him. God told Gideon to send home any man, who was afraid, so twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. God told him to sort out the men further, because there were still too many. They went to the water, The LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped the water, putting their hands to their mouths, I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others. The only way that Gideon, and the Israelites could accomplish their task, was with God’s help. God wanted to do a miracle!
Now the camp of Midian lay below him in the valley. During that night the LORD said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.” God wanted Gideon to be confident in what He was going to do. He wants us to have that same confidence in Him.
Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. “I had a dream,” he was saying. “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.” His friend responded, “This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon, son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.” When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped God. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, “Get up! The LORD has given the Midianite camp into your hands.”
Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside. “Watch me,” he told them. “Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon.’” Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands, and holding in their right hands, the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. They killed one another.
Gideon and his men pursued those who had escaped, and killed all the men in the land who stood against Israel and God. Gideon lived to be an old man. He was a true warrior, first in his heart. God put a call his life, which he fulfilled. God said to him, I will be with you, and He was. He made the impossible happen on purpose. Doesn’t the scripture tell us, “Faith is the essence of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen?” According to the Word of God, isn’t that because He has put FAITH in our hearts? YES, God has put faith in our hearts, to hope for the things He is going to do.
Scripture reference: Judges Chapters 6 & 7