~~And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” Judges 6:12~~
These were the words spoken to Gideon. God called him to rescue the people of Israel from the Midianites. (Judges 6,7,8)
GOD PREPARED GIDEON FOR BATTLE AGAINST THE ENEMY
I. The first thing that God told him to do, was go onto his father’s property, and to PULL DOWN THE ALTER TO BAAL, and the Asherah that was with it. (An Asherah is a totem pole, that the people would performed erotic acts around it.) God wanted his people to destroy their idols, and worship Him first, and only.
When we are facing a battle, we need to make sure that we have destroyed the idols in our lives, and that we are worshipping only God.
II. Next Gideon was told to BUILD AN ALTER TO GOD UPON THE STRONGHOLD there. The Greek word for stronghold, taken literally, means a fortress. To a Christian Jesus and our Salvation is our Stronghold. That is the solid foundation that we build upon.
A. The term Stronghold is also used in the Bible, also as a metaphor to represent things that are based only on human confidence or pride, as opposed to those that rely on God’s input and guidance.
B. When something that has a “strong hold” over a person, they have no control over it and cannot seem to stop doing it!
1.) Examples of Some Strongholds-Eph. 4:22-23 lists some: lying, stealing, corrupt communication, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamors, slander and malice. Other obvious examples of sinful activity that can become strongholds are unforgiveness, bitterness, grief, disappointment, addictions, feelings of rejection, negative self-image, depression, illicit sexual activity and occult involvement.
2.) Strongholds are walls or fortresses around beliefs and emotions to protect us from further pain. An important part of healing and transforming the deep wounds, requires divinely pulling down the strongholds.
C. WE CAN PULL THE STRONGHOLDS DOWN
1.) In Prayer…
“For though we walk in the flesh we do not war after the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:3-5
2.) By Binding the Enemy…
Some Strongholds can be spiritual, and we come against them in prayer, in name of Jesus, and by the blood of Jesus.
But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house. Mark 3:27
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matt.16:1
3.) By Submitting to God and Resisting the Devil…
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
III. God told Gideon to make a SACRIFICE to Him. Gideon made a burnt offering by building a fire on the alter and sacrificing a bull to the Lord. As the offering was consumed in fire and the smoke arose, the Lord, the Lord accepted Gideon’s offering to Him. Since Jesus was the final Sacrifice, we not longer sacrifice animals. But our sacrificial offerings are build upon Jesus, and our Salvation. Here are some scriptures to suggest how to sacrifice to God.
- And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Mark 12:33
- I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2
- And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Eph. 5:2
- Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrew 13:15-16
- You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5
- And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22
4:5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.
50:14-15 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
107:21-22 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!
141:2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
References: Carey Kennon; Olivia Wright