Archive for April, 2016

THE GIDEON COMPANY(Pt.3)

“Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You.” And He said, “I will wait until you come back.””(‭‭Judges‬ ‭6:18‬ NKJV)

For Gideon, it was no light thing that he should receive a  heavenly visitation. He knew in some way that God had heard the cry for deliverance from His people. We must understand that true national revival always begins first with God’s people. In other words, it’s no point in hoping that  the moral or spiritual values of our culture will change until WE BECOME THE CHANGE we long to see.  How does Gideon begin the change?  By way of altars.
ALTAR OF DEDICATION
He first establishes a personal altar. He consecrates himself fully by bringing out that which is very costly(“Meat, bread…broth”-Judges 6:18-24). King David,as well, understood the cost of a sacrificial altar. As leader of Israel,he understood his personal responsibility in time of a national crisis, “I will not offer that which cost me nothing”(2 Samuel 24:24). He understood that “a service that counts is a service that costs”.
ALTAR DESTROYED
Gideon was instructed to “Pull down the altar of Baal”, in his father’s backyard(Judges 6:25-32). How often it is true, that the thing that is the “power base” for strongholds and iniquitous patterns within communities or regions are close to home.  If you want true revival you must understand that God will have no revival “gods”. Tear down the altars…Get rid the idols!

ALTARS OF REDEDICATION
Once Gideon had removed the offense from before the eyes of the LORD God, like the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 18), he rebuilds an altar to the true God of Israel. This results in the legal ground of their enemies being removed from their Land and God returning to lead them into victory.

We need to follow Gideon’s example: A time of Personal dedication, A time of Demolition of all idols followed by A time of REDEDICATION to God. Only this will bring deliverance in time of spiritual and moral defeat.

(C) Copyright 2016, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared provided that it is not sold nor altered in anyway from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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THE GIDEON COMPANY(Pt.2)

ANATOMY OF A DELIVERER
(Judges 6:10-16)

COURAGE
It was no fun and games for God’s people.  Their sins had found them out. The Midianites and their unholy alliance had moved in once again to pillage & devastate the Land. God had once again got Israel’s attention.   God’s people begin to cry out to the true God.  God responded by sender his messenger, a prophet who calls them to return to the LORD God. Meanwhile, there is an unseen figure “hiding over in the winepress…beating out wheat”;saving it for God’s people. So,too, today God has a people who are pushing past their fears and timidity and are taking daring action in this hour. In time of darkness and the enemy’s encroachment they are arising to the challenge. History records there have always been those nameless,faceless ones making selfless sacrifices to release people from seeming, certain defeat.  They often bring people through to great and unprecedented victory!  Jean D’Arc,Washington, Lincoln, Churchill and Patton to name a few.  Many more,like Gideon, may be in hiding but they have not been idle. What have they been doing? In their hiddenness, they have been “beating out the wheat” of God’s Word. The psalmist declared, “Thy Word have I hidden in my heart that I might sin  against Thee”(Psalm 119:11).  Someone noted from this text:  The psalmist hid “The best treasure,in the best place, for the best reason”.
CONTROVERSY
Perhaps the courageous act of Gideon, defiantly preserving food to sustain his people, who had gone underground from their enemies drew heaven’s attention. The angel of the LORD visits Gideon (apparently in a human disguise) assuring him that God was with him.  Gideon responds in true humility and yet frustration. “If the LORD God is with US then, Why has all this happen to us?” And “Where is the God of Miracles (Who Delivered Us from the Hands of our Enemies in times past)?”  He shows that inspite of their dyer circumstances, he still believed in a God of miraculous intervention. He understood that the LORD God-Almighty is the Everlasting, Unchanging One; He Who delivered His people in the past is able to do so presently.   If we can believe, we will see the same God that moves mountains and defeats our enemies.  The Good Book says, “The LORD is a Man of War” and is ready to enter into our battle today when He hears our sincere cry. Again the writer to the Hebrew Believers says, “Jesus Christ the SAME yesterday, TODAY and forever”(Hebrews 13:8).  Do we believe it today?

COMMISSION
The angel of the LORD gives Gideon the insight:  God gives those who are available the privilege of participating in His victories in the earth.  He loves to call those things that are not as though they were. “The LORD is with thee, thou Mighty man of Valor”Judges 6:12)! Whenever God wants to deal with that which opposes His Kingdom in the earth, He uses people like you and me.  The apostle Paul declared, ““For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong”(‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:26-27‬ ‭NASB‬‬). God loves increasing His strength in our weakness in order that all glory is His in victory.  This was Gideon’s Commission, “Go in this thy strength…Have I not sent thee?”(Judges 6: 14).  The LORD God’s commission has not changed for those who will hear and obey.  D.L. Moody, that great Revivalist & Evangelist, who had no former degrees of training behind his name (He only had a 7th grade education). And yet it is estimated that over 100,000 were personally led into the Kingdom through his witness.  When asked, “What was his secret?”  He explained, “The Gospel commands the sinner to “Come!” and the believer to ‘Go!”.   How’s your obedience?

 

(C) Copyright 2016, Walter fletcher all rights reserved.  This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold nor altered from its original content.  Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

 

THE GIDEON COMPANY (Pt. 1)

“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.”(Proverbs 29:2 NIV).

The Book of Judges is a very curious Book of the Bible. It can best be summarized as the story of reoccurring Cycles of Defeat, Bondage and Rescue by God’s chosen deliverer. One of the lengthiest recorded periods is found in Judges Chapters 6-8. It is recorded after Israel, God’s people, had enjoyed forty years of peace and prosperity under God (Judges 5:31).  The number forty in the Bible often speaks of a generation. So we see that a whole generation, while they faithfully obeyed the LORD (His Word and His Ways) experienced peace and freedom in the Land. God would reiterate this to His people through the prophet Isaiah, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the Land”(Isaiah 1:19). But apparently, they forgot and strayed to their own devices.

AMALGAMATION OF THE WICKED

The Book of Judges, Chapter 6, opens with this tragic statement, “Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years, and the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel”(Judges 6:1-2a).  This affected them to such an extent that they went underground; “hiding in dens and caves and mountain strongholds”. They had been ensnared by the evil of Idolatry. Thus their enemies were given “legal ground” to persecute and oppress them, which was not what the LORD had ordained for his people (Read Judges 6:2-6).  The reality should be, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion”(Proverbs 28:1 NIV).  What a reversal of events.

The Midianites, the Amalakites, and the sons of the East were an amalgamation of the wicked. They hated God and His people.  But,please understand, the Israelites were not (ultimately) defeated by their surrounding enemies. They themselves were the true cause of their defeat. They began to worship “the gods of the Amorites”(Judges 6:10).  

Wherever you have idolatry, it results in a culture of immorality and the murder of the innocent. The commentary is made clear concerning the effect of Israel’s idolatry. “So Israel was brought very low”(Judges 6:6a NAS).  They had “sown to the wind and now were reaping the whirlwinds”.

ISRAEL’S CRY

But all was not lost. God would use what was meant for evil by the enemy and turn it for good.  Israel’s humiliation at the hand of their enemies caused them to humble themselves before the LORD God.  “Israel cried to the LORD”(Judges 6:6b NAS). This got God’s attention.

GOD’S REPLY

God’s answers their cry to heaven. “The LORD sent a prophet”(Judges 6:8). The prophet was more than a “Proclaimer of Truth”. He was also a “Pointer of the Way”, back to God.  All the true prophets were what A.W. Tozer called “God’s moral emergency men”. They appeared (often) out of the hidden place to be revealed in the public place. They were somewhat like the “Town Crier” of old who shouted the time of the day, only the prophet announced what TIME it was, spiritually speaking.  If God’s people would humble themselves and listen to God’s announcement, it would avert ultimate disaster.

REVELATION OF CHRIST

In every crisis, CHRIST waits to be REVEALED.   The apostle John wrote of God’s way of introducing our Deliverer,“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” (John 1:6-9 NKJV)

Beloved, this is that type of hour in History.  As the prophet Isaiah entreats, “Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”(Isaiah 55:6-7 NKJV).

© Copyright 2016, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge, provided that it is not sold nor altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com