Archive for May, 2016

THE GIDEON COMPANY(Pt. 6)

THE GIDEON COMPANY (Pt. 6)
““Behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken.””‭‭Judges‬ ‭6:37‬‭NASB‬‬

FLEECING THE ALMIGHTY?

Gideon has been called, consecrated, and clothed with the Holy Spirit. What more does he need? Apparently convincing! Before you raise too broad of a smile as to his lack of faith and assurance, let us consider the outcome of his request.  The LORD God answered his request!
Was God being “fleeced” by his servant? Or was He in anyway obligated to answer Gideon’s request? The answer is that God didn not  act out of “duty” like a heavenly “bell-hop” (or servant), making the fleece wet and the ground dry” and vice-versa. The LORD did not obligate Himself, in any way, to answer Gideon’s request.  But He did accommodate Gideon’s lack of courage. It seems that God was more interested in getting a victory over His enemies than chastising his servant for his reluctance in moving forward directly with God’s plan.
We all (from time to time) have “feeble knees” and “fainting spells” from lack of courage. In those times (if we sincerely mean to do the LORD’s will), we are often given the divine confirmation needed to move forward in Him. The apostle Paul wrote a letter of encouragement to his son in the faith, Timothy, who had a “timid” nature as a young leader. “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”(‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭NIV).

“For though we live in the world,we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”(2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:3-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬).

Apparently, Gideon needed all the assurance he could get for his momentary sagging faith and loss of courage. And the God of “Signs and Wonders” was pleased to give him the confirmation he needed. He assured him he was indeed God’s “mighty man of valor for the hour” versus ,as someone said, only a “man of paste and flour”! We are called to “Fight the good fight of FAITH[Caps. mine]”(1 Timothy 6:12a NIV).
FLEECE WET…FLEECE DRY
The fleece on the threshing floor is very suggestive of God’s way in true revival. The fleece is a symbol of the people of God. For we are called “the sheep of His pasture”.   And when we are prostrate and brought low before the LORD, He sends the refreshing dew of the Holy Spirit in order to revive us. Many of God’s saints have testified that when the night of spiritual conflict or as some have termed it the “dark night of the soul” has passed, they experienced renewed sense of God’s grace, power and vitality.  They understood, that the  “fleece”,as it were, of their soul had been brought low in God’s presence to receive heaven’s dew until it could be wrung out as Gideon demonstrates a “bowl full of water”; sustaining the weary, thirsty soul.  Our Lord Jesus taught, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled”(Matthew 5:6).
God will later answer Gideon by reversing the order, causing “the ground to be wet and the fleece dry”. This speaks of the ways of God in true revival. God first “revives and renews” the people of God in order that He might give “the Dew of His saving grace” to a dying world. He has promised, “The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, which do not wait for anyone or depend on man”(Micah‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NIV).
We need Revival is for the God’s people.   But it should always lead to an Awakening for those who are “dead in their trespasses and sin”(Ephesians 2:1 NASB). One must proceed the other.
(C) Copyright 2016, Walter Fletcher, Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be shared free of charge provided that it is not altered in anyway from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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THE GIDEON COMPANY(Pt.5)

“Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the sons of the east assembled themselves; and they crossed over and camped in the valley of Jezreel. So the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet, and Israel was called together to follow him. “(‭‭Judges‬ ‭6:33‬).
VALLEY OF JEZREEL
God’s enemies had gathered in the valley of Jezreel to do what they had done for the past seven years. They had had their way with God’s people, pillaging and plundering their Land.
The strategy of the enemy never changes.  JESUS said, “The thief(representing the kingdom of darkness) comes to steal, kill and destroy. But I have come(representing the Kingdom of God) that they might have Life and that more abundantly”(John 10:9 -My Paraphrase). There is ultimately only two kingdoms in the world.  You cannot be a citizen of both. You must decide of “Which Kingdom do you belong?”
The place named “Jezreel” has a significant Biblical history. It was first conquered under Joseph’s ancestry and made a part of their inheritance. This was quite a feat in their day. Their opponents had the latest “modern day” weaponry…”iron chariots”.  But this did not deter God’s people. Their generation had come to believe (and demonstrate) that with the Arm of the LORD on their side they need not fear the carnal weapons of men. “Victory is of the LORD our God”,said the psalmist.
Jezreel was later established as the place where Ahab and Jezebaal’s ruled. But because of their leading God’s people into wickedness and idolatry, the LORD God would ultimately wipe out their heritage and leave no memorial to them nor their descendants in the LAND(See 2 Kings 9:30-37).
SOWN AGAIN
The Word of the LORD came to the prophet Hosea that God would use Jezreel as a place of chastisement but also as a place of promised future blessing. The Hebrew meaning of Jezreel is “He who sows or plants”. Recall that like the prophet Hosea’s wife,Gomer, God’s people had time and again gone astray in unfaithfulness. Therefore, God announces that He would “scatter them among the nations” whom they had run after like an “adulterous” lover. But God would not entirely forsake them. He would “hedge them about”, heal them and then “plant them” once again in their own land(See Hosea 1 & 2). It is a wonderful thing to know that “He who scatters” is also able to “gather and restore”. Only God can redeem and heal a life to fulfill its purpose.
BLOW THE TRUMPET
Back to our story of Gideon. While the enemy was gathering his troops, so too,God was gathering His army for their day of battle. He starts with new leadership.  For “new wine must be put into new wineskins”.  By the Holy Spirit,Gideon blows a trumpet rallying the troops.  Like Gideon, there must be a Spirit-led leadership corp. How will we recognize them?

(1) Spirit-Clothed. It was not Gideon’s brilliant human skills. Rather he was the human vessel that God’s Spirit adorned. Our Lord Jesus prepared His apostles in the same manner. ““And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”(Luke‬ ‭24:49‬ ‭NASB).‬‬ He knew they could not advance the kingdom of God on earth without the Holy Spirit’s enwrapping grace. The Holy Spirit’s enabling grace would not only cover them for their God-given task but would insulate and distinguish them with His character.
(2)Spirit-Called.   It is the business of the Holy Spirit to confirm that we have been called by God and not by men. We will unwittingly disqualify ourselves when we lean on our own fleshly nature and human reasoning rather than trusting the Holy Spirit’s confirming work.
(3) Spiritually-Equipped. The Holy Spirit “clothes Himself with Gideon and he blows a trumpet” calling Israel to the fight. This was a sound heard in the Land after seven long years of oppression. God’s time had come to deliver His people. Although Gideon may have felt small and insignificant, his action was huge in the Spirit-realm. Somehow things would not be the same. Remember, It is not(as the saying goes)”How big is the DOG in the fight? Rather it is, How big is the FIGHT in the dog that determines who wins.”
(C) Copyright 2016, Walter Fletcher, Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be shared free of charge provided that it is not altered in anyway from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

THE GIDEON COMPANY(Pt.4)

A NEW REVELATION OF GOD
In Judges 6, Gideon is called by God to lead his people into battle against the enemy. He understands that this cannot be done in his own strength or self-reliance. He seeks  reassurance that this is in fact the “Angel of the LORD”. He brings back an offering, placing it upon a rock.   The Angel of the LORD touches the offering with His staff and it immediately is consumed! In place of this all-consuming fire,
Gideon receives a revelation of this Angel, “JAH-Shalom”; The LORD IS PEACE.  For all his fears, doubts and misgivings as to his qualifications for the daunting task of leading his people into battle he is given the peace of God as his assurance. We,too, must be assured (as do all who are called of God) that as someone said, “God doesn’t call the qualified rather He qualifies the called.” Our assurance as the apostle Paul will later declare, is that “The God of Peace will Himself crush Satan under your feet.”(Romans 16:20). “The battle is the LORD’S”. And when we show up, presenting ourselves to Him, the victory is half-won! With this, the psalmist agrees, “Through our God we shall do valiantly. It is He that shall trample down our enemies”.

A NEW REVELATION OF SELF
Seeing God in a new light allows us (like Gideon) to see ourselves in a new light. Gideon, timidly, steps out in obedience to God’s call, overthrowing the altar of the false Baal god. His act of defiance against the enemy,creates a “chain reaction” in the realm of the Spirit. His father(and family) are the first to be freed from the spirit of stupor and oppression of Baal worship. His father declares, that if Baal can’t defend himself…he must not be worthy of our fear, nor our worship.  His family realizes the pure logic of this statement. Gideon is given a new name, “Jerubbaal, He who contends with Baal”. And he is repositioned to a new place of recognition and honor among his family. He, who considered himself the “least among the family”(in his own eyes), is promoted as head of his tribe.                                  

God loves taking the “zeros” in life and making them “heroes in life”. The Word is true for those who are in Christ Jesus, “We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us”(Romans 8).
When you stop listening to the voices that seek to keep you in bondage and defeat and begin  to say only what your Heavenly Father says about you, the “true-self” revelation trumps and triumphs over ALL the power of your enemies.
(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