Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Preparing for War

Submitted by Lara Cook 
Some material adapted from Gideon by Priscilla Shrier
For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;   2 Corinthians 4:6-7

In the story of Gideon there are many great lessons to be learned.  From Gideon’s story there are five points we can learn about how to face a battle.

1.     Begin the battle on your knees.  When Gideon heard the account of the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship. He returned to the camp of Israel and said, "Arise, for the LORD has given the camp of Midian into your hands." Judges 7:15 

Gideon prayed and received the confirmation to go to war with the Midianites.  Sometimes we pray and we don’t necessarily get the confirmation like Gideon did.  Pray and seek His guidance, His battle plan. 

2.     Face the battle from a stance of victory.  When the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing, and cried, "A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!"  Judges 7:20 

Gideon and his army claimed victory before the battle actually commenced.  They knew they were safe because the Lord had promised them they were going to win this battle.  We need to have that confidence and trust in God too.  We need to claim victory before the battle starts and send the enemy running scared!
Advance into battle from your assigned place.  Each stood in his place around the camp; and all the army ran, crying out as they fled.  Judges 7:21 

Gideon’s men never left their post.  They might have felt all alone because they could not even reach out and touch the person next to them, or they might not have even been able to see the person next to them because they were so spread out.  They trusted their commander.  Gideon trusted God even though He had not given Gideon a conventional battle plan.  God’s ways are never our ways and we must trust Him.  In the dark of the night, in the heat of the battle, He is there. Stand firm in the position He places you.

4.     Approach the battle at just the right time.  When they blew 300 trumpets, the LORD set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole army; and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath. Judges 7:22 

Timing is everything.  Sometimes we are ready for battle but it is not the right time.  Truthfully we are not really ready.  We may be offended or hurt and ready to fire at the person responsible, but the right thing said in the wrong way and at the wrong time is the wrong thing to say! Follow the commander’s lead, be self-controlled and hold your fire until the battle cry rings out loud and clear.

5.     You win the battle by using the right weapons.  He divided the 300 men into three companies, and he put trumpets and empty pitchers into the hands of all of them, with torches inside the pitchers.  Judges 7:16 

Yes, Gideon gave each man in his army a trumpet, a pitcher, and a torch to go inside the pitcher.  Those were the weapons God instructed them to use for this battle.  No sword, no bow and arrow.  Yet no one complained or quit.  They knew that there was a reason for these uncommon weapons.  Finding themselves surrounded by sudden light and loud noises, the Midianites assumed that they were being attacked by a large army, and the result was panic. The Lord intervened and put a spirit of confusion in the camp, and the Midianites began to kill each other. God calls us to fight uncommon battles and often He gives us uncommon weapons to use.  These weapons are fashioned exactly for what we are facing.  He wants us to step out in faith, with a firm resolve and dependence on Him, using different tactics than usual. 

When you are facing a battle, remember to not discount something God may be telling you to do because it seems outrageous or uncommon.  Remember He is not a conventional God and He does not use conventional weapons or plans.  He want to demonstrate His strength through you.  He wants you to have the victory in your battle and He is waiting to provide the way.

Scripture to Claim:
“Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.  Proverbs 3:5-6

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