October 31, 2012

Overcoming Fear

Passage: Judges 6:7-18

Bible Text: Judges 6:7-18 | Preacher: Pastor Steve | Series: Seal Training
Judges 6:7-18 When they cried out to the LORD because of Midian, the LORD sent a prophet to the Israelites. He said, This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of slavery in Egypt and rescued you from the Egyptians and from all who oppressed you. I drove out your enemies and gave you their land. I told you, I am the LORD your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you now live. But you have not listened to me. Then the angel of the LORD came and sat beneath the oak tree at Ophrah…Gideon son of Joash had been threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites.
The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, Mighty hero, the LORD is with you! Sir, Gideon replied, if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, The LORD brought us up out of Egypt? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites. Then the LORD turned to him and said, Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you! But Lord, Gideon replied, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family! The LORD said to him, I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man. Gideon replied, If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the LORD speaking to me. Don’t go away until I come back and bring my offering to you
Gideon’s act of threshing wheat in a winepress reflected both his fear of discovery by the Midianites and the smallness of his harvest.
Gideon is in the hills hiding, watching, and waiting for the next attack.
How have they compromised themselves: by giving in to Baal worship.
They were convinced that if they didn’t appease the gods of the region their crops would fail. 
The Lord is calling us as He called Gideon in the middle of his culture, where the people were being lost, for the very thing they were appeasing these gods for in order to get their crops to grow was being destroyed by a type of Midianite.
Judges 6:12 The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!
The Lord is recruiting this man for a purpose.  God is looking for one person through whom He will transform an entire community, region or place.  The Lord is looking for people who are being transformed (changed) by and through the power of the Hoy Spirit
When we choose to change (repent) this action says that we:
Trust in Him
Believe in Him
Willing to become who and what He wants us to be
2 Corinthians 5:17 If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.
Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
If we do not see the “newness of life,” Scripture tells us to examine ourselves to be sure we’re in the faith, because we may not be (2 Corinthians 13:5). There are those who will stand before God, claiming to be His children, pointing to good works that they have done, and the Lord will say, “Depart from me, I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23).
Before change there is craziness which is discovering what doesn’t work and keep on doing it. We need to see the change or be able to conceptualize the change.  We need to see the need for change.
The M.A.P. for change:
Motivation: we need to find the motivation to move on towards change.  Motivation is crucial in order to change something significant in our lives.  We need to want it, desire it and be passionate about it.
Accountability: which will anchor us to the process and give support to us during the times of struggle.
Plan: the next step is a plan to proceed.  We are each unique individuals and therefore we need to decide what will work best for us in our situation.

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