Introduction: As we think about our journeys coming to an end, most of us want to finish strong. This series will give us some helpful principles related to finishing our journeys. The thesis for this discussion is, “We should be mindful of godly victories and our assignments.”
1. God will destroy the wicked. Notice in vss. 11, 12, 16, 17 that God gave Gideon the victory over the last of the Midianites, the leaders, and the unsupportive Hebrews. In like manner, God is able to give us victory over so many people who seem to be against us (see Ps. 27:2-3). God can destroy those who give leadership to causing you stress (see Mt. 18:16).
And God can handle the unsupportive goats in our lives (see Mt. 25:41-46). We should make sure that we don’t become so jaded by our circumstances that we stop trusting God to work things out for the good of His people (see Rom. 8:28). Let’s find hope and strength in God’s plan to destroy the wicked.
2. Make sure you are on God’s side. Notice in vss. 11, 12, 16, 17 that many people identify with the victorious Gideon and not the wicked people in the text. The key to being on the Lord’s side is not simply a matter of how you feel. You must make sure that you are saved. Make sure you have asked and are trusting God to save you because Jesus died and paid for your sin debt (see Jn. 3:16; I Jn. 5:11-13).
And then you should make sure that you are prayerfully studying and striving to live by God’s word. At the core of God’s word are the issues of loving God with all that you have and loving others, as you love yourself (see Mk. 12:29-31). Let’s make sure that we are really on the Lord’s side.
3. Be prudent with accepting
invitations. Notice in
Judges 8:23 that Gideon said “no” to the invitation to rule over the people. In
Matthew 12:38-42, we see Jesus essentially telling the Pharisees “no” with
regard to their request for a sign. There are some things to which we should
obviously say “no” - sex outside of marriage, harming your bodies with drugs,
or making money in illegal ways.
But there are some gray areas as well. Every job offer, marriage proposal, and request for close friendship should not be accepted. James 1:5 teaches us to seek God’s wisdom. If we spend more time seeking God’s wisdom, instead of just doing our own thing, we can avoid some stress in our lives.
Let’s work on seeking God’s wisdom. This application includes prayerfully studying and striving to obey God’s word, seeking wise counsel, considering our circumstances, and even examining the level of peaceful conscious that we have.
4. God’s forgiveness. Notice that I John 1:8-9 teaches two key points. First, we are all subject to sin. No matter how long we have been in church, we still have sin in our lives. Sometimes our sin is miss understood or we simply did not obey God’s will for our lives. Second, if we confess our sins, God is a forgiving God. God is able and willing to discard our bill.
Let’s work on confessing our sins, receiving God’s forgiveness, and moving on with our lives. We don’t have to keep going the wrong way on the wrong road. We can turn around.
5. Know and carry out your assignment. Notice in Judges 8:23 that Gideon said “no” to the people, but he said “yes” to the Lord. Make sure you are saying “yes” to the Lord. Ask the Lord to help you know and carry out your assignment of good work (see Eph. 2:10; Mt. 5:13-16).
As a disciple of Christ, you have an assignment of good work in the church, in your family, and in your community. If you would be faithful to God, you may not get what Gideon received, but you can trust God to supply all of your needs and so many of your wants (see Phil 4:19). Let’s work on knowing and carrying out our assignments.
What is one thing you will take from this session and work on, in regard to your discipleship goals?