Lesson from Gideon: A Man of Valor Part 2

Lesson 3
Gideon made a change: he let go of what he was hiding and holding and grabbed onto God's plan.
Judges 6:15-22
And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me. Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present
{offering}, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again.
 And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour:the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it. And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so.
 Then the angel of the Lord put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the Lord departed out of his sight. And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God! for because I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face.

By now, Israel has been well trained in the things of God. They were taught by Moses about worship, sacrifice (to us the cross), and unleavened bread (purity of Jesus).
But the more recent years, under the rule of the Judges have resulted in a mixture of Baal worship along with worship of the Lord. To be truthful, this is a problem that continued to affect God's people through the ages to the point where they were no longer even serving God, but they thought they were.
Sadly, while most can't see it, this is where the modern church is today. The most popular preachers with the most listened to voices prophesy lies that all is well. Preaching messages that shun purity and tolerate sin, as though calling sin what it is equals hate instead of love. No! A preacher who lies and refuses to speak the truth shows hate rather than love.
People sit in pews in churches across America living their lives just like the world around them-- except they go to church, flocking like birds crowded on an ocean island, they search a church where they can caress their sin while appeasing some meaningless religious duty. God help us.
At this point in Israel’s history there is no altar for the Lord, but God has moved towards Gideon and Gideon is about to move towards God.
Gideon's movement towards God is a sacrifice, which is the only way God can have relationship with man.
I want to consider some concepts about Gideon's offering:
 (a). These things aren't coming back with him.

 (b). These offerings are costly.
A. We must always remember that the altar or cross is an instrument of death. In both the Old Testament and New Testament alike the sacrifice ultimately brought life because it restored fellowship between the believer and God.
Nevertheless, it must be understood that these items are not coming back with Gideon once he is done.
At this point, the question that begs asking is, "Are we allowing the cross to perform its function in our lives?" The cross is an instrument of death.
In other words, when we go to the Lord and ask Him to apply the cross to an area of our lives so that resurrection life can replace it, do we allow "it" to really die or do we allow "it" to resurrect in us instead of the victory of the Lord?
Many times people won't let something die that they still love.
I heard a story from a man of God. I just met the other day. He owns 5 shrimp boats and he has captains that work for him.
About two years ago, he had a captain that would take his money when he got paid and spend it all on crack. The owner tried to reason with him, but the man's response was, "I love it. I love how it feels."
The owner sadly responded, "Then I can't help you. If you love it, there is nothing I can do for you. You'll have to go."
Recently, the man showed up again and said, "I hate it."
The owner, with a smiling face and hopeful heart encouraged, "I can help you. You have a job."
Something happened in two years that convinced this man about his sin. You see multiple seeds about the gospel had been previously planted, but it wasn't until the sin had proven and shown its fruit that he was convinced.
Gideon was at a place where he was convinced. He was tired of timidly threshing wheat in a place where grapes were supposed to be stomped.
At this sacrifice, these animals aren't coming back; however, Gideon's problem with fear is also on the run.
B. The cross requires something of a man-- to trust God in spite of the flesh and let go of what we've always known.
Previously, Gideon was trying to hide and hold his last portion of grain, but now he is bringing cakes and animals were extremely precious in these days to give to God.
God revealed Himself to Gideon, and now Gideon is willing to give to God what He is asking for. What are you holding onto child of God?
What does God want you to give to Him? Is it hurt, bitterness, anger, dreams...?
He wants to give us victory, but sometimes we prevent Him by refusing to let go of what is holding us back.
One thing that often holds people back from giving God their all is the concern that they will be ostracized, made fun of, or rejected. Actually, that is something that we should expect if we look anything like Him because that is exactly what they did to Him.
Lesson 4
When you let go of what you were holding and go God's way, the result is peace.
Judges 6:24
Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it
Jehovahshalom:unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Gideon called the altar he built The Lord is peace. Even though the battle still lied ahead and the enemy was still oppressing Israel, Gideon experienced the peace of God when God spoke it over his life.
Even though the Israelites were still impoverished and Gideon didn't have any more grain than he had before, and now he was less a cake and a goat, he experienced the peace of God.
In reality, it’s nothing less than a miracle when the peace of God shows up at times when it makes no sense.
Philippians 4:7
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Lesson 5
Obedience towards God is visible two ways: (1) there is the cutting down and removal of sin (2) there is the establishment of the things of God.

Judges 6:25-27
And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and
throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: And build an altar unto the Lord thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the Lord had said unto him:and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.

Previously, we saw Gideon build an altar in reference to his personal life, but now God's Spirit is driving him forward. The same Spirit that raised Gideon from the dead (spiritually speaking) is the same Spirit that compels Gideon to live his faith out loud for the rest of Israel to see.
When these men wake up in the morning, there is going to be a message preached very loud-- Baal is dead and God is alive! Every Christian will be faced with this formidable task at some point in their walk with God. Will you erect an altar for God, or will you continue living in fear under the bondage of Baal?
Contrary to popular belief, everything isn't alright in the camp.
The removal of sin occurred when Gideon cut down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. The Hebrew word translated as "grove" in the KJV is asera where we get Asherah, which was a pole erected like the Egyptian obelisks in commemoration of Nimrod's male member all relating to occult worship.
While we often try to sweep sin under the rug, it's quite obvious that Israel is so far removed from God that she is no longer really serving Him.
Just as Gideon had allowed God to penetrate his heart by embracing the cross (building an altar), God is asking Gideon to replace his father's sin with the remedy for sin (altar/ cross) for all to see.
What's interesting for me is that God tells Gideon to place the altar in the: ordered place.
In the Hebrew, the ordered place means battle line or military array. It's imperative that we get a revelation regarding this concept.
Israel has been impoverished through being under the bondage of their enemy for seven years. In the midst of their misery, they have cried out to God for deliverance and He has heard them. He chooses Gideon to lead the way. And the beginning of victory starts with the establishment of the altar.
Specifically, in this passage, Gideon is removing the enemy stronghold by placing the altar (cross) in its place. And God says, "This is where I want it. It's the ordered place. It's the military line. It's from this place the battle will be won."
But let me close with this child of God if you never get to the place where you are tired of worshiping Baal, you will never cut down his altar, you will never cut down the Asherah pole, and you will never let the cross stand tall in the place where defeat turned to victory.