God Wants You

10 08 2008

[Sermon preached on 8-10-08 at Smith Chapel Wesleyan Church]

Title: God Wants You

Scripture:
Judges 6:11-16 – The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that
belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing
wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”
“But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this
happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us
about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But
now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.” The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” “But Lord , ” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.”

Judges 7:1-7 – Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men
camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in
the valley near the hill of Moreh.
The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver
Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me
that her own strength has saved her,
announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn
back and leave Mount Gilead.’ ” So twenty-two thousand men left, while
ten thousand remained.
But the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them
down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say, ‘This
one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not
go with you,’ he shall not go.”
So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD told him,
“Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from
those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred men lapped with their hands to their mouths. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.
The LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will
save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men
go, each to his own place.”

Judges 7:16-22a – Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed
trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches
inside. “Watch me,” he told them. “Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do.
When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around
the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon.’ “
Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the
beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard.
They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands.
The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping
the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the
trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for
Gideon!” While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords.

Principles of God’s Selection Process
– Four steps and four questions –

1. God sees who we can be (6:12)

  • Gideon was an unproven person
  • Gideon was in hiding (6:11)
  • God sees past our present situation

Question: Do you believe that God change your life?

2. God uses weak people (6:15)

  • Our place in society does not hinder God
  • Our history does not hinder God

Question: Do you believe that God can use you?

3. God is not concerned with odds (7:2-7)

  • God is looking for the courageous (7:3)
  • God is looking for the ready (7:5)

Question: Do you believe that God can do great things?

4. God’s work always takes center stage (7:21-22)

  • What was impossible for 300 was perfect for God (7:2)
  • Gideon and his men stood still while God worked (7:21)

Question: Are you trying to steal God’s glory?

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