Tuesday, June 12, 2007

that kind of church

Here's some of my notes from my message last Sunday. It all stemmed from some God-thoughts I had after reading Judges...which I posted HERE. Here we go.....

"As is the Man, So is His Strength"
Following the story of Gideon in Judges 6-8

1. Only fight God-ordained battles. (Judges 6:14; 7:9)
I believe we are in a heightened season of battles because the enemy knows his time is short and he's coming in like a flood. (Isaiah 59:19) If God destines us to fight a battle, it's His plan that we win!

2. Even when you're exhausted, keep up the pursuit. (Judges 8:4)
When we keep our priorities straight, it's easier to fight through the exhaustion. (2 Corinthians 4:15-18)

3. Don't get side-tracked from your God-given task. (Judges 8:5-8)
Gideon didn't get off course by dealing with these people in the moment. He came back AFTER he captured the kings - his first task.

Also in these verses I got a reminder of not being like the men of Succoth and the men living in Peniel. They denied refreshment/blessing to their own people.
The men of Succoth were 'booth dwellers'. (booth: cover oneself, protect) Basically these people were concerned about themselves only - they protected themselves instead of being a blessing to those around them.
Peniel comes from the root Hebrew word [pronounced] paw-naw. It means cast away, empty, go away. They sent people away without bringing refreshment.
Galatians 6:10 was my text with these thoughts. It's easy to get wrapped up in our own little world and not 'be mindful' to be a blessing to those around us.

4. Don't back down in the face of intimidation. (Judges 8:18)
I find it interesting that after these kings of Midian were captured and about to be killed that they are still dishing out taunts. You can't just bring the enemy 'under control' - you have to completely annihilate him or he'll just keep bringing on the intimidation.

5. Don't freeze up when you're at the end of the battle. (Judges 8:20)
Gideon's young son was able to keep up with the army - through exhaustion and everything else - but froze with fear when his dad asked him to kill the kings. Many of us give up or get gripped with fear just when the end is right around the corner. (Galatians 6:9)

6. Reveal your strength by finishing the job. (Judges 8:21)
That phrase, "As is the man, so is his strength", is burned into my spirit. What kind of [wo]man am I? Do I have the strength needed to endure to the end?
Judges 6:14 is God telling Gideon to go in the strength he has. Of course, that can only be God-given strength, but I wonder how many times we do not use the strength God has already given us to be used.

The kicker to this message was a video clip from "The Princess Bride". Ya know, when Inigo meets the bad guy and it looks like his whole plot of revenge is over with one a dagger to the stomach. But then he gets up and 'exacts judgment' on the guy. It was a perfect illustration except for the fact it was about revenge and that's not Godly, huh? But then I thought of it in a spiritual context. It's very Godly - breaking the bonds the devil has had in our lives and our family's lives. (If you know the movie you'll have to realize we did some very exact 'clipping' to get rid of some non-pertinent scenes in between what I needed. :o>)

This was a message God really infused into my own life. And I know it was a blessing to our church body as well. Maybe it will bless and challenge you as well.

P.S. If you're too thrown that I showed a gory (in a corny kind of way) clip from a movie at church. Don't be. Yeah, we're that kind of church. One with real people, going through real life, with a real God. It's all good.


Cindy said...

On the run right now; I'll come back and read this in depth later. Just wanted you to know I'm so enjoying your blog and I've added you to my bloglines! :)

Rachelle said...

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. Good stuff. The part about not losing sight of our primary goal really hit me.

I think using visuals in our media saturated world is extremely effective. Jer's often commented that people will come up to him and say..."Remember that message you preached a couple of years ago where you showed that clip from LOTR [or whatever]...I've never forgotten that." So...good on you!

Kimmie said...

Hmmm, yup the freeze up -intimidation- quitting from fear (because I didn't chose to walk in my 'kimmie strength' instead of God strength)...right when God was about to finish the battle...back to the beginning, to go through it again...so I can move from faith to faith and glory to glory.

Very good sermon-we so need to hear it and remember it, so when the "time" comes we will be ready, willing and victorious for His glory!
We are all called to be that kind of church and that kind of people- go forth and conquer my friend! Thanks for the good Word!

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

ConservaChick said...

AWESOME! 1 and 6 especially speak to me. BTW, I love it when they show movie clips like that at church. It wakes up my husband so I don't have to keep pinching him (*; ~Karlie

JoAnna said...

This is great, and very practical. I linked to it from this post about running THE race. Thank you!!