The church has to quit hiding at the winepress and get back to the battlefield
Introduction and setting of the story.
The nation sinned
1* The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD,
The Lord turned them over to Midian
and the LORD gave them into the hand of* Midian seven years. 2And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel,
The nation was now hiding in the mountains, in dens, in caves
and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and* the caves and the strongholds.
They were impoverished because of the Midianites
3For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and* the Amalekites and* the people of the East would come up against them. 4They would encamp against them* and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. 5For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come* like locusts in number—both they and their camels could not be counted—so that they laid waste the land as they came in. 6And Israel was brought very low because of Midian.
The nation had nowhere to turn but God!
And the people of Israel* cried out for help to the LORD.
The Lord sent a prophet with a Word
The prophet gave them a lesson about who they were and where they came from and what they were not to do!
7When the people of Israel cried out to the LORD on account of the Midianites, 8the LORD sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel:* I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery. 9And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and*drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10And I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God;* you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.”
Israel left the work fields to hide at the winepress. They would have to go to the war field to be able to get back to the working field.
Judges 6:11-14 (KJV)
 ¶ And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
 And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
Leaders are not hard to find in the hard times!
Leaders are difficult to find in the good times!
Gideon worked when the others were absent.
When men brought adversity he was present.
When miracles were absent he was still present and working.
When it seemed that God had abandoned, he was present.
Gideon needed a Word from heaven.
When you are facing the gates of hell you will need more than a pep talk, a moral boost, you will need a word from the Lord!
Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail on the Church
Matthew 16:15-19 (KJV)
 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
God’s church has always been an offensive church.
Defensive church is only for a time of protection, preparation and planning.
Offensive church is for scoring, for winning.
The church has been giving the authority to go on the offensive against the gates of hell.
An offensive church will be an offending church.
Don’t be fooled or surprised, when you push back on the enemy he is going to be offended.
Christ will give us the keys for the gates
Doors for the kingdom have keys.
Gates of hell are not to be tolerated but prevailed upon and destroyed.
• The Lord knows the moves we should take, that is a key.
• The Lord knows the moments we should move, that is a key.
• The Lord knows the men who should take the battle to the enemy. That is a key!
What we need is what Gideon received, a word from heaven.
The Word that Gideon received transformed him.
• Changed his negative thoughts to positive!
• Changed his insecure thoughts to secure!
• Changed his questions into statements!
• Changed his motivation from defensive to offensive!
• Changed his status from being alone to building an army!
• Changed his crying into a crusade!
Kevin W story
Tell the story of Kevin W going to the doctors office. A lady who did know him and had never seen him before. She walked by him and all of sudden stopped just as she was about to pass him. She grunted like something heavy was on her. She turned and looked at him and said sir I do not know you. But the Lord just told me to tell you that He sent you here to this city. That he was going to move in your ministry. Something broke in Pastor Kevin that day. He got a word from the Lord. He got a message from a stranger, a lady, that God had a plan. From that day on the gates have been coming down for him. He still has the battles but the keys were now in his hand. God had a word for the man, a moment and a move for him.
Sister Lillian Lambert healing from fear.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I am found
Was blind, but now I see
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come
‘Twas grace has brought us safe thus far
And grace will lead us home
So out of this chaos, out of this confusion, out of this calamity we must hear a Word from the Lord!
We must declare with the Bereans of the scripture, “ We would see Jesus!”
We must search for Him and demand the whereabouts of the Lord!
We must like Moses, declare unless the Lord goes with me I will not go hither!
In all due respect, We do not need a word from Headquarters, from the attorneys, from the doctors, from the scientist! We need a Word from the Lord!
I want to know what is,”Thus saith the Lord!”
Be careful about the advice from people who don’t want to get out of the boat especially when Jesus has instructed you to come to Him walking on water.
• If the Chinese church submitted to the government they would be in the dust bowl of history and our Bibles in their museums.
• If the Cuban church obeyed the Cuban authorities there would be no 10,000 plus house churches in Cuba.
• If the church in Iran obeyed the government of Iran and the Ayatollah there would be no underground church in Iran.
If the church in America does not get out of their pajamas and get back to church we will become the weakest church in the world.
• If God could sustain Daniel in a den full of lions He can sustain us in a church with a crowd of Christians.
• If God could cool the flames of a fiery furnace and walk among Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego he can cool the fever of Covid and walk among us.
You cannot mobilize an army from the safety of a television screen.
The army has got to get in the mud and the mire. They have to feel the shells whistling through the air.
Whining about our difficulties and hardships will only make us more anemic and sickly. Get to the battlefield, go to the fight, get in the fray!
If God could split the Red Sea and give passageway through on dry ground He can push back the crashing waves of impossibilities we face today.
We need a Word from the Lord that Moses gave the people of Israel that day.
Exodus 14:13-14 (KJV)
 ¶ And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever.
 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Gideon after he got his word from the Lord gathered his army.
In his army he got the perplexed, the passive and the passionate. Cowards, careless and courageous
Stories of a word from the Lord!
• The lady at the grocery store in Brazil
• Antonio in Peru
• The Armenian Earthquake
I think God did not let Gideon take his full army because He did not want Gideon measuring his armies might against the might of the Midianites.
I think God did not let Gideon take his full army because he did not want Gideon measuring his armies power against the Midianites power.
I think God was wanting Gideon to see His Spirit at work when a man hears the Word of God.
Not by might, nor by power, but by Spirit saith the Lord of Host! Zechariah 4.6
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