Judges 6:23-29 – Gideon’s first stand
Friday, September 6, 2013
Daniele Strickland – What will you tear down?
Danielle Strickland is an international speaker who also has a ‘day job’ as a Salvation Army officer in Canada and heads the Canadian branch of anti human trafficking agency Stop The Traffik
What you tear down may be more important than what you build up
ENCOUNTERS WITH PEOPLE WITHOUT JUDGING
IN THE BIBLE, God’s measure of success for kings and other leaders was not just in what they built. Often it was in what they were prepared to DESTROY.
In the Old Testament there were high places – altars to Baal and Asherah.
Even in the good times when the high places had been destroyed, there were local altars. People mixed their worship.
Against this backdrop there’s God whose heart is to reveal Himself so that we see Him. As in the vision given to John and recorded in Revelation 1:10-16. And John is overwhelmed by this and (v.17)
…fell at His feet as though dead. Then he placed His right hand upon me and said: “Do not be afraid…
(I would lay everything down to have Jesus! To have this kind of encounter…)
Gideon was another who had that kind of close, personal encounter, in a holy pattern we see again and again. We have an encounter. God speaks prophetically. And then we have to move out in…
God wants more than anything else to advance the kingdom of God. In this season, God is not all that interested in our ministries. He is looking to see what we are willing and able to TEAR DOWN.
- The question God is asking us is – where are your ‘high places’? What are you willing to tear down?
- The greatest sacrifice we can offer is – ourselves, as a living sacrifice
- The biggest idol in most of our lives is – ourselves
MOSES AND PHAROAH
But there’s a cost. The Israelites, led by Moses, wanted to leave Egypt and entreated Pharoah to let them go. Pharoah responded by increasing the oppression. Who got the blame? Moses – the people grumbled against him. (Exodus 5:19-21)
SAMPSON’S GREATEST VICTORY
There’s a cost… and it may cost us everything. Samson’s life was characterised by its ups and downs – he became his own idol – but his greatest victory came as the prayed “Use me one more time!” (Judges 16:28) with the willingness to sacrifice his own life.
LAY DOWN THE HIGH PLACES
The high places in our lives are predictable.
- Pride. Jesus was a person who was perfectly emptied.
- Wrong allegiances. As soon as you begin to serve a system instead of serving God – that’s a high place, that needs to come down.
He will bring this message to us again and again. Those high places must come down! What, in truth, is the focus of your worship? Are we creating an inheritance for our children and others of convenience – or obedience?
“WILL YOU WORSHIP ME?”
– Where are the high places in my life, my ministry?
– What are the things God has told me to do: give Him permission to show you!
Our response is to say: “Here’s my pride, my heritage, my ego – I want there to be nothing in the way of you, Lord.”