You Are More Than Enough!

If you have your Bible’s please turn to Judges Chapter 6 

The passage starts out by proclaiming that the Lord was angry with the Israelites for falling into sin (again) and worshipping false gods and idols. Because of this, the Lord left them in the hands of the destructive Midianites for seven years. Finally fed up, the Israelites called out to God for help. God would send aid through a man named Gideon. 

Judges 6:11-17 

11 And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah (Ofrah), that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite (A-by-ez-rite): and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. 

12 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. 

13 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. 

14 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? 

15 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. 

16 And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. 

17 And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me. 

Let’s look at verse 15 again  

15 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. 

Have you ever felt that way in a particular situation or challenge in your life. That you are less than, that you are the least. Have you in that moment of challenge felt that you will not  able to get this done, or be victorious in this situation because it seems to great or even impossible? I’ll be honest, there have been times in my life that I have.  

Now we see that Gideon, even after being assured that he has clear direction from the Lord, and that he will be victorious, Gideon is like. Well, maybe that is what will be happen, but I need a sign, I need proof of what You say will happen. Maybe, if you show me a sign I will go forward. I can empathize with that. I mean, the task at hand was to defeat an enemy that most likely outnumbered them significantly –jumping ahead, they were described like this in the bible in Judges chapter 7:12 

Judges 7: 12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude. 

Gill’s commentary says they may have numbered 135,000! 

So the Lord responds to Gideon’s request. Gideon prepares some meat, broth and bread. The Angel tells Gideon to place the meat and bread on a rock and pour out the broth. Then the angel put forth the staff and touched the bread and meat and there rose up fire out of the rock consuming the flesh and bread. So Gideon knew this was of God – which in my mind Gideon was comforted and maybe felt a little more secure in what God was asking him to do. 

Then God has Gideon under the cover of night destroy the altar of Baal and then has him build an altar to the Lord. Gideon then prepares for battle gathering many Israelites for the upcoming battle. Gideon once again calls upon God basically saying if I am really supposed to lead this battle, if I am really going to do this, how about another sign Lord! 

God responds to his request of making a fleece full of dew but no moisture on the ground overnight. But Gideon was not yet satisfied, he’s once again says, hey, don’t be mad, but this time, let’s make the fleece dry and the ground be wet. God responds again leaving the fleece dry and the ground wet.  

What happens next this time must have really blown his mind. At this point there are 22,000 people ready to fight, but God say’s whoever is fearful or afraid, leave – 12,000 leave and now there were 10,000. I have been in the military, and we had some rather large exercises, but I never saw 10,000 soldiers, but I think there would be some comfort in that facing another large force. But God was still not done: 

Judges 7:4-7 

4 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. 

5 So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. 

6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. 

7 And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. 

From 22,000 to 300, I can envision that number, but against such a large force I would be quaking in my sandals or whatever they wore back then. 

Paraphrasing the rest of the story for brevity here: 

That night God instructs Gideon to go down to the valley to the Midianite valley to see what the Midianites were dreaming of. This was meant to relax and assure Gideon that God was on his side. In the valley, Gideon overhears a conversation between two Midianites in which one Midianite says he had a dream where a cake and barley are tumbling down the hill the Midianites’ tent.  

Another Midianite interprets this as the sword of Gideon destroying the Midianites. After hearing this, Gideon is encouraged and goes back up the valley and start invading. 


 
He then splits his 300 into 3 groups. Everyone is given trumpets and empty pitchers and lamps within them. All 3 companies of men blew their trumpets end broke the pitchers. They all screamed, “The sword for the Lord and of Gideon.” The Midianites fled in terror from this sight. Gideon then sent messengers to other Israelites about the Midianites, and they captured the Midianites and slew  their leaders.  

So here we have a man, by his own declaration 

15 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. 

Gideon said, I am the least, or in other words, I am not enough, yet with God, he was able to free Israel from their bondage and get the focus of an entire nation back on God and in right standing with God. There are a few more examples in the Bible of God using just normal every day people, flaws and all. 

How about King David, from the early beginning when he confronts Goliath killing him with a stone when no other would stand against the enemy of Israel. That was great, but he was also an adulterer with Bathsheeba and a murderer of  Uriah, yet became to be one of the Greatest Kings of Israel. 

God used ordinary, imperfect people to do extraordinary things! God used the average to achieve greatness for the glory of Christ Jesus. 

In this day and age it seems to me, that one can become discouraged in such a tumultuous world. We are seeing a decline of those seeking God in this generation, we see aggressive organizations like the Freedom from Religion foundation attacking every where they can. As a matter of fact, the Freedom from Religion Foundation is having their national conference here in Wisconsin, in Madison October 18th-20th. I find it embarrassing that they are based in Wisconsin – their goal is nontheism or a lack of belief in god or God’s. They even have on their website a “testimony” Unsurprisingly  it is “Not Afraid of Burning in Hell”. 

It is coming to a point where if you espouse your affection for Christ, you are looked down upon, that you need to keep your opinion to yourself, it is not politically or morally correct, according to the world. There are those that say well, this is what I believe about God, but it is contrary to what His Word says, and He is the Word.  There is a separation that is growing– people redefining Jesus to accommodate lifestyle choices, so they feel OK, and there are churches marching right along– there is a movement in politics to quell the absolute truth of who God is. These people, these politicians and organizations, these churches, like the Israelites that continued to leave God when it was convenient or when it felt good, trying to define God by their feelings and emotions or what was right for the time in the moment. God is not defined by popular or societal trends   – we do not get to define who He is  – He does. These are our challenges of our times – to proclaim the truth no matter what the cost. 

And although we do not know when the End Times will be, out of love, we should try to share the message of Jesus Christ to all we can. The younger generation is not engaging with the local church, distanced by new ways of communication with a church (in general) that was slow to respond. We see churches are closing and memberships declining, So what are we to do? Do we just stand by and watch? Actually, I think the answer is no. And the reason is that we, through the power of Jesus Christ, that we are more than enough to impact a generation and reach those who are lost to the path of salvation. I mean that is the great commission is it not? We are an Acts 2:38 church so one of our goals is to share that good news and bring others to Christ for Salvation: 

Acts 2:38 King James Version (KJV) 

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

If you think about it, we have so much more than the people in the Old Testament had – we have the power of the Holy Ghost within us. Because of Christs finished work on the cross we have access to Jesus – he hears us and His with us. He says we can raise the dead, He says we can lay hands on the sick and they will recover.  

And it is He that wields the power. I have here an ordinary box of nails. Inert, metal, just nails in a box. Capable of not much. But, if I apply power, the nails become part of something else – part of a creation. Now this is just a wooden cross, we do not worship the cross, we worship Jesus for what he did on the cross. God turned the wooden cross from an instrument of death into victory over death through His defeat of hell – with his mighty power. That same power lives within us, amen. We have the power to create, the power to build up and encourage people, to affect change on a generation. We can be more than enough! 

Jesus also says that we can have a greater impact on the world just by asking anything in His Glorious Name: 

John 14:12-14 12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 

But in this world, and in this time we are confronted with the world as it is, our own life experiences, our mental health, our physical health and they may all be saying to us that we are not capable – that I, that you, that we are not enough! 

What our own mind and what the world thinks we are capable of are mutually exclusive from what God knows we are capable of. I want to say that one more time. What our own mind and what the world thinks we are capable of are mutually exclusive from what God knows we are capable of.   

We have the full armor of God to help in this journey. There are times that I need to remind myself of that. The full armor of God is: 

Ephesians 6:13-17 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 

The title that I had for this Sermon was “you are more than enough” and the reason I picked it was that through Jesus Christ, You are more than enough to become more in the Kingdom of God. He has equipped us with His Word, His Spirit, He has saved us, and he loves us. Through baptism and the filling of the Holy Ghost, it seems that the army for Christ is more than ready  and equipped to have a relevant impact for His Kingdom – but the question is how? 

For me, this has been a challenge, I have been desiring more of God and wanting to do more for Him. I believe that I shared at one point in my journey I felt that God wanted me to preach His Word and to serve His people. And one day a little girl addressed me as pastor.  I’ll be honest here, at that point I did not feel spiritually mature at that time if you know what I mean. I was tepid, I was unsure, I had no clear picture of who or what I was going to become.  

But over time that has changed and recently, speaking with Diana and others, I took a step towards fulfilling that path. I am now licensed as a minister to preach the gospel and perform duties and ceremonies. Diana can tell you how I kept saying I was not ready, and I would put it off.  

But God kind of poked me and said maybe you are not ready, but I am ready – you will be more than enough, not because of you, but because I am the living God and I will enable you to grow. Jesus is the one who qualifies us! 

Which brings me to my next point – I think if we really want to be agents of change for Christ, we need to ask Him, what is it you would have me do Lord, and ask in humility. God gets the glory when He uses his people. I do not want to be the type of disciple that will always be happy with the status quo anymore.  

What do I mean by that? What I mean is that I can get so comfortable with the way things are I don’t stop and listen to see if that is the way things God wants them to be. So now, I am refocusing and praying that whatever door he wants me to walk through, that I see so that I can go through it. 

Diana recently posted a new blog to her site (which has over 800,000 hits now, congratulations baby) entitled “Does it really matter where you are going?” In she writes: 

Yes, we are in a new season. Welcome Autumn! The trees are turning, the air is getting crisp, and it’s pumpkin and apple season! Yeah! Do you like fall? I love the coolness of the air, and the chilly nights where you curl up in a blanket or two. I love fuzzy socks too! 

But what about Spiritually? Are you in a changing season too? I know I am. The details don’t matter. The past doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t even matter where we end up going – as long as I am with My Jesus. He promised to go before us and lead us.  

Deuteronomy 31:8  And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” 

What I love about this is the truth that as long as we are following Him, that we are in relationship with Him, leaning on Him, and listening to Him, we have nothing to fear and nothing to be dismayed about. 

I appreciate all the wonderful people in this church, with such diverse backgrounds, different gifts, and different passions – real people. It has such an impact when we share a testimony with someone who has some of the same background and passions and makes us effective in being able to love them. It equips us to be empathetic to those we may be reaching out and ministering to. Perhaps God is just waiting to use your past, your passion, or your gift and it may be right before you, 

So, I ask you this morning, are you ready for a change? Are you ready to ask Jesus if there is something that He wants you to do? You are more than enough – he loves you, he will provide you with whatever you will need to accomplish His desire.  Are you ready for a Gideon experience? Are you ready to conquer that which He might lay before you – because you are more than enough through him! 

And let us not be afraid for what he asks, because we fight from a position of victory. 

Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

As the worship team comes up please, perhaps you have not yet been baptized in Jesus Name or need a baptism of the Holy Ghost. Maybe you would like to take a moment at the altar and ask Jesus what is it that he would like you to do if you feel a new season is upon you, Maybe you need to have hands laid upon you for a healing of your body, mind, or emotions. He is here and willing and able to enable you for the next step. 

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