Lesson 8 part 2

You remember what we talked about? Surrendering to God and letting Him take control of our lives? This means He fights our battles. He can resist the temptation to sin again and again, only if we let Him take control of us through the Holy Spirit. We cannot do this but He can if we let Him do this in us.

The judge Gideon is one great example. Look at the chart on our website and read that before reading this. It will help you understand the story. Israel had disobeyed God and allowed the Midianites to destroy Israel. Israel cried out to God for help. God heard their prayer and sent Gideon,  a new leader. Gideon was not well known. In fact, his tribe was the weakest tribe in Manasseh. He was the youngest, and we assume, the weakest of his family. When God called Gideon to lead Israel to defeat the huge army of the Midanites, Gideon did not believe it. He asked God: “If here is dew only on the sheepskin (or wool), while all of the ground is dry, I will know that you will use me to save Israel as you said”. So God did this exactly as he asked. Still, Gideon did not believe God was calling Him. He asked God to make the wool dry and the ground wet. God did again as he requested. You see, God was showing that even though Gideon was the weakest of all Israel- it was God’s strength that would help Gideon defeat the huge army of the enemy, not Gideon himself.

            So, Gideon decided he needed a huge army to defeat the enemy. He gathered 32,000 men. God told Gideon that his army was too big. Why? God wanted Israel to become humble and understand God is powerful, not Israel. God told Gideon to tell anyone who was scared to return home. 22,000 men returned home. Now Gideon has an army of 10,000. God told Gideon again- that army is still too big. God had Gideon perform a test on the men. Gideon led the men to water. The men who drank the water with their tongues like dogs were sent home. The men who drank the water with their hands could drink and see the enemy at the same time. God kept these men. Only 300 men drank the water with their hands. Now Gideon’s army is only 300 men!

Gideon then gave each man a trumpet and a jar with a torch inside it. He did not give them swords or spears. Just a jar and a trumpet. They surrounded the huge enemy camp just after midnight. They then broke the jars together at the same time and sounded the trumpets. The enemy thought there was a huge army inside the camp! They begin to kill each other thinking the enemy was upon them and they began to run away because they were scared! You see, it was not 300 men who defeated the enemy. It was God who defeated the enemy. In the same way, it is not you who will resist sin- it is God in you through the Holy Spirit. God humbled Israel by picking the weakest man to lead Israel and then humbled them more by choosing only 300 men to fight the huge number of the enemy. Sin is like that enemy. We cannot possible defeat it, only Jesus can.

I want to end this with a challenge. If you find yourself sinning but cannot stop, ask God not only to change you but to take control of your mind and heart. Surrender everything to Jesus and allow His Holy Spirit to take control. Do this, not once, not twice, but every day. Ask God to help you understand the Bible if you have trouble reading it. Ask God to send you to a church family that can help encourage and support you as you learn to rely on God more. Stop relying on yourself. Rely on God. That is what it means to be humble.