1 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.
2 And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.
3 And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them;
4 And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.
5 For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it.
6 And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the Lord.
7 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord because of the Midianites,
8 That the Lord sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;
9 And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land;
10 And I said unto you, I am the Lord your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.
11 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.
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.
Change the Season
My sister shared part of today's passage with me in response to seasonal attacks. Like the Children of Isreal, many of us in the Body of Christ suffer seasonal attacks in our bodies, our minds and even our spirits. Maybe it seems like November and January always bring financial strife. Sickness seems to show up every time the weather changes. For some reason, your child always becomes a challenge in the fall. Isn't it strange how crime seems to increase in the summer? Layoffs seem occur at the job the same time of the year. Why is it the pastor is always talking about money in July?
Dear ones, these are examples of seasonal attacks. The same thing, every year, without fail. But what we need to do is stop preparing to weather the attack and instead, line up behind the Warrior who's been chosen and equiped to win the battle.
The Children of Isreal in this passage were given a cautious, strategic warrior in Gideon. He confirmed and re-confirmed his approach to make sure he was following God's will going into battle. He knew from his life's experience that the Midianites and the Amalekites were vicious foes and if he was going to defeat them, he had to be completely convinced that God was on his side. He knew he had victory before he even recruited the first fighter. His faith in his calling changed the seasons for his people from that point forward. His obedience ended the seasonal attacks.
Precious brethern, our Savior knew He had victory before He even came to Earth. He knew that the plan was going to be successful and suffered through it with this prize in mind. He knew that the challenge before Him would change the season of separation from God for us forever. His obedience would destroy every curse, remove the penalty of sin for every believer, and would usher a change of eternal destinations for everyone who believes in Him.
For your seasonal attack, consider what you put ahead of Christ. Whatever comes in your life before Christ must be put back into proper order. Then, align yourself behind The Warrior who has already proven victorious. Christ defeated death, Hell and the grave for you. He subdued all of your enemies before you were born. He removed anything that would keep you from having a relationship with Him and with the Father and the Holy Spirit. All of your curses, debts, failures, sicknesses have been answered - the ones behind you as well as the ones ahead of you. But to realize this victory, you must follow Christ. You must follow His leading and submit to His will.
Make no mistake, attacks will come. Some would even argue that the more you submit, the greater the attacks. But if Christ truly is your provider, your protector, and the author and finisher of your faith, then don't worry about how fierce the attack is. When you are on the team that has already won, it doesn't matter how intense the battle is; victory is yours. Fight the fight; go headlong into the battle. Others around you may not understand when you bring all your energy to the fight, but do it with victory as your focus, knowing that whatever comes, you've already won. As Christ leads, you cannot fail because He has already succeeded.
Will you join the winning team? Will you break your cycle of seasonal attacks by aligning yourself behind Your Warrior? Will you enter the battle guarenteed of victory, or will you continue to prepare to be denied? Will you continue to prepare for defeat?
Choose victory. Choose assurity. Choose Christ.
At Fellowship, we've made this choice. We welcome the opportunity to help you make it too. We want to walk with you through your battle, ready to apply balm when needed, to fight with you if necessary, but mostly to encourage you that no matter how dark the night, you are not alone and your dawn in Christ is as assured as your very name.
11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
Hallujah! Jesus is Alive! Death has lost its victory and the grave has been denied! Jesus lives forever! He's Alive! He's Alive!
He is the Alpha and Omega! The First and Last is He! The curse of sin is broken! We have perfect liberty!
The Lamb of God is risen! He's Alive! He's Alive! Hallelujah! Jesus is Alive!!!
A new season of victorious living to you!
Evg. Stephanie Robinson
Lifeline is the evangelistic ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA. Feel free to share this message.
Previous Lifeline mailings are posted on this blog and can also be reached through the church website www.fcchosengeneration.com on the Lifeline link.
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Where Passions Become Reality
Because you are a CHOSEN GENERATION!
455 Hwy 138, Ste C
Jonesboro, GA 30238
Alton Watkins, Pastor