You are a mighty man or woman of valor.
There is a term in sociology called the bandwagon effect. The bandwagon effect says that there is a tendency of people to follow someone else because of what they did. Some people volunteer for Toys for Joy, so you volunteer. Someone wears skinny jeans, so you wear skinny jeans. If everyone else is doing it, I’m going to do. It’s especially true when we see people overcoming obstacles because we want to overcome obstacles too.
God will show Himself strong on our behalf when we show ourselves loyal to Him.
On ESPN you constantly hear stories of people overcoming obstacles. Incredibly stories of people defying the odds. So you are inspired to join. God is the same way. In Chronicles, it says God’s eyes look to and fro over the earth looking for someone who is loyal. And when he finds that person, He will encourage and empower them. God will show Himself strong on our behalf when we show ourselves loyal to Him. God is asking where He can find someone loyal. He is jumping on His bandwagon in our favor.
The character we will look at today was a mighty man of valor, but he didn’t know it yet. All he had to do was tear down an altar. When he finally did, people were inspired to fight alongside him.
I AM, I HAVE, I WILL. These are the three beginnings to statements about our identity. We have a title that God gives us, we have resources or possessions, and we have something to do with that title and those possessions.
Today we will learn how to be a mighty man or woman of valor. In the book of Judges chapter 6, Israel was in the promised land, but they haven’t received the promise because their enemies were still inhabiting the land and they had no King. So when they would cry out to God, God would give the holy spirit to someone they called a Judge. In this story, Gideon is hiding because he’s scared and God comes to him and asks why is he hiding? In order to become a mighty man of valor, you need to destroy an altar. Each and every one of us has that identity.
Identity: I AM a MIGHTY man / woman of valor.
An altar is the worship of a false God. Pornography, greed, addiction, anger, fear … these are false altars or gods. The devil will enslave you. God brings life and Satan brings death. If you are going to be the mighty man or woman of valor you are called to be, you have to tear down the altar you are in bondage to.
I don’t understand women and shoes. I will wear a pair of shoes until there are holes in the bottom, but there is something in your head telling you you can’t wear a pair of shoes more than twice. I’m going to challenge you that we have these false beliefs about what we need to do to be satisfied. Try to go outside the house without makeup.
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Judges 6:12-13
How many of you have felt like God is answering other people’s prayers and not yours? Maybe you aren’t fulfilling your identity. Maybe you’re the one hiding. We don’t bring our Bible to church, we don’t get plugged into community, we don’t seek out God actively and when something happens we ask where God is, but he says “where were you?”
The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” Judges 6:14-16
The might you have is not yours. It’s God’s.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Cor 10:4
Mighty in GOD. A stronghold is an incorrect thinking pattern. An incorrect thinking pattern is “I need to have a lot of sex to be happy.” “I need to have a lot of money.” “I need to have the biggest house.” “I don’t need to pray every day.” The Bible needs to be the parameters of your relationship with God. As long as you are enslaved to these incorrect thinking patterns, you are telling God, I know better than you.
2. I HAVE the promise of VICTORY that comes with God’s presence.
God says the only thing you need for victory is God’s presence. If God is with you, who can be against you? God said to Gideon that he would be with him.
Renew your mind by telling yourself that you are a mighty man / woman of valor. Quote scripture all day long.
3. I WILL establish biblical ALTARS in my life.
That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old.[b] Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole[c] beside it. Then build a proper kind of[d] altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second[e] bull as a burnt offering.”
So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime. Judges 6:25-27
Until you identify the strongholds in your life and denounce what the Devil is saying and destroy that idol, you can’t renew your mind and claim what God says about your life. Your NEW altar that you build needs to be at the foot of the cross. You have to submit everything in your life to Jesus.
Gideon defeated the Midianites because he was mighty man of valor. But it had to start with tearing down the altars of his life.
Many of us have altars we need to tear down. Sometimes, that altar is the pride of not wanting to accept Jesus and the salvation He offers. Pastor Miles encourages us to let this be the day that we tear down our altars and build a new altar at the feet of Jesus.