By Evangelist Sophia Jeffrie
From Sermon – Overcoming Strongholds Series (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
Gideon Judges 6:11-17 NKJV
11 Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree, which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” 13 Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” 14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” 15 So he said to Him, “O [b]my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” 16 And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall [c]defeat the Midianites as one man.” 17 Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me.
Here in the Book of Judges, shows some of the consequences of the sin of disobedience and its negative effects. The sin of disobedience will take you further than you wanted to go. It will keep you longer than you really wanted to stay. And it will cost you more than you really wanted to pay!! You see disobedience opens the door for the enemy of our souls to bring about a stronghold in our lives to cause us to miss our destiny and God’s purpose for our lives. A stronghold has several different meanings however I would like to use the idea of it being “A place where a particular belief or ideology is firmly believed and staunchly defended.” So, when the devil puts a stronghold in our minds and our lives, he will try to defend it at all costs. See this lie that the devil has given you through your mind once you think about it long enough and speak it out of your mouth will become true to you. But thank God for His Word that tells us how to deal with these strongholds. A stronghold in our minds is meant to bring about an identity crisis and warp your way of thinking to bring about uncertainty and confusion to a person's sense of identity and insecurity. It can cause you to start even questioning yourself or your identity. Fear is one of the devil’s tools that he uses to handicap God’s people to cause them to not succeed. Fear is simply False Evidence Appearing Real! But Faith is as Bill Winston would say Forward Action In Trusting Him and that makes sense to me! So, when I exam these verses of scripture, there are several signs that show the effect of Fear that brings about the Gideon complex and I would like to share them with you today.
1. The first sign that I saw was that Fear thru Gideon Complex brought about a Dysfunctional behavior, but God’s Call was still Valid! Verse 11 and 12 says “11 Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree, which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
Dysfunctional Behavior due to Fear:
· Threshing Wheat in a Wine Press …. Fear… Hiding out because of fear – Wheat should be threshed outside in the open against rocks and wine should be pressed in a wine press indoors.
· Looking foolish… But Gideon because of his fear behavior was backward!
God’s Call Gideon to Ministry as a Might Man of Valor:
· Commission has been Prepared for Gideon and You too… God calls those things that be NOT as though they WERE!!
· Mighty Man of Valor means Warrior & Fighter – Strength, Courage & Passion – Whose report are you going to believe!
· Mark 16:15 NIV 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
· The Great Commission (All believers). On our in our homes (marriage and children) jobs (leaders and followers), and community…. These are our assignments to show people the Christ in us! As believers, we all have an assignment, and it doesn’t have to mean vocational ministry as a Pastor, Preacher, Bishop, or Apostle.
My question for you is are you doing what Jesus commanded you today as a part of the “Great Commission”? ___________________________________________.
2. The next effect of the sign of Fear that I saw from the Gideon Complex was Spiritual Amnesia. Verse 13 says “13 Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”
Spiritual Amnesia leads to misplaced Blame!!:
· Gideon and the children of Israel forgot all that God had done. Signs and Wonders… Book of Exodus – Plagues, Opening the Red Sea, Sending Manna from heaven daily….
· God’s Presence is Evident by the Angel of the Lord:
a. Gideon blames God for forsaking the Children of Israel. But the Word says, “God will never leave YOU nor forsake YOU”! (Deuteronomy 31:6 & Hebrews 13:5)
· Gideon blamed God for his forefathers’ sin of disobedience. We do that too! Our society today, has moved God out of our society, out of our schools, our government, and even out of some of our home.…so, now we see the evil in the world… 911 was an example of moving Christ out and then some people asked where was God when this happen? He was right where you left Him out with His hands tied!
· Numbers 14:18 NKJV 18 ‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’
· Numbers 6:1 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So, the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years,
We need to break the generational curse of a stronghold in our lives and not let it pass down to the next generation. Are you willing to be the first? ___________
3. God sends reassurance amid the Stronghold of Fear! Verse 14 tells us, “14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”
God reestablished the Call on Gideon’s life despite his current disposition:
· Your present mentality or location does not change your Spiritual position in Christ! … God NEVER gives up on you!
· God sees us through the eyes of Christ and not where we are today! We are still God’s children, righteous and His beloved.
· No matter what we have done or think about ourselves, God always sees us as he does here in Ephesians 1: 20-22, which says, 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality[b] and [c]power and [d]might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,
So, my question to you is have you taken your rightful place in Christ so that you can be in a position to overcome the stronghold of Fear?? ________
4. Fear brings about the Stronghold of the Gideon Complex as an Identity Crisis! Verse 15 says, 15 So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
Signs of the Gideon Complex rooted in Fear!
· Low Self Esteem/Distorted View of Self
· Poor Self Image
· Incompetent/fear of failure/fear of succeeding.
Put Our Eyes on God and see what He says about us!
Genesis 1:26 says Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion….
2 Corinthians 5:21 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
God calls us justified, redeemed, and forgiven! Stop agreeing with the devil's lies and agree with God! So, what are you calling YOURSELF? _______________.
5. God’s promises are greater than the stronghold of Fear when we use Courage!!
Verses 16 & 17 says, “16 And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.” 17 Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me.”
Deliverance from the bondage of the of Fear:
· Gideon was still fearful, but he had the courage to break out of the Stronghold! Even with weak and wavering faith.
· Nelson Mandela has a quote that says “I have learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it! The brave man is not the one that does not feel afraid but the one who concurs it!
· Through Faith in God’s Promises:
· 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 KJV 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
So, our obedience makes a difference in our deliverance.
· Philippians 4:13 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Gideon went on to deliver the Children just as God said because he trusted God enough to break the stronghold of Fear!
My question for your today is Are you ready to cast down the stronghold of fear and move forward in your Faith to receive your deliverance? _________________.
So, in closing the Stronghold of Fear is starts as a Spirit but the Word of God says in 2 Timothy 1:7 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. We must learn the weapons that God has made available to us so that the power of God can manifest in our lives. God wants to set us free from fear whether physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well! God loves us too much to want anything to separate us from Him because that’s what the enemy tries to do in our brokenness and when we are in bondage! See one of the greatest weapons we have is Christ finish work on the cross.
Then I followed Jesus to Calvary, where they put Him on the Cross. They put nails in His hands and put spikes in His feet! They stretched Him wide and then they hung Him high, but they made a fatal mistake! They lifted Him up! Because Jesus said that “if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me!” Then they laid Him in a borrowed tomb for three long days in the heart of the earth! But early one Sunday morning Jesus was raised from the dead with all power in His hands and all power in His name! Jesus has power to heal, power to deliver, power to save, power to set free, and power to keep you! Power to give us all the Victory! So, if you don’t know Him as your Savior and your Deliver you need to accept Jesus today!
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About the Author
Evangelist Sophia Jeffrie is an ordained Reverend and called Evangelist into the Gospel Ministry where she serves the Lord with her whole heart! Evangelist Jeffrie is a retired Chief Petty Officer from the United States Navy, where she led, guided, trained, and ministered to thousands of Sailors throughout her career. God placed in her an assignment where He has positioned and trusted her with guiding His most troubled and vulnerable youth. It was there the Lord revealed His true purpose for her life and birthed in her the vision and purpose for what is now “Wisdom Truths”, a life-changing personal growth and development workshop designed to enhance the overall social and spiritual growth of At-Risk Youth. Evangelist Jeffrie has allowed God to use her as He heals and transforms lives by ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ on a larger scale! Her message of love and purpose is relatable to those from all walks of life and will certainly serve as a blessing to you as well. Evangelist Jeffrie received a Master of Arts Degree in Ministry from Luther Rice College & Seminary in 2018. She has two sons, a stepson and two stepdaughters, and has nine grandchildren.