Steven Furtick - Instruments of Victory
Isn't that a good thing to know that here, today, we are in the rhythm of the Spirit of God? You can feel it. If you have an ear, you can hear it. God is doing miracle after miracle, open door after open door. It is an amazing time to be alive. We're leaving for tour in a couple of days, Elevation Nights 2023 spring tour. Somebody asked me the other day, "Are you ready"? I said, "Man, I've been ready," because if you stay ready, you don't have to get ready. Somebody said, "Well, will you take Sunday off before you go out on tour and let somebody else preach"? I said, "No".
I want to be 100 miles an hour when I hit Austin, Texas. I haven't even thought too much about the tour in the last few days because I've been thinking about this word I want to give to you, but we are due to show up, and we are going to roll very strong with all of our worship teams and a word from God and an impartation of faith, full of the Holy Spirit, to the following cities, starting April 18 through April 27. We will be, God willing and NBA and NHL permitting, in Austin, Texas; Oklahoma City; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Kansas City, Missouri; Denver, Colorado; St. Louis, Missouri; Fort Wayne, Indiana (Do y'all have any friends in Fort Wayne, Indiana, you can send out to see me?); and Toronto, Ontario. It'll be amazing. Elevationnights.com.
But today, we bring you greetings, eFam all around the world, from Charlotte, North Carolina. We have a triple anointing all rolled up into one today. We have the worship of almighty God, we have the Word of almighty God, and we have God's people together. When you get all that together, anything can happen. Clap those hands if you believe anything can happen in God's presence. It's always awkward to clap holding the mic. If you hit it too hard… One time I hit it too hard. The whole mic went out. So now I tap those fingers. Praise the Lord. One more sermon on Gideon, and I promise I'll leave Gideon alone. Do y'all have one more Gideon sermon in you?
Open your Bible to Judges, chapter 7, or pretend to open your Bible as you flip through your phone and get that last round of Candy Crush so you can pay attention to me. I want your mind free and clear today because this message is just so rich. Good news. I'm going to read so much Scripture it's going to make up for all of the ones you didn't read this week. I don't mean to judge you, but I know you've been busy, so I'm going to put them all in on this one. Judges 7:1 from the English Standard Version of the Bible. "Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod. And the camp of Midian was north of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. The Lord said to Gideon…"
Somebody say out loud, "Speak to me, Lord". "Don't just talk to Gideon. Don't just leave it back there in the past. Speak to me, Lord. I need to hear you too". "The Lord said to Gideon…" Now, you asked the Lord to speak. Listen to what he said to Gideon. "The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand…" That's their enemy, the Midianites. The Lord said, "I'm going to give you the victory, but the people with you are too many for me to do it". "'…lest Israel boast over me, saying, "My own hand has saved me". Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, "Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead."' Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained".
That's backward going into a battle, but we'll talk about that in a moment. Let's move on. Verse 4: "And the Lord said to Gideon, 'The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, "This one shall go with you," shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, "This one shall not go with you," shall not go.'" It's a good idea to let God decide who belongs in your life in every season. Just a little seminar breakout session. That's not my sermon. Let God do that recruiting for you and the removal. He'll balance it out for you in the end. Verse 5: "So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, 'Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.'"
So, put them on two different sides. God is sorting things out now, getting Gideon ready for the battle he has to fight. "And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths [like dogs], was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water". They had their faces down, and they couldn't even look around to see if anybody was coming. You know, you have 9,700 of the 10,000 who are left on one side, 300 on the other side. If I'm Gideon, I'm like, "So I get the 9,700 over here, right"? No. "And the Lord said to Gideon, 'With the 300 men…'" The number was 300 men who knelt down to drink like a dog.
"And the Lord said to Gideon, 'With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.' So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men. And the camp of Midian was below him in the valley". A few more verses. "That same night the Lord said to him, 'Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand.'" "I have given it".
Who else but God can speak in the past tense about a battle that hasn't even happened yet? Who else but God? Let me keep reading, y'all. Stop distracting me. Behave. "I have given it into your hand". "'But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant. And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.' Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outposts of the armed men who were in the camp. And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the East lay along the valley like locusts in abundance…" What a contrast. Gideon has 300 dogs, and they have so many enemies that it looks like locusts… a lot of them. "…and their camels were without number, as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance".
It's a lot of them. It's a lot of things I'm dealing with right now. It's a lot of people getting on my nerves right now. It's a lot of bills piling up right now. It's a lot of things I'm trying to sort out right now. Watch this. Verse 13: "When Gideon came, behold, a man was telling a dream to his comrade. And he said, 'Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian and came to the tent and struck it so that it fell and turned it upside down, so that the tent lay flat.' And his comrade answered, 'This is no other than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given into his hand Midian and all the camp.' As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped. And he returned to the camp of Israel and said, 'Arise, for the Lord has given the host of Midian into your hand.'"
Today I want to preach to you about a very specific subject the Lord told me to mention. Today I want to talk about Instruments of Victory. On your way down to your seat just say, "I've got what it takes to win". High-five the person next to you and say, "You've got what it takes to win this one". When I say that, do you believe it? "I've got what it takes to win". Gideon didn't for a long, long while. It took him awhile. It took him awhile to reconcile what he had inside of him with what he saw all around him. It took him awhile to reconcile what God said about him with what he saw in himself. It took him awhile to realize, if I could say it this way, what kind of instrument he was in God's eyes.
See, in the book of Judges you have this constant cycle of God's people getting in trouble, and then God stepping in and bringing them out of trouble, and he did it through, if I can say it this way, some interesting instruments. Like, one time… Have y'all ever heard of Samson? He got a haircut, lost his strength, ate his spinach… No, that's another guy. All right. Sorry. I get mixed up sometimes. Samson one time took the jawbone of a donkey (if it was a men's conference, we'd do the King James…the "jawbone of an ass" in the King James Version of the Bible) and beat back a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. Then he did a diss track to the Philistines about it. "With the jawbone of a donkey I have slain a thousand men. With the jawbone of a donkey I have made donkeys of them".
Samson. Interesting guy. Interesting instrument for God to use. You know, because he wasn't very self-controlled, or anything like that, but he was strong, and God used him. One lady in the book of Judges… I won't go through all of them. It's fresh on my mind because we were reading through it a few weeks ago. One woman in the book of Judges wanted to kill an evil king. He snuck into her tent, and she said, "Aw, poor baby. Let me give you some milk". She gave him some milk, and he got sleepy. Then while he was dozing off, she got a tent peg. Have you ever read the Bible? Y'all don't read the good stuff. I have to show you where the good stuff is, because you're over there… "Rejoice in the Lord". She took a tent peg.
Sometimes when you fight the Devil, you have to fight the Devil dirty. Sometimes you do. Sometimes you don't have time for all of that transcendence and otherness and, "God, the thusness of thine presence is…" She grabbed a tent peg. I don't think it was meant for this purpose, but she was multipurposing. She took the tent peg and put it through his skull. Look her up in the Bible…Jael. It means the one God chose. At least that's what the girl told me at the restaurant. I met a girl at a restaurant in Greensboro Friday. She said, "Pastor Furtick"? I said, "Yes"? She said, "I watch your sermons". I said, "Great. What's your name"? She said, "Jael". I said, "That's a great name. Do you know that story in the Bible"? She said, "Oh yeah".
She was a server in the restaurant, so every time she came close to me with an instrument of any sort, I was a little bit nervous, but she was sweet. Interesting instruments that God used to deliver his people. Can we agree? Jawbone of a donkey. Tent peg through the skull of a king after a nice warm glass of milk. It's interesting the things God uses. But stranger than the objects God uses are the characters he raises up to use as his instruments. Look at somebody and say, "You are an interesting instrument". Tell them by faith. I promise you don't know the half of what you just said to them. You really have no idea how God put them together. You've been married to her for 18 years, and you still don't know how to play that instrument just exactly right and keep it in tune. It takes a little while to figure out the instrument.
For Gideon, it's even more difficult because he is seen as… I don't know what the coolest instrument is, maybe drums, or something like that, maybe electric guitar. Gideon is the instrument nobody wants. Gideon is like the recorder in his own mind. When God comes to Gideon and calls him out of the winepress… He's down there threshing wheat in a winepress because the Bible says the hand of the Midianites was against the Israelites. So, when God comes to Gideon and says, "Get up. Go in the strength you have. I'm going to use you to bring my people out of the hands of the Midianites," Gideon really doesn't get it at first, because it takes him awhile to figure out what kind of instrument he can be. Here's why: he has been in the wrong hands for so long he doesn't even realize who he is anymore. The whole nation, not just Gideon, has been in the hands of the Midianites.
Let me show you what that looks like from the New Testament and bring it into our lives from Romans 6:13. Can we go over and see the apostle Paul for a moment? Let's go see the apostle Paul for a moment. This verse will really bring this message to a practical place for us, where we can understand what Jesus has done for us and what the Holy Spirit is inside of us, so that we don't just shout that God has given us the battle, but we actually get to go back into the battles we face in our lives with something practical, where we can take it and triumph over the Enemy that Jesus has already defeated. Romans 6:13. Listen to this. Paul cautions you. "Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life…" That's what he did for you. "…as those who have been brought from death to life…"
You are a living instrument. So, since you are a living instrument, put your life in the hands of a living God. Look at the second part of that verse. "…your members to God as instruments for righteousness". "…present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness". In other words, take it back. You have been presenting yourself as an instrument to the Enemy for long enough. You have been presenting your mind to the Enemy long enough. You have been presenting your mouth to the Enemy long enough, just saying whatever comes out; just saying what everybody else says; just saying whatever thing you happen to think at that moment, not checking it to see if it's even true or if it's where you want to end up in your life and setting the direction by your tongue and steering your life with the rudder of your tongue and your words and your speech. You have let the Devil have your instruments long enough. Take it back. You may not understand the value of the instrument that is you yet.
In case you don't, let me set the record straight. The way you were brought from death to life is that Jesus went from life to death back to life again. Somehow, the Savior of the universe thought Alex was an instrument worth dying for. Somehow, the Creator of the cosmos thought Charlie was worth bleeding for. Somehow, the Maker of heaven and earth thought Heather was worth shedding his blood for. You are an interesting instrument. But let me tell you part two. You are an expensive instrument. You can't get this at a pawnshop. This is not a secondhand instrument. This is not a hand-me-down. This isn't the tuba your brother never played. This is an expensive instrument.
The first guitar I ever bought that cost a lot of money… Do you know what I'm going to say? My mom and my best friend from high school are both on the second row. I can't tell any lies about my childhood or exaggerate or embellish any facts about my life with these two fact checkers right here. The first guitar I ever bought… My mom bought me some, and then I wanted this one specific one. It was a Paul Reed Smith. What if I had it in the back right now? Bring it out, Jared. Bring out my Paul Reed Smith. Jared Olson, everybody. Jared, you were shaking when you brought it out. Are you a little nervous? Excited. Me too. I'm excited. I'm excited about this. Paul Reed Smith. Oh, I was excited about this. I worked all summer to buy this Paul Reed Smith. If Paul is watching, a sponsorship would be greatly appreciated for Elevation Worship.
A lot of people watch these sermons. Paul Reed Smith. Any guitar players in the house? You sound like you just started six months ago. You don't sound like you toured with Journey. Let me put it that way. I told him, "Bring it out in the case and everything. Just bring it out". How many memories does this bring back? I saved all summer, working for Pet Rest Cemetery & Cremation Services. That was my first job. I saved all summer. Every Saturday, Fox and I… Now Fox was a bass player. I should tell you this. When Paul says, "Instruments of righteousness," he's talking about weapons, but I never fought in the army. So when I see instruments, I think Paul Reed Smith. I think about this Paul Reed Smith guitar that Fox and I… Now remember, he and I had a band together, but we didn't…
Well, okay. I should say this. I'll tell you. I've been making up bands since I was 12 years old in my mind. I would give a band a name, and then I would tell all of my friends they were in my band, even though they didn't play an instrument. I'd be like, "Lee, you're my drummer". "I don't have drums". "It's fine. You're my drummer. We've got a band". I would name the band, and I would make albums around those bands that didn't have any instruments or musicians. (I promise I'm going to get back to the Bible in a minute. It's just a setup.) This guitar was about $1,400 when I bought it, which in today's money is 7.3 million. Google it. Inflation is crazy. I would go every Saturday with Fox. Fox was my first friend who actually had an instrument. My friend Michelle said, "Hey, you should meet Fox. He's got a bass". I said, "He's got a bass? He plays bass? I play guitar". We started playing together. We put bands together. His brother started playing drums.
Now I finally had friends with instruments. Y'all run around talking about friends with benefits. What you need is some friends with instruments, some friends who can help you grow and go where you need to go and have the gift of encouragement. You need some friends with instruments. If you can't play, don't play me in this season, because I'm looking for somebody who has something, who's going somewhere. I'm not looking for somebody who's going to turn back when the battle gets hard. I need some friends… That's what God said to Gideon. "You have too many men who don't have any instruments. In this season of your life, let me get rid of everything that isn't serving a purpose".
This is my Paul Reed Smith. Every Saturday I went. I looked at it. I drooled over it. I lusted over it. I prayed for it. I did the "Hail Mary". I prayed in Pentecostal tongues…until I finally got it. When Mike, who owned the store, would pick this up and play it, it sounded so good. When I got it home, it didn't sound like Mike when Mike played it. Mike was a great guitar player. I think he's still there running that shop. Am I telling the truth? All summer I saved up for this instrument. It was expensive. Come here, Eric. This is my friend I was talking about. Aren't you glad he ironed that shirt today before he came to church, Nicole? I didn't plan any of this. Come on the stage, all the way on the stage. I texted him five minutes ago. I said, "You're here today, right"? He said, "Front and center". I said, "Good". But I didn't tell him this. Play something.
Come on now. This is a Paul Reed Smith. It's going to be beautiful. Yeah, see, we all knew this was going to happen. He's trying to play "Plush" by Stone Temple Pilots, but he doesn't know it. I'm going to show you something. (Stop playing. That's distracting.) He's my best friend from high school. He would drive me down there a lot of Saturdays to look at the guitar because he had his license before I did. We'd go down there to Ye Olde Music and look at the thing. All right. Watch this. That guitar is expensive, but in the wrong hands (sorry) its potential is limited. Take that over to E. Y'all give it up for this E. Come on. It's E Edwards, everybody. You know him from albums such as This Is the Gospel. E, see what you can do with the instrument that that E had. Do you think in his hands it will be the same as it was in your hands? Go sit down.
All I needed him for was to put it in the right hands. I'm done with you. You can go sit down. You can sleep. You can take notes. You can shout. You can pray. You can practice "Plush" on air guitar. I don't care what you do. E, show them what that instrument is. [Guitar music] Why didn't it sound like that in his hands? What changed about the instrument? We didn't give it new strings. The only thing we did was put it in the right hands. God says you don't need more strings. You don't need to be smarter than you are. Shocker. All you need is to put it in the right hands. (I'm making this up on the spot. This whole thing is spontaneous.)
Now that you've seen the illustration, let me make the application. Some of you started playing with sin in your life a long time ago. It was fun at first, but then it became a sort of cycle. The lust of the flesh (just doing what you feel like doing), the lust of the eyes (just basing everything off of your senses in life), the pride of life (thinking it's all about what I can accumulate and never what I can distribute). You play with things, and eventually, the things you play with start playing you. Before long, you might find yourself, like Gideon or the Israelites, in a season where you are a stringed instrument in the hands of a skilled enemy.
That's what the Midianites represented. They were a skillful enemy. They knew how to play the Israelites so that the Israelites were pressed in and hard-pressed and pressed down and depressed and anxious and fearful and shrinking and small, so that by the time God finally said to Gideon, "Mighty warrior…" Gideon didn't even believe when the angel said, "I see you as mighty. I see you as strong. I see you as capable. I made you for purpose. I put an assignment on your life". Gideon said, "Who, me? Are you talking to me"? "Yeah, Gideon. You are an interesting instrument. You are an expensive instrument. You have been invested with the kind of divine resources that are very necessary for this exact assignment, Gideon". I feel God coming into somebody's winepress today. I feel God coming into somebody's weakness today. I feel God coming into somebody's dysfunction today, saying, "You are an expensive instrument, but you've been played by the Devil".
Today, we came to take back from the Enemy what never should have been in his hands to begin with. High-five your neighbor and say, "Snatch it back". Snatch what back? Your instruments. "You have a Paul Reed Smith"? "No. But I have a sanctified mind. I have an imagination that was given to me by almighty God". Why would you take something as amazing as your mind, an instrument… Much more than $1,400 worth in your mind. This irreplaceable, indispensable part of you called your soul, your mind, your will, your emotions, and you're just going to give all of those gifts over to an enemy? You're just going to give all of those gifts over to an Instagram…I mean, an enemy…I mean, a Midianite? And it's not just social media. The Lord spoke to me recently, saying, "I'm going to help you reclaim your imagination. I gave you an instrument called imagination to serve the purpose of faith, but you use it too many times to go down roads of fear".
The Enemy got my instrument called imagination. Everybody in here who is really good at worrying could be really good at prayer, if you get it in the right hands, if you get your instrument back. Come on. If you stay in the cesspool of lust and say, "Oh, it's nothing but the dog in me. A man's got to have what a man's got to have," then you are going to entrust your mind and your heart to an enemy that does not have a good intention for you. But if you get that instrument back, it can become true intimacy so that the God who knows what he put inside of you can release everything that was meant to be sent into the world that he called you to. If you get your life in the right hands.
So, the first thing God had to do for Gideon was he had to get him to let go of some things. In Gideon's specific case, I guess it was kind of like a post-2020 world where they had the Great Resignation. Everybody I know who owns a business right now is saying, "Man, it's hard for me to find…" They don't say, "Good people"; they say, "People". I got used to the thing, "Good help is hard to find". Now they're like, "Horrible help is hard to find. I'll take some horrible help, Lord. It's help". Now listen. I'm not praying that God would downsize anybody's life. I'm not praying that. But I am saying it's not always the Devil when your life is downsized. There will be moments that God, to get you ready for the space he's taking you into, will need to thin out some things you were depending on that kept you from depending on him. This is Gideon. The Lord said… I noticed how the Lord gave him an instruction. He said, "Everyone who's trembling, send them home".
So, Gideon is like, "Everybody who's trembling, go home"! and two-thirds took him up on it. Probably he's like, "Well, I mean, you could tremble a little bit. A little tremble is all right. If you're trembling… God, did I do it wrong"? "No, you did it right. The only problem is you didn't do it enough". Remember, when we met Gideon a couple of weeks ago, he was threshing in a winepress. Now God is threshing, sifting. Not sifting for the purpose of subtraction; sifting for the purpose of strategy. Is that word for somebody here? Quit giving the Devil credit for it. "Oh, the Devil took this, and the Devil took that, and the Devil took the other, and the Devil…"
Did he, or is God getting room ready for your life? I know I'm ministering to one person right now. There will always be someone who will take this message out of the context I mean it in and use this as an excuse to be horrible to people in relationships and say, "You weren't one of my 300". But those of us who are mature enough to know understand this is not permission for us to be bad at relationships and blame it on faith. What it is, for me, is a promise from God that what I have in my hand in this season is what he meant to give me for where I'm going. I've got what it takes to win. I've got what I want? Not necessarily. I would really like to have 32,000 more, if you ask me. But God didn't ask you. He's doing the math. You have to put this in his hands now and say, "God, I'm going to let go".
Put up Judges 7:7. You'll hardly believe how clear it is. He said, "Let all the others go". Do you see that? Ninety-seven hundred on one side, 300 on the other, and the 300 are dogs. God says, "You're going to do this with those 300 dogs". "I've got that dog". The ones who were drinking like this, hand to mouth. "I've got that dog". God says, "That's what you want now". You want the stuff in this season that you can actually depend on, not the stuff you've been pretending with. Can I go a little further with this message? I'm going to have to put part 2 on YouTube this week, because there's too much. I've been putting these extra teachings on my YouTube channel from the Basin. Do you know what I'm going to do while I'm on tour? I'm going to put the Basin from the Bus.
I'm going to go on the bus, and I'm going to put some sermons on there, and I will finish this. But I can't not tell you this next part because it's really what led me to the message. God leads him to the 300. They have already sent home over 30,000. The Lord says, "Let all the others go, every man to his home". Verse 8: "So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets". That's an instrument. I never played a trumpet, so I used the guitar because I thought it was more appropriate. The trumpet is not like an electric guitar because it doesn't have to be plugged in. A trumpet is a different kind of instrument. How many of you played trumpet in the band at one point for six months because your mom made you, or something like that, or you love it and you're great at it? Okay, great. A trumpet is a wind instrument.
So, a trumpet needs two things: somebody who knows where to put their hands… These musicians are getting excited because they know something about instruments. Somebody who knows where to put their hands and someone with breath control. Gideon has been in the wrong hands for years, like some of you. Just like, "It's mine. Go to this place of misery". Predictable misery, enslavement, entanglement, entrapment, and everything that comes along with the strategy of the Enemy. That might be, for you, a state of addiction. That might be, for you, a state of low self-worth where you have forgotten who you are. Some of you, if you talked to somebody else the way you talk to yourself, they would punch you in the nose. You use your self-talk to beat the crap out of yourself. I came today with a message from almighty God to let you know that you are a very expensive instrument. He paid too much for you to stay in a dead place.
So, when Paul gets ready to say it, he says, "You have been brought from death to life". Well, what does it take to go from death to life? Breath. So, what does God do when he gets ready to raise somebody up to do something significant for a purpose they didn't even see themselves for? God said, "I brought you to church today. You didn't just go to church today. I brought you to church so I could blow into you the wind of the Holy Spirit for this second season of your life, because the best is still ahead". Come on. Receive the prophecy. Receive the breath. It's a wind instrument. The trumpet can sit there all day, and it won't do anything if somebody doesn't breathe into it.
Do you know why you haven't had power? Do you know why you haven't had joy? Do you know why you haven't had peace? You haven't been letting him breathe into you. Oh, but if he breathes… Ask the bones on the valley floor what happens when God breathes. God said, "Live! Live! Live! Live! Live"! Come on, Easter isn't over! He's still alive! So are we, and so are you! You are an expensive instrument, an exquisite instrument. In the hands of the Master, there's no telling what might come out of you. Let everybody who wants to leave for lunch leave for lunch. Everybody who wants this word, make some noise. Open your mouth wide and let God fill it, because I believe I've got something great to do in his name. You know what? We don't have a trumpet, but do you have a voice? Do you have a breath? Do you have a hope? I can't take it.
I might have to pick this up in Austin, Texas. I might have to pick this up in Minneapolis. I might have to pick this up and take it to Kansas City. We might have to get on the road. Watch this. He said, "Everybody who's trembling, send them home". Do you know what's crazy about that? Look at verse 9. After he sent all of them home and took their trumpets from them… He said, "You go; leave your trumpet. You go; leave your trumpet. You go, but leave your trumpet. You go, but leave your trumpet". All the 300 are going, "What are we going to do with these trumpets? Can you get them to leave their sword? Because we need a sword, Gideon. I know you're new to this 'mighty warrior' thing, but you might have wanted to read the 'mighty warrior' handbook before you started rounding up supplies". But something in Gideon said, "We're going to need some weird weapons for this battle".
If we go about it in a worldly way, we will be weakened. If we go about it in a worldly way, we will be defeated. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds. I feel strongholds coming down right now! Yes, Lord. I have some weird weapons and I am a weird weapon. I'm a little bent. I'm a little crazy. I'm a little traumatized. I'm a little stuck. I'm a little short. I'm a little tall. I'm a little teapot, but watch what happens when you pour me out. I have an anointing, something on the inside. See, I'm preaching from the inside right now. I don't know who this is for, and I don't know who he's calling to, and I don't know why he woke me up at 2:00 a.m., but he told me to tell somebody, "You've got what it takes to win".
Come on. Let's have a Code Orange Revival on a Sunday morning. Why not? High-five somebody and say, "I've got what it takes, and I know it now. I got confused for a little while. I let the Devil play me, but I know it now. I thought my life was over, but I found out as long as I have breath, as long as there is a breathing, there is a reason". I promise this is the close. High-five somebody else and say, "You've got what it takes to win". He's about to breathe in you. So, the Bible says, "That same night the Lord said, 'Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand.'" Watch this. Verse 10: "But if you are afraid to go down, go down…" "Lord, I think we need a translator, because your ways are not my ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts, and apparently we speak different languages. They have an army of locusts. I have an army of dogs. You told me to send them away because I had too many. Really, they have too many".
This is you making all of the reasons up in your brain why you can't do what God called you to do. This is you. I just want you to see that God is speaking to you, Greg, not just Gideon. This is you. So, you get in your head, and things die there, because you give the instrument of your mind to the Enemy. The Lord says, "If you are afraid…" Wait a minute. He just sent all of the men away who were trembling, but he's trembling too, and God knows it. God says, "You can tremble, but you can't turn back". It's okay for you to feel afraid. It's okay for you to feel those feelings of unworthiness, but you must not surrender to them. "For we have a Great High Priest who can sympathize with us. He was tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin".
It's okay to be tempted. Don't give in to it. It's okay to slip up. Get up. It's okay that you go off. Apologize, and taper it next time, for God's sake. You can tremble (that's the feeling), but you can't turn back. That's the commitment. If you want to see the victory, you will see it when you have felt the fear, when you have felt the discouragement, and you press through it, and you breathe through it. You loved through it, and you forgave through it, and he brought you through it, because it's his hand that gives the victory. It's his hand. You think he's running out of mercy? It's his hand. You think he gave you somebody else's gift on accident or didn't give you… You got everything, every little thing… I'm telling you, I believe in God, a sovereign God, a wonderful, masterful God, who hand-built this instrument. He made me weird where he made me weird.
I'm about to get weirder. Warning to all of the people who live with me. I'm about to get weirder. I did something the other day Holly never saw me do. I backed into a parking space. She said, "A back-in kind of guy all of a sudden, huh". I said, "Yeah. You don't even know me yet". You haven't even met me yet. I'll back in. I'll back out. I'll do this thing. Now watch. Can you truly say that you have put your life in God's hands or are you holding on to things that you think you need to know and trying to control things that are the sole dominion of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? I saw it in the message. God said, "If you're afraid to go down to the camp, go down to the camp with Purah your servant". Verse 11 is so anointed. "And you shall hear what they say…"
Remember, God has been talking to Gideon for an entire chapter. "You're a mighty warrior. Go in the strength you have. I will use you. I will be with you. Okay. I'll light a rock on fire. I'll make the goat you brought out catch on fire. I'll help you build an altar. I'll help you smash altars". Gideon says, "Can I lay out a fleece and you make the fleece wet and the ground around it dry"? This is all in Judges, chapter 6. God is like, "Yeah, sure. I'll make the fleece wet and the ground around it dry to show you that if everything around you dries up, I'll still give you a spirit inside of you that'll make you ready for what I've called you to do". And then he does it. Then Gideon is like, "Okay. How about the other way? Can you make the fleece dry and everything around it wet"? God said, "Yeah, because when you feel dry, I'm going to put enough encouragement around you in seasons of your life where you can get by on somebody else's faith".
After God does all that, Gideon is still trembling…until the Lord says, "Okay". Verse 11: "Go there. Face what you fear". Say it out loud. "Face what you fear". "And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened…" After you hear, not what God says, after you hear what the enemy says. I'm going to tell you something you've never had a preacher tell you before. Sometimes you need to listen to your enemy. They're going to come take our Baptist papers away after this sermon, for sure. "Pastor, I've heard you preach a lot of sermons, but you're always telling me not to do that". No, no, no. He said, "Go down and hear what the enemy is saying about you, and when you hear what the enemy says… If you don't believe what God says about you, maybe you'll believe what the enemy says about you".
Which raises a question. If you're worthless, why is the Devil fighting you so hard? Think about that. The Enemy is not infinite. Only God is infinite. He only has so much artillery. So, if it has been coming against your mind lately, and it has been coming against your marriage lately, and it has been coming against your bloodline lately, and it has been coming against your heart lately, what does your Enemy believe about you that you don't believe about you? He must believe that you are a very valuable instrument. That's why you've been having shortness of breath, panic attacks, and you can barely get through the day. The Devil knows if you keep breathing much longer… There is a breakthrough with your name on it. You are so close. Just about the time… Look at God. Look at how sovereign he is. Look at how he put you here at this time for this message. Look at how he gave you this word for when you needed it.
"I've got what it takes to win". How did Gideon know? Because the moment he got to the camp… Give me verse 12. This is so good. "And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the East lay along the valley…" They're in abundance. The enemy is in abundance, and Gideon's strengths are few. I know you feel that way, but listen to the enemy. In verse 13, he says, "Dude, I had a dream last night. It was kind of weird. You're not going to believe me, but…" "Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian and came to the tent and struck it so that it fell and turned it upside down, so that the tent lay flat". "Is that the whole dream"?
You know when people try to tell you their dreams, and you're like, "I'm sure this was interesting when you were asleep, but this is really… Can you speed this along"? "And then I was wearing glasses, but they weren't glasses; they were headphones. But then they were AirPods, and then the left one died. What do you think that means"? "I saw some bread roll through the camp, and it smashed everything". Give me verse 14. Look at what his friend says back. This is the weird part. You haven't even heard the weird part yet. "And his comrade answered, 'This is no other than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given into his hand Midian and all the camp.'"
You got all that from a loaf of bread? Barley bread no less. That's the cheap bread. That's the moldy bread. Something snapped in Gideon when he heard that. Look at verse 15. "As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped". What do you do when you worship? You throw your hands up. What did God say he had given Gideon? The victory. Where did he tell him he put it? In his hands. So, he put those instruments of victory up in the air and realized, "The hand of Midian is strong, but the hand of God is greater". "And he returned to the camp…"
Who is this word for? This thing has been burning a hole in me. I can't even move right now. I'm glued to the floor until I finish this. Gideon went back down, not from what he heard from God, what he heard from his enemies. He realized, "If they are that intimidated by me, then God must…" If they're dreaming about me… If the Devil is waking me up in the middle of the night, it must be a sword. He said to his men, "Arise, for the Lord has given the host of Midian into your hand".
I want to ask you something. If a barley bread loaf can be a weapon to destroy an army that's as abundant as a swarm of locusts… How fast does the barley have to be moving to knock down a whole camp? Now you get it. It wasn't about the weapon; it was about the wind. That's why, child of God, you can hold your head high when you leave this church today. You can know, "Oh, I'm a weapon. He's the wind". When the angel said, "Mighty warrior," Gideon said, "Who, me"? When the enemy said, "Moldy bread," Gideon was like, "Oh, that's me".
Sometimes what you need to believe isn't how much you know. You don't need more information; you need more belief in God. It was an amazing thing for the Enemy to see something as common as you rolling at him. It's picking up momentum now. Gideon said, "All right. Now that I've let go of my excuses, let's go". Let go to let's go. "That looks like bread coming. Oh no. I just saw whose hands were behind it. O God, I know what happens when you put it in the Master's hands". Ask the 5,000 what happens when you get the bread in the right hands. "Yeah, but it was broken".
Do you know what you didn't know? I didn't show you. Two weeks after I got this guitar, I dropped it. Yet isn't it just like God that something so broken, in the right hands, can still play something so beautiful? In the right hands. You've got what it takes. You just need to put those burdens… Would you just lift your hands to him right now? Put it in the right hands. Gideon put a trumpet in every man's right hand and a torch in the left hand. Lift your hands. You've got what it takes to win because the wind is behind you. The Holy Spirit is with you. How could something so broken produce something so beautiful?
Everyone who has a broken praise, lift your voice to the Lord right now. Tell him, "Thank you for the bread. Thank you for a new beginning. Thank you, Jesus". Come on, open your mouth. That's your trumpet. Use your words. Use your breath. Tell him, "I give you this situation. I give you this lawsuit. I give you this custody battle. I give you this bill. I give you this diagnosis". Let's let the wind of God sweep through this place. We've eaten the bread. We've received the word, but here comes the wind. Beautiful sounds from broken instruments. A beautiful song from a broken vessel. Lift your hands!