Steven Furtick - Let Go Of What You Think You Need
Sometimes you can tell how significant your calling is by how much the Enemy is intimidated by you, and you can tell how much he's intimidated by you by how much he's talking to you. God said, "I've tried to talk to you through an angel. That didn't work. But now I want you to go listen to your enemy". Gideon goes down to the outpost. I almost missed it again. This is the big verse. Verse 11: "And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp".
Did you catch that? God didn't say, "Your hand will be strengthened when you hear what God says about you". The angel has been telling Gideon, "You're a mighty warrior". The angel has been telling Gideon, "God is with you". The angel has been saying, "God is going to deliver the people through you". Gideon doesn't believe any of it. He said, "So, if you don't believe me, maybe you'll believe the enemy. Go down and listen to the enemy for a minute, and after you hear what your enemy is saying, your hand will 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…" Ooh, there are a lot of them. "…and their camels were without number…"
So, there are a lot of them. "…as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance". There are a lot of them. Look. There are a lot of reasons to be afraid. There are a lot of reasons to fear. If you start listing them, you'll go crazy. But watch. 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…'" Ooh, barley bread. Not very threatening, huh? "'…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.'"
You have Gideon's hand, which is trembling. He's afraid. You have Midian's hand, which had them trapped. And you have God's hand, which is trustworthy. God says, "I am giving them into your hand". I don't know who this is for today, but God is saying, "I want you to let go of what you think you need. I want you to let go of what you thought you were. I want you to let go of what you can't get over. I want you to let go of it. I want you to go down toward the next thing I've called you to do". Gideon gets encouraged. He hears that. He's like, "Wait a minute. They're talking about me. I'm the barley". Yeah, that's not very impressive. "No, no, no. It's not what the barley is; it's what the barley does".
He goes from trembling to tumbling. God said, "Let's go". That's the third one: "Let's go". Verse 15: "As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped". He threw both of his hands up. "And he returned to the camp of Israel and said, 'Arise, for the Lord has given the host of Midian into your hand.'" Whose hand? The hands of the ones who took the trumpet, the hands of the ones who didn't turn back, the hands of the ones who were still trembling. "My hand is trembling, but I have a trumpet". Oh, these trumpets are about to be significant. The trumpets the rest of the nation left when they left… "I have a trumpet, and I have a God I can trust". Watch this. "And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the [trembling] hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars".
I have something in my hand. I have something in my heart. I have a gift. I have a skill. I have a weapon. I have an instrument. God said, "I'm going to put it in your hands. I'm going to put something in your hands in this season". Now watch. It's not going to make sense. A trumpet versus an army, or even a torch against an army, doesn't make sense, but it doesn't need to make sense. What it needs to do in your hands is be surrendered and submitted to God so you can go forward in the strength you have. (Oh, this is anointed. I can't wait to preach this Sunday.) He put a trumpet in their trembling hands. He put a torch in the other hand. He said, "I need you to have something in your hands that you can use".
Now what has God put in your hands, and what have you put in his hands? You can put it in his hands. The battle belongs to the Lord. You can put it in his hands. It is not by might. It is not by power. He is speaking today. He is strengthening today. That's why the Enemy has been fighting you. He has tried to keep you in his grip, but we came to break the grip of the Enemy, just like Gideon did. God said, "I'm breaking the grip of the Enemy over your life today. I'm breaking the grip of addiction. I'm breaking the grip of depression. It can't hold you anymore". Put it in his hands. When you put it in his hands, he puts it in your hands. I've got my trumpet. I've got my torch.
What's the torch? That's the light of the word God has spoken. What's the trumpet? That's the sound of your praise. That's the sound of his word that you speak out. My God, this will preach! "And he divided the 300 men [he had left] into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them…" Not the 32,000. No. The 300 who would go forward. God is looking for 300 today who will say, "I'll take the trumpet, and I will go toward what God has called me to do. I will take the torch, and I will march toward what God has called me to be. I'll do it shaking, and I'll do it unsure, and I'll do it in faith, and I'll do it step-by-step". He gave them a trumpet and an empty jar. There's something that goes into both of those. The breath goes in the trumpet, and inside the jar is going to go the light to turn the empty jar into the torch.
God is going to put something in you that's going to transform it from a silly instrument to an instrument of victory. Verse 17: "And he said to them, 'Look at me, and do likewise. When I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. When I blow the trumpet…'" When I take what's in my hand and breathe into it. "…I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also…" When I do it, you do it. "On every side of the camp, I want you to blow those trumpets, and I want you to shout, 'For the Lord and for Gideon.'" "So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him…" He takes a third of a small army, a third of 300.
That's all you need. You don't need what you think you need. You just need to give him the instrument. Here's what I want to do at this point in the sermon. Gideon took the hundred and came to the outskirts at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just set the watch. This is, like, 2:00 in the morning. "And they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands". They used what they had. "Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars". Blow the trumpet and break the jar. "They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, 'A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!'" "They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets".
What do you have in your hand right now, and whose hand are you in? Why are you so stressed and scared of an enemy that is so intimidated by you? Blow your trumpet. Break your jar. I want to use the jar, the torch, to represent the light of what you know. Go in what you know. "Yeah, but I don't have that figured out yet". You don't need to. Go in what you know. What you know is enough for now, and more will be revealed later. Break your jar, use your torch, and blow your trumpet. Make a sound of God's Word. Make a sound of praise. I'm looking for 300 people right now who will make a sound. Look at this. They blew the trumpets and broke the jars. Isn't that beautiful?
(Verse 20.) You have the instruments of victory. You are the instrument of victory. You're in God's hand. "They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, 'A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!'" What I couldn't figure out is where the sword was. Talking about a sword. All I have is a trumpet and a torch. Do you feel like that? "I don't have the weapons I need". I think it's going to surprise you where the sword was. Verse 21 says, "Every man stood in his place around the camp, and all the army ran. They cried out and fled".
This is the enemy army. They start running. Gideon has this military genius and a supernatural backing, and those two together are very powerful. He's like, "We're going to confuse the enemy. We're going to make them think we're bigger than we are. I want you to blow your trumpet". Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. I want you to break your jar. I want you to begin to make the sound of victory. I want you to begin to walk by faith, not by sight. Take a step of faith. The sound of praise and the step of faith. The step of faith (I'm calling that the torch) and the sound of victory. Now, if I get time, I'm going to come back and do more with this. I'm going to talk about the torch, the step of faith, the light. You know, I'm talking about an empty jar. We have this treasure in earthen vessels.
But remember, when you give your instrument, your mind, to the Enemy, he plays you. Don't let him play you. Take your instrument. Break your jar. Use your light. Step of faith, the torch, the light you have, and the sound of praise, the trumpet. When you take a step of faith and make a sound of praise, when you move forward in that, look at what God does. This is anointed. Verse 22: "When they blew the 300 trumpets, the Lord set every man's sword against his comrade and against all the army. And the army fled…" The instrument of victory God used to kill the enemy was the one the enemy was holding. Gideon didn't stab them to death with a trumpet. He didn't beat them to death with a jar. He didn't break the jar and start slicing their throats. No. He blew the trumpet, the sound of praise. He broke the jar. Break the jar.
Take the step of faith. Blow the trumpet. Make the sound of praise. And what will God do? God will take care of your enemy. Why? Because Gideon and the Israelites were in Midian's hand, but God's hand is greater than all. That's where I want to end this sermon. Give it to him. You are his instrument. He has called you for great things. He wants to use you to speak and to be and to change so many things. I hope you can feel that. I know you've been in a winepress, but you have weapons. You have instruments. You are an instrument in God's hand.
Maybe right here we sing "Do It Again". I don't know. Something just to put our lives in God's hands. Whose hands are you in today? You're not in Midian's hands. Whose hands are you in? What's in your hand? You've got what it takes to win, but God has been putting you through a season where he didn't want you to think it was your hand, so he let some things leave. Be openhanded about that. Let go. We need to just let go today. Let go. Go down to the camp. Make a move toward the thing God is calling you to do, and then let's go. Let's go.