I have now completed the Gideon Bible Study and have 2 sets of notes to record. The notes from October 2012 as a live audience member that were the stand alone sermons and the notes recently written in November 2013 (over a year later) from the book study. After digging through several journals I finally found my notes from the original Gideon Bible Study recording in October 2012. We were asked not to publically post anything about Gideon until its release in May 2013. So, I put my journal away where I wouldn’t forget it (but forgot it) and really haven’t looked back through the notes yet.
P.S. I encourage you to keep your own sermon journals and notes. As the pastor or teacher speaks, I write down what they say but also write down what I feel the Holy Spirit impress upon me individually. To me, that’s the most important part. What did I personally hear from God by situating myself in that study or at that church service? I can easily look back through 10 years of journals and see everything that God has sustained me through, prayers He answered and how He answered them (sometimes with a big fat “no”), and how He has been ever present over this past decade even when it did not feel like it.
The October 2012 highlights from my journal are:
The nation of people were in rebellion against God and everyone did what was right in their own eyes. (Sounds like today doesn’t it?) There were so many divisions among God’s people that they were not properly united to stand against the enemies of God. The generation coming up did not know the Lord. Children can only ride the coattails of their parents for so long. They must be tested for themselves.
Gideon believed he was at the bottom of the barrel as the least of the sons of the least tribe. But the Angel of the Lord found him. An encounter with God changes everything.
Environment is very important. Story – she had spent hours straightening her hair but after an hour in Sydney she had a full afro. No matter how much work we do, the environment we are in matters. (This reminded me of Pastor Duane Sheriff who used to say that a lawn mower doesn’t do much good in the Sahara desert. My notes: I am fully aware that I have a purpose but am not in the “correct” environment. Be sure to keep traveling until you know you’ve arrived at the right place.)
What is your weakness? Gods strength is made perfect in weakness.
We can see so much about God’s nature by how He dealt with Gideon. He was so patient with him and kind and long-suffering when Gideon needed reassurances. God is slow to anger and great in power. Christ demonstrated perfect patience in coming to save sinners. God was so patient before the flood. Abraham had asked God not to destroy the city to save the righteous. God gave the Ninevites 40 days to change in Jonah. The Lord woos sinners to himself. Mankind keeps turning to rebellion so God keeps placing different people in different generations to bring them to Him. Jesus was the checkmate.
God saves us and changes us but also strengthens us and uses us.
Would you fight differently if you believed what the Bible says about you? Behavior is not identity.
Judges 7:15 shows us how to win battles. Gideon is in worship. You begin the battle on your knees.
In Jericho they shouted BEFORE the walls fell down. (Your victory is before you see the results. Trust.)
Story: pre-lit steps in Billy Jean music video with Michael Jackson. Listen for God and take that step. The one that is pre-lit on the path that God has set just for you. (Thankfully He redeemed even my mistakes where I can see that I took the wrong path. He truly uses all things for our good. God so totally rocks!)
Food for Thought: Who is your King? Does God REALLY have the seat of authority in your life?