Welcome to the very first guest post of our blog and we are happy to have our dear friend Pastor Priji Varghese share his wisdom. A humble and anointed man of God, Priji pastors the Bangalore Revival Center (Bangalore, India). Priji is madly in love with Jesus and no wonder his life is an inspiration to the people around him. He makes his base in the same city with his beautiful wife Rashmi. Enjoy reading this post and don’t forget to say a prayer for their ministry![/stextbox]
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Of all the books of the bible that I have read, the book of Judges has a special appeal to me because it narrates so many incidents of ordinary men & women turned warriors overnight. Gideon has been one of the many on my ‘favourite’ list for a long time. In fact it inspired me to write a blog on how God called out Gideon, and how we should likewise call out people. Please feel free to read it, titled Mighty Man of Valour? Me? Really?
To talk about Gideon, he was an absolute nobody and almost as much in fear as the rest of the Israelites of his time when God called him ‘a man of mighty valour’ (Judg 6:12). Right there, God was giving him the key to be different and to bring a change in his nation. In fact that is the difference between a leader and a follower, that was the difference between the inexperienced but giant killing David and the very experienced warrior king Saul, and that is the characteristic of “COURAGE”
May I share with you three key aspects about courage? If we could study through them and imbibe each of them into our life, I believe God can and will make a warrior Gideon out of us in any circumstance!
There is a mega difference between the divine, godly boldness and a human, hormonal courage, and that’s the chief thing we need to know. God was not giving a pep talk to Gideon, trying to encourage him to go out and fight this battle.
God was, in fact, revealing the source of true courage to Gideon. Judges 6:12 KJV: “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.” “The Lord is with thee”! That was the source of Gideon’s courage! Whenever your courage and boldness is based upon the fact that God is with you and when you are not relying on yourself, the courage that you carry is genuine. Such courage will see you through the greatest challenges and troubles in your life.
It is not enough to know that God is with you. You need to be specifically equipped and empowered for the task ahead of you. Such an empowerment comes only from God baptising you with His Holy Spirit. Judges 6:34 KJV: “But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abi-ezer was gathered after him.”
Whenever you believe that God has called you into doing something or going someplace, you should seek a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit for that specific purpose. It is only a life filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit that gets to testify the results that Jesus and the Apostles did during the New Testament days. Even the judges, the kings and the prophets of the Old Testament had to be filled by the Spirit of God before they could be or do anything for God.
Would you seek God for a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit? When you receive that baptism, divine boldness and courage will enter your heart to walk on for the glory of God! (Acts1:8, Acts 4:31)
The ultimate challenge of your courage is this. There are numerous who start with a right understanding of the fact that God is with them, even many who are filled by the Holy Spirit, but only few who continue to walk in obedience to God’s voice till the end. Your obedience to God’s voice on a daily basis is what will sustain your courage throughout your lifetime.
Judges 7 is full of stories of God speaking to Gideon and giving him the strategies, and Gideon obeying God at every step through the way. Had he stopped obeying God at anytime during the whole process, the outcome could have been different.
Begin with the right understanding of courage, remain humble under God’s hand seeking the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and live a life of obedience to God. Obeying God will literally fuel your courage and boldness!