(Part 2 of 2)
Saints with faith win victories. One man under control of the Spirit can influence a remnant who then can carry out great achievements. God is not bound by conventional methods. Victory does not depend upon numbers; it’s the hand of God that counts. Was Gideon’s three hundred men the first “special ops force”? Victory is not dependent on how much equipment you may have. The 300 had pitchers, lamps, and trumpets. In the natural way of looking at things these were not adequate weapons. The battle is the Lord’s; it’s His power, not ours. We are just instruments in His hand.
The men of Succoth and Penuel were non-supporters. Chapter 8 tells the story, and this is the object of this message: Gideon and the 300 had just killed 120,000 men of Midian, but there were yet 15,000 left alive. Gideon asked the men of Succoth and Penuel for bread and water. “We are faint, but pursuing” (chapter 8:4-5). The men of Succoth and Penuel closed their hands and hearts to Gideon’s request because they wanted proof. The Lord has many mighty men of valor today who are “faint, yet pursuing,” “tired, yet pursuing,” “lacking in finances, yet pursuing,” “old, yet pursuing.” The men of Succoth and Penuel saw no sign of complete victory, so they asked for more evidence. They withheld support. They said “no” to God’s vision and to God’s mighty men. Someone has said, “People who have no vision beyond their own selves believe in nothing, they change nothing, they renew nothing, they support nothing and they end up with nothing.”
When God raises mighty warriors, don’t withhold from them if they “faint” for lack of finances. We live in a world where finances are essential. Even Christians need finances to preach the gospel and to chase the devil. It was the leaders of Succoth and Penuel that opposed God’s mighty warriors. They may have not liked this obscure farmer whom God had raised up. “He isn’t in our camp, you know.” The Lord whispered a prophecy in Gideon’s ear, “Keep pursuing, we’ll be back. The flesh and self-preservation that they hid under will be torn off them and their towers will fall.” Gideon and his warriors pursued on, killed the enemy, and captured alive the two kings of Midian. The Lord may have said, “Gideon, let’s go back to Succoth and Penuel with the evidence they asked to see” (chapter 8:11-13). They caught a young man who happened to know the names of all the leaders and where they lived (chapter 8:14). Gideon came and presented the evidence, then fulfilled the word he had said earlier. The men of Succoth hid behind their flesh and because of their lack of support for the mighty men, they had their flesh torn by thorns and briars. It was in their power to help but they said “no” to the Lord’s vision to deliver. The men of Penuel had the tower (personal kingdom) that they had built for their protection torn down, and the leaders were slain. God knows everyone’s address. Withhold support from God’s mighty men whom He has called and commissioned, and God will come back and visit you. You can count on it.
We are in the last days; it’s harvest time. There is no shortage of mighty men pursuing the vision God has called them to. There are also men of “Succoth and Penuel” in our day. The word “Succoth” means, “a lair, a den, a booth, a cottage, a covert, a tabernacle.” The men of Succoth hid behind their works of flesh, and they lost their lives. The word “Penuel” means “the face of God, to face God.” The men of Penuel turned away from God and trusted in their own security, and they saw their security crumble. Oppression today is very heavy for many people. Nations are calling for the gospel, for Bibles, for help with food and medicine and technology. Withhold, and God may say, “Let’s go back there and visit them and deal with their flesh.” Brothers and sisters in Christ… if you withhold in time of harvest you can expect a visit from the Lord who still keeps account. In our day, as in Gideon’s day, there is lack of national and spiritual unity. People are doing their own thing. They have their own agenda. Many people have great potential to help reap in the harvest, but they face catastrophe because of withholding. It’s time to do what is right in God’s eyes. Get behind the mighty warriors that God has raised up in this generation. You can pray. God can change things and do the impossible. Ask God to lead you to the mighty warriors that He wants you to help. The harvest is ripe all over the world. Keep pursuing in your giving. The men of Succoth and Penuel tried to gain the world but they lost everything.
Pastor George Belobaba
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