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Poverty is easily broken with a work ethic. However, the spirit of poverty has a design behind it to keep us out of our inheritance. It feels like this: We make progress toward our dream and every few years something happens that reduces it all to zero. Just before our Kingdom harvest, our provisions disappear and we are back the poverty of survival mode and our hope is deferred again. First we blame ourselves for making mistakes. Then we blame God for abandoning us – how can He expect us to start revival, influence our mountain, and bless the nations from relational and financial poverty? Answer – it’s not you, and it’s not God. We have to discern and take authority over the spirit behind this theft and the strategies used by it architect.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 NIV
in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. 2 Cor 2:11 NIV
The story of Gideon (Judges 6-8) starts with Israel planting and raising livestock only to have the Midianites come every summer at harvest time like a hoard of locusts and destroy every crop and animal. And every summer the Israelites would move into the mountains and live in the rocks and the caves to hide from the invasion. The two Midianite leaders were Oreb and Zeeb, whose names mean wolf and crow… Wolves that overpower and devour or come in sheep’s clothing to deceive and cheat, and crows that steal, scavenge and consume the provisions of God’s people.
Who we are and who is to blame – The very first issue that we need to settle has to do with our own identity: “Mighty Warrior.” We don’t feel like mighty warriors after theft; we feel more like powerless victims who have somehow been abandoned by God.
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” 13 “But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.” Judg 6:12-13
The cure starts with an encounter with Jesus – we have to hear, once again, that He loves us and called us to do great things. Our hearts need an ongoing experience that He is with us, and in us, and for us. Like Gideon, our hearts need confirmations – ask for them! It is not just correct theology, not just hope and not just a correct identity of who we are; it’s the relational experience of reigning with Him from above, the sense of being more than a conqueror, defeating spiritual forces from a position of strength.
The hour and the Question – Although many have been robbed and left discouraged (it’s a theme), the Kingdom is growing daily. Revival is breaking out around the world, and the door for believers to influence mountains and bless nations has never been more open. It is exactly in this context that Gideon’s army is being formed and we are being invited. It’s a volunteer army and we are being asked to say “yes, Lord” to both warfare and great victories. 30,000 is being reduced to 10,000 because the fearful are being allowed to go home. The 10,000 is being reduced to the 300 who act like Kings instead of lapping dogs in every circumstance. The 29,700 will be part of finishing the battle, but the 300 who said “yes, Lord” are the first fruits whom God is using to overcome the Midianite spirit and influence their mountain.
At exactly the time when we have been robbed and discouraged, Jesus shows up to call us a mighty warrior to carry out an assignment. Here’s the question: Will I say “Yes, Lord” and volunteer for this army? Or, choose to play it safe, sit this one out and let someone else volunteer?
“But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” 16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.” Judg 6:15-16 NIV
New armor – The garments and armor we wear from the last move of God have to be exchanged for the present move. The traditions of men and religion that reside in our own hearts have to be adjusted. It’s a new season with new strategies, new armor, new garments and to some degree even new fathers and new ways of thinking.
That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.” 27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the men of the town, he did it at night rather than in the daytime. Judg 6:25-27 NIV
The Strategy (Position your heart) – The Kingdom starts on the inside before it shows itself on the outside. God is giving our hearts the opportunity to receive a personal visitation from our Father. His love and His choosing elevate us above the spirit and power of the enemy. Gideon received many confirmations. He asked for a rerun on the fleece and he actually heard the fear in the enemy hearts (Judges 7:13-14).
2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. 3 Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp. 4 For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. 5 Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.
6 May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, 7 to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, 8 to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, 9 to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints. Ps 149:2-9 NIV
Put the Kingdom first – We no longer allow this spirit of Midian to steal from us because we are part of Gideon’s army… part of a much bigger Kingdom strategy to defeat him entirely. It’s no longer “just about me and my personal provisions.” Pick a fight with me and you get a response from my Father because our hearts are on the same page and we’re doing the same things.
We are not only kicking the enemy out of our inheritance; we are removing him from the nations in a way that 29,700 others will join us to complete the victory. Our personal authority is literally in “Jesus’ name” because we are seated with Him, He dwells in our hearts, it’s His strategy, in His power and for His glory that “all these things will be added”… our cups will run over spiritually, emotionally and financially to bless others.
The trumpet is sounding, there is no more delay. The army is being assembled and you’re being invited to rise above the design of the enemy to find your purpose, your people, your mountain, and your inheritance. The Spirit of the Lord is pouring out an unending supply of new strategies, new wine (joy), new oil (anointing), new networks, and new provisions… more than we can carry for ourselves; it has to be shared. It’s so contagiously beckoning our hearts, it has to be caught.
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Gen 12:2-3 NIV
Vigilance: The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. When we read the story of Gideon in the historic context, Israel had left a door wide open (Judges 2:1-5). We need to be aware that enemy oppression can gain a foothold for good reason. It’s even more true that Jesus redeemed us from those curses. One of the acts of spiritual warfare is addressing those open doors via repentance and allowing Jesus to redeem us from the consequences. He is our ongoing protection in warfare. Warfare is never one battle.
Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest. Prov 26:2 NIV
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Heb 12:15 NIV
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. Gal 3:13-14 NIV
Comment: I think Christians shift into neutral too soon, thinking that one victory means all will be smooth sailing from here on out. David pursued until he destroyed the enemy, Gideon pursued until he destroyed… millionaires have been bankrupt multiple times but keep pursuing until they utterly defeat poverty. Christians fight one good battle and expect the one breakthrough to be eternal. Wayne Thomas