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Gideon – Secrets to Success
God prepares you for battle.
Judges 7:1-7, 1 Corinthians 3:8, NKJV; Revelation 22:12, NKJV
God calls a leader to follow.
God prepares the leader before He prepares the people. (Judges 6:12, NKJV) God saw something in Gideon that he did not see in himself. (Psalm 139:14, NKJV, MSG) God called Gideon, now God’s testing Gideon. (Judges 6:25-27, NKJV) You have to pass the test if you want to be blessed. Gideon’s calling and testing was done in secret. (Judges 6:29-30, NKJV) The secret to success is what you do in secret. (Matthew 6:3-4, CEV; Matthew 6:6, CEV)
God destroys self-confidence to build Godly-confidence.
(Hebrews 13:5-6, NKJV)
Most people are not willing to pay the price for success. God wants us to go from self-reliant to God-reliant. God is taking what you see as being betrayed, forsaken, or forgotten and turning it into Godly dependence and Godly confidence. (Hebrews 13:5-6, NKJV; Judges 7:2-3, NKJV)
Trust God’s Word over your feelings.
(Judges 7:7, NKJV)
The real secret to success is trusting the facts over your feelings. God’s words and promises are facts to believe.
Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer (00:00):
Good morning, Journey Church. Man, she’s so right about faith. But I do want you to know that during that message, we’re going to learn the difference between godly confidence and self-confidence. I’m so excited about what’s going on around the campus. So many exciting things. I mean everything from the new year, I had a 52-day dream and it was to have the ladies bathrooms, number one, painted and cleaned. Amen, ladies. Number two it was to have one of the nicest nurseries in central Louisiana. And next week or two, you go back there. It’s unbelievable. Number three, it was to update our parking lot. And next week, you can’t believe what it’ll look like. Number four, it was to have our signs updated. I’m telling you. And number six, to do some updating on our stage. Now, you know, with the virus you would think, oh my goodness gracious. How can we be updating? How can we keep going forward? Well, it’s because of your generous giving, your generous tithes. And then we had a supernatural gift last week or week before, $35,000 from a regular person. And it allowed us just to keep moving forward. So I just want to thank you, Journey Church, for being so good and so faithful during these times.
James Greer (01:10):
Next week, if you went to the marriage retreat, I want to encourage you. Listen, everybody. Wear your t-shirts. Amen? Because we’re starting a new series called Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. And what we want to do is we want your marriage to last, and we want your relationships to be hard to break up. Because we want you to stay together. And also, if you hadn’t signed up for the class, that’s on the back, you can tell you on the back of the bulletin, Brother Darrell will be teaching. Now, if you’re engaged, you’re also included. If you’re living together, you’re also included. In fact, If you’re living together and you’re not married and you want to go through it at the end, we’ll marry you for free. Darrell will. Amen. Darrell will be excited to do it. Amen? There you go.
James Greer (01:59):
So let’s finish our last series on The Season Premiere: A Brand New Year. It’s Gideon part 2. And you’re going to find that the secret to success, and through the message, there’s at least two secrets. They’re kind of tucked in the message. And if you can get those two secrets, you’ll be more successful in any and every area of your life, your marriage, your home, your finance. Every area. But you’re going to have to look for them. You might have to write them down. But they’re definitely in there. It could also be how to prepare you for a spiritual battle that you could win. I mean if somebody can lead 300 men and they can defeat 134,000 men, they know some secrets to success. Amen? So let’s start out reading in Judges 7:1 through 7.
James Greer (02:48):
And it said Jeruhbaal, who’s really Gideon, and all the people who were with him, they rose early and camped beside the well of Harod. Let me tell you what’s happening. Gideon, God had called Gideon to go out and fight the Midianites. There was 134,000, and God’s now preparing him. God had called him. Now God’s preparing him. So they camped on the Midianites which is north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley. So they’re getting ready to go. And then thank goodness, and the Lord said to Gideon, I want you to listen to this over and over and over again today. You will hear the capital LORD said to Gideon. It’s a good thing Gideon was listening. Amen? The Lord probably has a word for you. It’d be a good thing if you’re ready to hear what He has to say for you.
James Greer (03:38):
It was Gideon listened to the capital LORD, the captain of all the armies, captain of all the [inaudible], the one that’s ultimate authority that gave him the insights and the power and the authority to take 300 men and fight 134,000. The Lord has a message for you today. It’s just a matter of, are you going to listen? He said, the people are too many for me to give the Midianites into your hand, lest Israel claim the glory for itself against Me, saying in my hands, thou was saved. Too many? I got 32,000. They got 134,000. And God you say that it’s too many. Let me give you a couple of insights with that. Way too many Christians are focused on who and how many are against them instead of who and how many are for them. I write down this. That way when I preach on it, 2 Kings 6:16. He tells one of his servants. He said, I want you to remember something. There’s always more with us than there is with them.
James Greer (04:46):
Do you understand as a Christian, you always have more with you than are against you? I’m not talking about physical people. I’m not talking about other Christians. I’m talking about a spiritual host that’s greater than any other hosts in Heaven and Earth. Only a third of the angels were thrown out. God’s still got three fourths of the angels at His very disposal. You know, many reasons we lose so many battles in person, this is important, in our marriage, in our families and at work and friends is because we want the glory instead of God. See, the reason that God said, listen, we got to narrow it down because even though it looks like 134,000 or 32,000, if you won, you might think that you did it. And so many times the reason we lose so many battles in our home and our families, with our mates is because we want the glory instead of giving God the glory. And when you want the glory instead of God’s glory, it’s called self-glorification instead of God’s glorification. Always ends up in defeat. See, you might win one battle, but you’ll lose the war. You might win a fight against your wife, but your marriage is no good. You might win with your friend, but then you lose your friend. You might stand up at work, think you’re some big shot and lose your job. When’s the last time you went into battle and your goal was to get God the glory instead of you?
James Greer (06:14):
That’s big. The word glory means to boast, to brag. Look at me. Self-Glorification. 32,000 instead of 134,000. God said, I don’t want you to get the honor. I don’t want you to get the glory. I’ve been trying to teach you over and over again, when you have problems, situation, challenges in your life, quit looking through your eyes of the world. Look through God’s eyes. Amen? You know, faith sometimes is believing that something is so when it didn’t so until it is so. Verse 3, now, therefore proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying whoever is fearful and afraid, let him depart at once to Mount Gilead. And 22,000 of the people returned and a thousand remained. How’d you like to be preaching and saying, man, we’re going to go forward. Man, we’re going to have victory. We’re going to win people to the Lord. Is everybody ready to go with me? Now if you’re fearful and afraid, you don’t come. Everybody leaves. How’d you like to be preaching to that crowd? Sometimes I feel like I am. But no, not really. I mean wouldn’t it be something? I don’t think Gideon really believed that that 22,000 were going to leave, 60% to 70% of his congregation.
James Greer (07:35):
70% of the men that were going into battle. You know what I wrote on my notes? I said, I pray God that 60% to 70% to 80% of the members of Journey Church, those that come, those that watch online, I hope you’re not living a life fearful and afraid. That is not God’s will or that’s not God’s purpose for your life. 22,000 turned and left. It’s an absolute fact though that 80%, I mean 20% of the people do 80% of the work at church. 20% of the people give 80% of the giving. It’s just the way it is. 20% of the people enjoy the power and the presence of God in a supernatural way. The truth is God wants 100% to go all-in. Amen? And see, Gideon had 22,000, three-fourths that left. See, I believe that God’s called you to go all-in, and I believe He’s called you to do it today. Amen? Don’t run. Don’t hide. Address your battles. They don’t go away. The longer you put off a problem, the bigger it gets. But do it in a way that God gets the glory and God gets the honor for it. Lord said to Gideon, the people are still too many. Come on, God. Still too many? Bring them down to the water, and I will test them. Say, test them. God will test you. God will test me. We will go through tests. Amen? Then it will be that of whom I say to you, this is one who shall be with you, the same shall go with you. And whosoever says to you, this one shall go with you, the same shall not.
James Greer (09:25):
I mean listen to this. God’s fixing to whittle them down again. I want you to know when it says test, if you’re not in a small group, I want to tell you, Rick Warren’s going to teach a lesson next Sunday. It’s one of the best lessons I’ve ever seen on testing. Now he’s going to use Daniel and if you’re not in a group and you need to be a group, take your next step card and just say, I would like to be in a group next Sunday. Because I’m going to tell you, it’s one of the best teachings on testing that I’ve ever seen in my life. Okay. Anyway. See, you gotta pass the test if you want to be blessed. The test of stress. Anybody got stress? Everybody say amen? Do y’all know the real purpose of the test of stress is to see if you can handle success? Why would God allow you to be more successful in one area if you can’t handle the stress in that area? And see, you didn’t pass the test. So you have to go through it again. See, when you fail the test, it just doesn’t go away. I wish it did. Amen? You just got to go through the test again. Life is a test. The purpose of God’s test is simply to teach you to trust Him more. The purpose of God’s test is to teach you to trust Him more. When you trust Him more, then He can bless you more.
James Greer (10:58):
Verse five, so he brought the people down to the water. Man. And the Lord said to Gideon, everyone who laps from the water with his tongue as a dog laps, you shall set him apart by himself. Likewise, everyone who gets down on his knees to drink. Now God’s fixing to separate the people. And the number of those who lap, putting their hands in their mouth was 300 men. But all the rest of the people got on their knees to drink the water. Now, listen, God’s fixing to tell him to do something. Now we’re down to 300 men. And the Lord said to Gideon. Who said it? Good thing Gideon’s listening now. God’s whittled it down from 32,000 versus 134,000, 20-something thousand left. Now he’s down to 300 men. And the Lord said to Gideon and the Lord’s saying to you and the Lord’s saying to me, you’re going to have battles and you’re going to have tests. You can do it on your own, and you can try to get the glory. Or you can rely on me.
James Greer (12:17):
The Lord said by the 300 men who lapped, I’ll save you. It’s a good thing that not only Gideon hears the Lord but Gideon believes the Lord. Amen? He said, listen, I’ll save you and I’ll deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people, everybody go back to their place. I mean, God, you’re whittling it down. I guess now you’re gonna let me fight? I’m down to 300 against 134,000. I started out with 34,000. You just keep whittling them down. The truth is God can do more with 300 faithful people than He can with 134,000 who are fearful. God can do more with a few that have faith than a lot that have little. Wouldn’t you like to be one of the ones that have the faith? Wouldn’t it be great if you’re one of the 300 that you saw God deliver and beat 134,000? Wouldn’t that be a great victory? Wouldn’t you like to go all-in? Wouldn’t you like to be a part of that? Say amen!
James Greer (13:13):
Insight to remember. All the children of Israel, even the ones that hid, even the 20-plus thousand that went back that were afraid, that were fearful, that didn’t fight, you know, they still got to have some enjoyment when the 300 defeated the 134,000? It’s called individual and cooperative blessings. There was individual blessing for the 300. Man, can you imagine being part of a battle which you were God’s side and you defeated 134,000? That would be individual blessing. That would be unbelievable excitement. You get to see the power of God firsthand. Amen? And then there was the cooperative blessings. It was the other children of Israel that had been hiding, been starving. Because of what the 300 did, they were still going to get to enjoy what God’s blessings had. So you might be here and you say, well, I’m not part of leading the hundreds that are coming to know the Lord. I mean third service, we’re going to baptize somebody else. That’s going to make seven this year. Amen? You might not know about the relationships, the marriages and the youth that lives are changed and saved. You might not know about all the hurts that are healed. You might be working in nursery, be in the parking lot. You might be giving above. You might be teaching. You might be serving in an area that nobody knows. You might be one of those with the gift of encouragement, and you’ve encouraged one of us to keep going when we wanted to give up.
James Greer (15:00):
God knows who you are. You should be enjoying the blessings. You enjoy them now. And you enjoy them in Heaven. Whether you’re one of the 300 or whether you’re one of the thousands, you should still be enjoying the blessings of what God’s doing here. Amen? Because 1 Corinthians 3:8 says this. He said, now he who plants and he who waters are one. Church, we got people that are planting. We’ve got people that are watering. We’ve got people that are giving. We’ve got people that are plowing. And each one’s going to receive his own reward according to his own labor. It does make a difference what we do. In Revelation 22:12 tells us, behold, I’m coming quickly. And I do believe God’s coming quickly. And my reward is with me. I give everyone according to his worth. So I want to tell you, it matters what you do. It matters where you go to church. It matters whose umbrella of protection you’re under. Number one, number one, how does God prepare us for battle? Ah, that was the introduction. That was some of your main points. I hope you got them.
James Greer (16:09):
Point number one, point number one. He calls a leader to follow. That’s how He prepares you. Now this leader here, he messes up. I mean the first time since the virus, a few Sundays ago, we had 30-something visitors, first-time visitors. Amen? And I accidentally said a cuss word. It narrowed them down. They didn’t come back. No, they didn’t. I sometimes I do something and say something I shouldn’t. I know that I’m not perfect. I know that I mess up. But you know one thing I’m sure about? I’m sure about my calling than anything else in my life, about where I work, about where I go, and about what I do. I know without a shadow of a doubt God’s supernaturally called me. I know for a fact. I know when it was. I know how it happened. And He called me to lead this church. In fact, I wouldn’t be at a church that I couldn’t follow the leadership. I talk to people sometimes and they say, man, it’s horrible, horrible, horrible and this, that and the other. You know? And I’m–no, I wouldn’t be somewhere. I wouldn’t be at a church if I couldn’t trust and follow the leadership. I wouldn’t do that. Can you imagine the 300 people if they couldn’t trust Gideon? And Gideon says, guess what the Lord told me y’all? I know there’s 134,000 people over there.
James Greer (17:41):
But God told me we’re going to win. What if you didn’t trust him? You wouldn’t go to the battle, would you? Amen? But God also always prepare as a leader before He prepares the people. Way back in Judges 6:12, he said, and the angel of the Lord appeared to him, to Gideon. He said, the Lord, capital LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor. See, God saw something in him that he didn’t see himself. And God sees something in you that you probably don’t see. God sees you as you could be, not as simply as you are. God sees you differently. God sees you as the fearfully and wonderfully and a mighty man or woman of valor. I love the Psalmist way. It says in Psalm 139:14. I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are my works. And that my soul knows very well.
James Greer (18:35):
I love the way the message puts it. I thank you, God. High God. He says, you’re breathtaking. He’s talking about me and you. He said, this is the way God created you. This is the way God sees you. He said, you’re breathtaking, body and soul. I’m marvelously made. I will worship and adore you that created me. He’s talking about God. But God said, I’m the one that made you. God said, I see you. You’re fearfully made. You’re wonderfully made. Your body is breathtaking. I really never saw my body as breathtaking. Now my wife’s, that’s different. But mine, no, no, no. But it is what it is. God wants you to accept who you are, the way you are, and the way you look. He said, you’re fearfully, you’re wonderfully, you’re breathtaking. You’re a mighty man or woman. It came to pass that same night that the Lord said to him, this goes backwards. Now it’s going back to God. It’s going back to Gideon’s calling. The other was preparing him for the battle. Now it’s back to his calling. Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has and cut down the wooden image that’s beside it.
James Greer (20:01):
Uh-oh. One of the reasons the children Israel were in bondage was because they started idolatry, is because they started worshiping the wrong people. And he said, build an altar to the Lord. God’s fixing to deliver them from their idolatry. These things will give them victory. You always got to give something up to go up. And the Lord said, your God on top of the rock and then in their proper arrangement and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice of the wood of the image which you cut down. My goodness gracious. Do you understand what he’s doing? Gideon took 10 men. He had no followers. Now he has 10 men. Later on, he gas 34,000. From among his servants. And he did as the Lord said. He heard the Lord. He obeyed the Lord. But because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city too much. So he didn’t do it in day. He did it by night. But Gideon destroyed the altar of Baal. I mean Gideon is doing something, man. He rocking the house. He’s going forward. He’s doing what God called him to do. And listen, it’s unbelievable. But let me tell you what. Many times after great victories will come a great test.
James Greer (21:22):
Many times after great victories come great tests. Many times after your calling will come great tests and great attacks. Satan then sees you different. Satan says, uh-oh, he’s going to go from a spectator to a participator. I’m going to try and take him out. First time you really make a commitment, I’m going to come every Sunday and you hadn’t been coming Sunday. That next Sunday, all hell will break loose. First time you start tithing and you haven’t started tithing, everybody else thinks they going to tithe, they going to get a check in the mail. It doesn’t work like that. Usually, Satan says, uh-oh, they’re making a commitment. And a lot of times you’re going to have a battle right before the victory. The first time you get a calling, the first time you get a great victory, then comes to battles. Be ready. So they said one to another, this is the people that were living there. This is Gideon’s, the children of Israel. Who’s done this? And when they had inquired, they said, Gideon, the son of Joash. He’s done this. Well, guess what’s fixing to happen to Gideon? Then the men of the city said to Joash who was his father, bring out your son that he might die.
James Greer (22:39):
Gideon’s thinking, man, I just did what God called me to do. I got 10 people to follow me. I went out at night because I was afraid. But I still did it. Satan’s going to try and take him out. Bring your son out that we can kill him because he’s torn down Baal and because he’s cut down the wooden image that was beside it. He said, I’d like to just take him out. God called him. Now God’s testing him. But not only did God call him, not only did God test him, God provided and God protected. Amen? God called. God protected. It was all done in secret. So far everything Gideon’s life had been in secret. Gideon was in hiding. When God came from him, Gideon accepted his first calling. He did it at night. You ready? You ready for the first secret to success? It’s what you do in the secret times with God that leads success in the public times. It’s what you do in the secret times with God that leads to success in the public times.
James Greer (23:47):
What you do in the secret times with God will lead to success in your marriage. What you do in the secret times with God will lead to success in your finances. What you do in the secret times will lead to your success during your stress. At the same time, the wrong things you do in secret will lead to sorrow, sadness, shame, struggles, and probably the worst of all, the separation from God’s protection and provision. We’d better be careful about the secret things. Matthew 6:3 says, but when you do a charitable deed, don’t let the left hand know what the other one says. Another translation that goes on verse 4, it says, your Father knows what you’ve done in secret and He rewards you. 6:4 says He, God knows what you’re doing in secret. He says, He rewards you. Matthew 6:6 says, when you pray, go into your room alone, close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private or in secret and He will reward you openly. God knows what you do in secret. He’s going to award you openly good or bad. The question I have for you, and of course, that I have for me is what are you doing in secret?
James Greer (25:35):
Or better than that, is what you’re doing in secret, is it going to bring the blessings and power of God or it’s going to bring the curse of God? What we do in secret, God knows what we’re doing. You can’t hide from God. Has God ever convicted you of a sin that you need confess and you don’t do it? I have. It’s like I’m hiding from God. Our secret sins keep us sick. First, God calls a leader to follow. And always the main leader is God that you should follow. Second, God destroys self-confidence to build godly confidence. You know, most people can’t handle success or victory because you see where most of them left and it only left 300. The first secret to success is what you do in secret will lead to success publicly if you do what’s right. The second secret to success is this. The real second secret to success is trusting the facts over your feelings. Until you ever learn to trust God’s Word, which is the facts, over the way you feel, you’ll never really have success. Can you imagine 300 people looking out there and 134,000 and Gideon, the leader stands up and says, hey, we’re going to win because God said so?
James Greer (27:10):
No, no, you wouldn’t feel like it. Gideon said to them by the 300 men who lapped, I’m going to save you God said. I’m going to deliver the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other people, let them go home. Do you understand what’s happening? Let me give you some insights. First of all, when you get saved, you get called. Everybody in here, if you’re saved, you are called. Just a matter of today, you want to answer your calling. See, Gideon had three-fourths of the people that left. He ended up probably more than three-fourths, almost 80%. See, I believe today when I give an invitation, I believe 80% are going to respond and not leave. Amen, Brother James. That’s just the kind of faith I have. I believe that. Everyone’s called.
James Greer (28:04):
Second of all, I believe sometimes God allows betrayals, hurts, people that turn their back on us to lead to godly confidence and godly dependence instead of self-dependence. Maybe you’ve got a battle that you need to fight. It can’t be worse than 300 to 134,000. What you need more than anything else is a promise from God. You need a word. You need to trust in the facts and not your simple feeling. You need to believe. You need to believe. In Hebrews 13:5, you need to believe what it says. You need to trust the facts of Hebrews 13:5 and 6 and not your feelings. When it says, let your conduct be without covetousness, just be content with such things that you have. Number one, if you want to have victory, start being content with what you have before God gives you anything else. Amen, Brother James. For He Himself said what? I’ll never leave you or I’ll never forsake you. After God says, I want you to know I’ll never leave you, I’ll never forsake you, do y’all know what Hebrews 13:6 says?
James Greer (29:22):
I love it. So we may boldly say the Lord, the same Lord that was with Gideon, He’s my helper. I will not fear what man can do for me. You don’t fear what man can do to you. Gideon and 300 men, they had to come to the point that they didn’t fear men. They feared God more than they did men. They trusted in the facts more than they did their feelings. How about you? I don’t know what’s going on in your life. Maybe you’ve really been hurt. Maybe you have been betrayed. Maybe people turned their back on you. It really does hurt. Why don’t you take what was bad and let God turn it around into something good? Why don’t you write down today, commit to I’m going to allow my hurts, those people that have betrayed me, those people that left me, I’m going to allow God to turn around something good and I’m going to quit worrying about self and self-confidence and I’m going to turn it into a God confidence that I’ve never had in my entire life. Because that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to trust in the facts instead of my feelings. Gideon had to hear from God. He heard his calling. What are you hearing God this morning? He trusted God because he had been tested. Maybe you’ve been tested, and God’s wants you to trust Him this morning. And finally, Gideon had to obey God. And are you willing to obey God this morning?
James Greer (31:07):
I’m going to tell you, God is setting you up for victory like you’ve never had before. You have to make the decision. Some of you here today that God’s been calling you, maybe He’s called you to join the church. Some of you never been biblically, publicly baptized. Today’s the day to do that. Would you stand? Let me pray with you and pray for you? God, I just thank you for today. I think you that I believe everybody’s going to take a next step. I believe everybody has a calling. Everybody has a purpose. I believe everybody’s tested. We’re going to let our tests turn into trust. We’re going to believe the facts, not our feelings. God, some people here today, they just need a word from you and they don’t know where to get it. We have counselors down front. They can help you find a promise for your problem. And you hang onto that problem till God gives you the provisions, whether it’s to accept Christ for the first time where you have the capital LORD, the Lord of all the hosts, Lord of all the armies on your side.
James Greer (32:07):
If you’ve never done that, today is a day to put your faith and trust in Jesus as your personal savior. Just admit that you’ve sinned, you believe He died, you want Him to come into your heart. Maybe you’re facing an unbelievable battle and you want the Lord on your side. And God said, listen, to tell you today, I want you to trust me. Some of you, God just said, I want you to obey me. Join the church. Follow through in baptism. Take your next step. Everybody has a next step. Ask God. God, what is the next step that you would have me to do? I pray that you’d take out your next cards. And I pray that you’d begin to ask God. You got to hear from Him. Want would you have me to do, God? If it’s one of those on there, just mark it down. If you need somebody to pray with you and pray for you, you can do it on your next step or you can come to the front. I just simply want you to simply let God have His will and His way in your life. It’s in the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Darrell Ingram (33:10):
Hey. On behalf of Pastor James, we’re so glad you joined us this morning. If you still want someone to pray with you and for you, we have people on standby right now. Come next Sunday because it’s going to be something special. We’re starting a brand new series and you have to come to find out what it’s about. Hey, we’ll see you next Sunday.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.