THE BIG IDEA: To review men in the Bible that God called and used in His service to make Him great among men.
BIBLE FACT: God uses His own sovereignty to process and to call whom He wills into His employment to represent and to serve Him.
How God Chooses The Man
God calls the man (Divine invitation)
God breaks the man (Divine motivation)
God makes the man (Divine dedication)
God blesses the man (Divine inspiration)
God uses the man (Divine exaltation)
Gideon: God’s Bravest Man of Faith
(The Search For Faith In You)
One small voice can start a revolution
In 2004, Victor Yushchenko stood for the presidency of the Ukraine. Vehemently opposed by the ruling party Yushchenko’s face was disfigured and he almost lost his life when he was mysteriously poisoned. This was not enough to deter him from standing for the presidency.
On the day of the election, Yushchenko was comfortably in the lead. The ruling party, not to be denied, tampered with the results. The state-run television station reported “ladies and gentlemen, we announce that the challenger Victor Yushchenko has been decisively defeated.”
In the lower right-hand corner of the screen a woman by the name of Natalia Dmitruk was providing a translation service for the deaf community. As the news presenter regurgitated the lies of the regime, Natalia Dmitruk refused to translate them. “I’m addressing all the deaf citizens of Ukraine” she signed. “They are lying and I’m ashamed to translate those lies. Yushchenko is our president.”
The deaf community sprang into gear. They text messaged their friends about the fraudulent result and as news spread of Dmitruk’s act of defiance, increasing numbers of journalists were inspired to likewise tell the truth. Over the coming weeks the “Orange Revolution” occurred, as a million people wearing orange made their way to the capital city of Kiev demanding a new election. The government was forced to meet their demands; a new election was held and Victor Yushchenko became president.
Philip Yancey writes
“When I heard the story behind the orange revolution, the image of a small screen of truth in the corner of the big screen became for me an ideal picture of the church. You see, we as a church do not control the big screen. (When we do, we usually mess it up.) Go to any magazine rack or turn on the television and you see a consistent message. What matters is how beautiful you are, how much money or power you have. Similarly, though the world includes many poor people, they rarely make the magazine covers or the news shows. Instead we focus on the superrich, names like Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey.… Our society is hardly unique. Throughout history, nations have always glorified winners, not losers. Then, like the sign language translator in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, along comes a person named Jesus who says in effect, don’t believe the big screen – they’re lying. It’s the poor who are blessed, not the rich. Mourners are blessed too, as well as those who hunger and thirst, and the persecuted. Those who go through life thinking they’re on top end up on the bottom. And those who go through life feeling they’re on the bottom end up on the top. After all, what does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose his soul?”—Source: Philip Yancey, What Good Is God, pages 184-186
Gideon is God’s bravest man of faith. He is the lone selection of God to lead Israel through one of their worst times. He is truly the man in the arena. At certain points in life each man or boy will find himself as the man in the arena. Life will make sure it locates you and challenges you for leadership. This may happen on a job, in your Church, in your community or even in your own family. Dr. John C. Maxwell always says, “Everything rises and falls on the shoulders of the leader.” This is that timely moment of choice that happened to Gideon. It can happen to you.
I. The scene for a faith demonstration (Judges 6)
A. A brave leader working dutifully; vv.11-12
B. A brave leader doubting; vv.13-15
C. A brave leader encouraged; v.16
D. A brave leader discovering; vv.17-21
E. A brave leader’s devotion; v.24
F. A brave leader’s dedication; vv.25-32
G. A brave leader’s decision; vv.33-35
H. A brave leader’s dilemma; vv.36-40