Judges Chapter Seven is a familiar passage of scripture and story. I’ve never honestly shared much of anything about Gideon, or Gideon’s army because it’s one of those things that I feel like everybody and their brother have covered. With that said, recently the Lord began to speak to me about a remnant sound and a remnant fire.
Gideon and all the people who were with him rise early beside the spring of Herod. The Lord said to Gideon that the people who are with you are too many, simply because the number would mean that Israel would become boastful saying their own power delivered them. Now let’s just stop right here just for a second, I want you to keep something in mind that the Midianites had an army of 135,000 people, and the Lord speaks to Gideon that his army is too big to be able to overcome the enemy. Why did Gideon’s army have too many? What did the Lord say? “If I send you in to overcome the Midianites, with the people that you have, you will be boastful that you accomplished it rather than my hand delivered them unto you.”
I want you to pay attention to something here. We all have to understand that there are times in our life that there will be a decreased season, but the decrease isn’t always to punish you. When you are in obedience the decrease is to actually position you for the increase of the Lord, lest you become boastful. Right now I would easily say that the world, the church, and especially the church within the United States, is a sick bride with a boastful and arrogant pride problem.
Obedience is Greater than…
Gideon had 32,000 people compared to the enemy having 135,000. That’s 40 soldiers to one. And God says that’s too many. Then the Lord says (again) the people are still too many. The Lord tells Gideon to bring them down to the water and He will test them there. Gideon brings the soldiers down to the water and the Lord says to Gideon, “you shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who needs to drink.” The number of those who put their hands to their mouth was 300. Now because of this one test, God has eliminated 9700 men and Gideon is left with the army of 300. Who’s confident to go into battle with an army of 300 versus 135,000? Let me be clear, everybody that you know, everybody that prays, prophesies, everybody that worships, dances, or whatever the case may be; everybody may not be able to go where you are going. You may not want to hurt their feelings. You don’t want to be offensive. But the truth is, even though there’s individuals that we call friends, our brothers and sisters in Christ, everybody can’t go to the same destination that you’re going to.
This is evident in the life of Christ. Many times in Christ’s life, he took three disciples further while nine remained behind. At no time did the nine ever be disqualified, or were they ever lesser than a disciple at any point in time. The 9700 were equally as a battlefield warrior as the 300 were, but there was something that separated the 300, and that was the wisdom demonstrated by the test of the Lord. Right now, the church needs people who are operating in wisdom. We can’t go to battle just to go to battle in order to say we warred. We need to have a strategy of being able to overcome the enemy and overthrow according to the power of God. We can’t just argue with people right now. We’re making a mess of things while the world is laughing. We have become destructive against one another rather than the darkness. We’re attacking our brothers and sisters in Christ over politicians. Have we lost our minds? How can one individual sitting in the White House cause that much trouble within the body of Christ? I thought we were supposed to be encouragers of one another? I thought we were supposed to exhort one another?
Look at social media. So many “Christians” aren’t able to sit and talk without cursing one another. And then what I love best is how your next post is, “Bless God, he has favored me and I am His and He is mine.” And yet, we quickly block those we profess to love because you didn’t like what they said when it came to a political sphere. We need the wise ones to rise up. We need people that are willing to do what everybody else is doing (drinking water) but wise enough to do it in a different way that we know what is happening at all times. We’ve become lazy. We become confident in our own abilities. Why did God tell Gideon, his army was too big? You will become boastful and prideful, thinking that you did it all on your own.
My heart is grieving because we’re talking about a different kind of an army. I want the church in this nation to take the passion that they’ve had the last four years for a person in the White House, and I want them to take that same passion for The Father, The Son and Holy Spirit. As you pursued an election, could you pursue the Reviver? If you made all the efforts to show up to the polls, why aren’t you making all the efforts show up to prayer meeting? If you shared, shared, shared, shared (social media posts) how come you aren’t sharing the gospel with the same kind of passion? I’m not talking about sharing a video about Jesus on Facebook. I’m just simply asking, when’s the last time that you led somebody to Christ outside the four walls of a church? When’s the last time that you actually just sat down and told someone about the goodness of God? What concerns me the most right now is we become a body who’s waiting on the leader to lead us. When you read the Word of God, the kingdom isn’t waiting on a leader to come lead. Because of Christ and Holy Spirit in you, you are the leaders in the kingdom. Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding on a daily basis as a high priest or mediator; and we too are seated in that high place. Yet many today are waiting on someone to take charge and do it for us.
I believe with all my heart that God is looking for the remnant who will be wise, who will be strategic. Matthew 10:16 says, “I send you out as sheep among the wolves but be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” This is our purpose, and yet we are being reckless fools. We must pursue Him for his glory, not our own. The kingdom is at hand and it is still about seeing lost people come to Jesus. It is still about seeing that son or daughter filled with the baptism of Holy Spirit. The Kingdom is still about the demonstration of the Father through signs, wonders, miracles, and healings. It’s still about seeing principalities, powers of darkness, and demons overthrown. It is still about the one who sits on the Throne. It’s about El Shaddai. It’s about Yahweh.
Know who is beside you…
At one point the Lord instructs Gideon to take someone with him if he was afraid to go down and scout the camp of the enemy. What is interesting here is that we get the name of the friend, Purah. We know very little to nothing about this person. However, what we do know is the meaning of the name Purah. His name, translated in the Hebrew actually means a branch that produces fruit. How important is it for you to make sure that if you’re going to go and do something strategic for the kingdom, you need to take somebody with you that knows how to produce fruit? So many of us today are taking anybody that’s available. The detriment of the church is how there are many cases where there’s a void in a position so we look for anybody that can quickly fill the void out of their availability. What would happen if we recognized there was a void, bu we looked for the one that could bear the fruit rather than the one who could fill a space? You got to make sure that when you’re going into the enemy’s camp, you don’t always go solo. You got to make sure that you bring somebody with you, but just don’t bring any Tom, Dick or Harry. Bring somebody that knows how to produce some fruit when they go with you and when you get there.
When we look at the book of Judges, we sometimes automatically think of a judge sitting on a court bench. And that judge is making some kind of ruling, or some kind of judgment. The Book of Judges is not about a magistrate or a judicial system. It’s not someone who sets in a court of law. The Book of Judges actually refers to the warriors who had victories over Israel’s enemies. They’re divinely mandated as judges of justice. In other words, those who went to battle for the Lord strategically overcame the overcame the enemy. When they overcame the enemy, they did it as one with justice. How important is wisdom for our justice? It’s important to remember that in those days, there was no king in Israel. All the people did what was right in their own eyes. Sort of sounds familiar, right? Are we overdue for some justice? I would say so. Granted, I don’t know every location, every region, every place. However, it appears that we’re losing a lot of ground and we’re losing it quickly. This is why I believe it’s so important to know who is with you, and where you are going. You need to walk in wisdom and not just try to do something for the sake of doing something.
What is in your hands…
Gideon divided the 300 men into three companies, then he put trumpets in one hand and empty pitchers with lit torches (under the pitchers) in their other hand. One hand has a sound, while the other hand is a pitcher made from an earthen vessel with fire within it. The problem here is that the fire is being concealed. Talk about a type and shadow of the church right now! We have been trying to go to battle with our fire concealed because we didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. We didn’t want to offend anybody. We didn’t want to hurt them. What would they say if they knew I was burning for His Glory?
Thankfully the fire did not remain concealed, but there came a moment the flames were to be revealed. Though the 300 men aren’t together as one large group (remember 3 groups of 100), they were on the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch. As they surrounded the enemy, they blew the trumpets with a blast, then smashed the pitchers that were in their hands revealing the fire that was once hidden. The book of Judges tells us that they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in the right hands for sounding the shout for the Lord. The trumpet is in the right hand. Get this, the right hand is a symbol and an understanding of the right hand of authority. Do we get the fact that there has to come a sound that is released from a place of authority? Are we simply making noise to be loud? Where is the sound of authority? Now, the fire and the pot is in the left hand. Now here’s the only way I can envision this. If I’ve got a trumpet in my right hand and I’ve got a stick of fire and a clay pot on it in my left hand, I can’t drop what’s in my right hand. In order to take the pot off, there’s only one way to get rid of the pot and that’s to take the fire and smash it to the ground. So get this image in one moment. When the sound of the authority is released, there is a shattering of an earthen vessel. From the earthen vessel (mankind), there is a fire (Holy Spirit) that emerges out of the darkness. What would happen if the body of Christ began to release a sound from the whole place of authority, and at the same time, we broke our earthen vessels and let the fire of God that is within us penetrate from without us? Those that are in the darkness would see a holy fire of God. I get that image in the midst of darkness, that sound of the trumpet and then the sound of the shattering of the earthen vessels. My goodness, what could be if the church demonstrated this wisdom through the advancement of The Kingdom!
We have been a bunch of clanging cymbals, entertained by our cheap prophetic words and our feel good words of self empowerment. We have been more concerned by whether or not we fall to the ground. For many we haven’t known how to expand the fire (break the vessels), and we have settled for releasing noise, rather than the sound from a place of authority. We’ve been concerned by a sound of flesh. We want to say what makes us feel good. What gets us the most likes or what gets us the most attention? Nevertheless, the word of the Lord for this hour is to release the sound from a place of authority. Don’t keep the fire concealed within you. Be ready to reveal a remnant sound and a remnant fire. Those who will release a remnant sound and remnant fire will do so from the place of authority. You will not be overcome by the enemy, rather you are being tested for wisdom. The Lord is moving on those who will be prepared as a Remnant Sound and Remnant Fire!