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Are you a lapper or a kneeler?

ARE YOU A LAPPER OR KNEELER?

Quick background check on Gideon from the Book of Judges, chapter six.


God gave Israel over into the hands of the Midianites for seven years because the people did not listen to God’s voice. Gideon—later known in his tribes as Jerub-Baal (read chapter 6.). Gideon is visited by ‘the angel of the Lord’ in the bottom of a wine press where he is threshing wheat. Not a common practice unless of course you are hiding from the Midianites who are trying to steal your food. That is not all he hiding from, Gideon was full of doubt and thought God had abandoned the Israelites. He had no idea this was an angel because he refers to him as “my lord” which was a common greeting in those days. (Notice the spelling of lord vs Lord in this verse.)  Gideon questions his visitor, “Pardon me, my lord, but if the Lord is with us why has this happened to us?” 

I am sure none of us have ever felt like this, have we?


God’s word continues and tells us exactly what Gideon was feeling. He was feeling weak and like the least in his family. Often time when we lose faith we do feel useless however, God says, “in our weaknesses HE is made strong” and God had chosen Gideon to be a prophet and yet another deliver of Israel.


Gideon though is a disbeliever and needs proof so he asked the visitor—again using the terminology ‘my lord’--to stay until he returns with an offering. Gideon is not really sure who this is so he puts down what I consider to be his first fleece. Gideon had already stated he believed God had abandoned Israel so he wanted to be sure this was in fact ‘an angel of the Lord’ speaking this prophecy to him.  I think I have probably done exactly the same thing only in a little different way. I too have asked God for signs of one kind or another, asking Him to prove Himself to me.  Anyone else do that?


Gideon was always seeking signs but God had an important job for Gideon so He waited for Gideon to return with his offerings. God then consumes the offering and later that evening gives Gideon a job to do.


OK, got all that? Let’s turn to Judges chapter 7. Once again we find God speaking to Gideon (aka Jerub-baal) concerning the warriors he has gathered to fight for Israel. There was an army of 100,000 Midianites standing against Gideon and his men of only 32,000.  Let's just say "the odds were NOT 'incredibly in their favor'”.  Gideon must have felt like there was no way he could win this. Of course he has his fleece to fall back on; a fleece God answered not once but twice. 


God wants Gideon to whittle down the Israelite army, an army already one third the size of the opposing army. Why? God does not want Israel to boast in their win, He wants them to know without a shadow of a doubt their God had not abandoned them.  22,000 thousand men went home that day but even after narrowing down the army to 10,000 men God says STOP! There are still too many. Let’s read 7:4-7:

But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”
5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” 6 Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.
7 The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.”


Why did God say to keep the men who drank water from their “cupped hands, lapping like dogs”? I think perhaps it was because these were the men aware of their surroundings! These were the ones keeping a watchful eye while they drank. 
The enemy overtakes us when we look away EVEN for a moment. 


One of the worst things you can do when you are in a battle is to get down on your knees! Some may think this sounds sacrilegious but I am not talking about prayer here…which by the way you can do standing up, sitting down, walking, running, etc… I am talking about being a LAPPER.


All of us are fighting battles in our lives—financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual battles. Maybe some feel like there is no chance of ever winning. Perhaps you feel hopeless and maybe even tired of praying and asking God to intervene. Gideon had felt the same way. 


Believe me, God has not forgotten you! He hears you and is moving on your behalf. You must be a lapper and keep a constant watch as you go about your day to day life.  Never let your guard down.  


So how do we do that:?


1) PRAYER—Always seek God’s guidance in EVERY situation. We MUST have a dedicated PRAYER TIME everyday! This is the way we cry out to our God. This is the way we praise our God. This is the way we communicate with our God. AND this is the way our GOD communicates with us! 


JOHN 10:27 JESUS says, “My sheep HEAR my voice, and I KNOW them and they FOLLOW me.”  Are you hearing His voice?  Many times I during my prayer time I heard my voice but as I began to learn to just sit and listen, I started hearing God's voice.  I learned the habit of listening more than speaking. GOD STILL SPEAKS TO US and you take that to the spiritual bank.


2) GOD’S WORD—this is our SWORD and our weapon of choice! This is what Jesus used against Satan while in the dessert for 40 days and nights. He was weary. He was hungry. He was down-hearted. OH, you don’t think He was down-hearted? Well you better believe it because he was human in EVERY sense of the word. MATT 4:4 Jesus fights Satan with God’s Holy Word saying “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”


IF we are not studying---and I do not mean just reading a few verses here and there and ticking it off our to do list---but truly studying God’s Word—digging deep, and allowing the Holy Spirit within us to instruct and teach us—then we are missing out on the second greatest weapon in our arsenal.  We must then "hide His Word in our hearts".  You will be surprised at how God will bring Scripture to mind just when  you need them most.


3) FIGHT—We have the HOLY SPIRIT of the ONE TRUE GOD living inside us and HE is our shield because we serve an AWESOME GOD and HE is not going to allow us to suffer defeat. If you are feeling defeated recognize the enemy is in your camp and dispose of him quickly!


REMEMBER what JESUS said to Peter in Matt 16:18 “ Upon this rock I WILL build my church and the all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”

EPH 6: 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish ALL the flaming arrows of the evil one.”


Our GOD is NOT going to allow us to lose because if we lose then HE loses and nowhere in Scripture is it EVER recorded our God lost anything. Not any battle, not any person. NOT EVER!!! He gave HIS ONLY SON so “none should perish”. So stand on HIS promises! 


Gideon’s men did not have to lift a finger in their battle; instead they broke jars and blew trumpets causing the Midianites to scramble, fight themselves and then run for the hills. God will fight for us too!


As you fight whatever battle you are in right now remember the most important thing in your Spiritual Life… your GOD has not left you weaponless however HE HAS left it up to you to pick them up and use them.

Always loving our Lord,

Lori Robbins

 

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