Rev. Reginald Chandler, Sr.
Liberating Power AME Zion Church
Judges 6:12-16 New International Version (NIV)
12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but 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, leaving none alive.”
Man up. The devil has a ministry to destroy the family. The devil intentionally attacks a man's, values, vision, and victory. In order to Man Up you have to have some values.
Values are defined as something useful and of importance. Values can also be sinful addictions. Sin is sin. We all need to check our values through the lens of scripture. All of us have choices that are typically based upon our values. Thirty four percent (34%) of men over 18 are obese, 31% have high blood pressure, and the leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer. We sometimes have poor values just like the Israelites in today's text. They were impoverished and reached out to ask God for help. We must learn to ask God and Jesus Christ for some help. It isn’t over. We still have time to ask God for help. God can and will turn it around for all of us. Call on him… when you have trouble at home, in marriage, at work, sickness in your body... call on Jesus Christ. Check your values. Exodus 26 confirms that God can turn situations around for you.
Vision - we must look beyond ourselves for perspective. Changes happen in our lives when we decide to take control of what we have control over. Exhibit or model your vision. Be who you want to become. Speak life and power over ourselves. Speak to ourselves. Encourage yourself in God and Jesus Christ. God is still in the blessing business. I must change my vision for myself. We must Man Up. The devil is a liar. God says you've got to work. Rev. Chandler was in a terrible accident that sent him to shock trauma. He was in the hospital for a month and in a coma for a week. He lost his ability to walk. When he came out of the coma, the doctors told him he probably would not walk again. However, God and Rev. Chandler’s vision for his life helped him to see that he could be healed; and he worked hard to achieve his full ability to walk again.
Victory - in the Bible and today’s scripture lesson. Gideon was able to embrace his victory. Every person must decide in whose hands holds your victory. It all depends on whose hands the ball is in. 1 Peter 5:6 reminds us to get ready for your due time. You are in God's hands. Isaiah 43:13 and Judges 6:12 remind us that God is with you mighty men and women of valor. Just like God was with Gideon he will be with you. Gideon was able to win because he decided to lose. He lost himself in God. He recognized that God will make a way somehow. Trust God and lose. Lose the bad attitude, lose the my way or the highway mentality, lose the selfishness, lose the complaining, lose being self-absorbed, lose the stingy spirit, lose the nobody can do it better than you demeanor, lose what the enemy thinks about you… In other words, shake yourself lose.
In 2006, Rocky was in a movie called Rocky Balboa. Rocky told his son the world is not sunshine and rainbows. The world will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. It isn’t about how hard you hit. It is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. Go get your family, friends, neighbors, community, and Man Up. Have courage because the Lord will make a way somehow. God will make a way somehow. Amen.