Bad Boys - Gideon

Once A Bad Boy, Now A Man Of God - Discovering Gideon

James Greer
Jun 14, 2020    31m
Have you ever met a bad boy that became a man of God? In spite of who Gideon was when he started, God partnered with Gideon and he became a man of God. When we cry out to God and take responsibility for our problems, we are able to get in the game where God can use us, too. Sermon By Pastor James. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer (00:00):
Good morning Journey Church. Wasn't that a wonderful testimony. Amen? Hey, before we get started, I want to talk about Wednesday night. Now, if you are a teacher and you're going to Wednesday night, it's okay, because it was kind of a last minute thing. I got a text from one of the people that's having treatments and we have so many people going through cancer and that are struggling right now. So, we're going to have a special Wednesday night prayer and you'll be hearing about it. It's going to be prayer of hope, a prayer of healing, a prayer of peace. And so this coming Wednesday night at 6:30, those that can come we'll have it here in the sanctuary. If you're teaching or you're already involved in Wednesday night class, that's okay. Feel free to go to that because normally I never do that without calling the teachers first and then doing it. But I just felt a real burden that we needed to be interceding for families like that. And so, this Wednesday night at 6:30 in the sanctuary.

James Greer (00:46):
Hope. Romans 15:13 says, now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace and believing that you may abound in hope, by the power of the Holy spirit. Biblical hope is a confident expectation in spite of your present circumstances. And they need it. And I said, you know, it's almost like Satan's just attacking our church with cancer. I mean over and over and over, I get a call and this person, and I'm not talking about I'm talking about serious. And so, I think the only way that we can really fight back, the only way we can care is we need to be standing in the gap interceding for these families. Antonio, of course you are one of those families. So, we're going to help stand in the gap for you. And there's about three or four more. These aren't family just stumped their toes. These are life and death situations. So, I want you to know that you're, you're invited and if you're online, you're definitely invited to come, this Wednesday night.

James Greer (01:37):
Well, I want to give you a three point outline to go with your outline, before I give you the outline. And look, man, and the youth, you know, I'm going to give it for them, too. They're usually in the other building in 1130, but man, they've got to use trip coming up. And if I get to watch the youth the next day, and if you'd ever look at them, the youth are over there distancing, but they got their note pads out and they're taking notes. Man, it's unbelievable.

James Greer (02:20):
But, if he ever needed a plan to start over again, Gideon is your man. And if you don't need a plan to start over again, now you will. There'll be a day that you either did something said something or messed up. And you said, man, I just wish I could start over again. Gideon is your man. Gideon and the Israelites had sinned against God. And because they're sinning, God turned them over to the Midianites for seven years. The Midianites were very cruel to them. They came to the point that they needed a new start. They needed a fresh start. They needed a new beginning. Like I said before, you need a plan to start again, Gideon is your man. Here's the three things that they did. And they're not exactly on your outline, but you'll be able to see them as we go through it.

James Greer (03:13):
First of all, they cried out to God for help. I don't know how quick of learners they were. Took them seven years, but I see it all the time. You know, I see people that continued to be discouraged and defeated, and you do know something, listen to this, whether you're online or in here, where do you know that you cannot be defeated or put into bondage by anybody, but you. Christians cannot be defeated. You're the only one that can beat yourself. So they came to the point, they cried out to God for help. That was a type of admitting that they had sinned and they needed God.

James Greer (03:50):
Second, they stopped blaming everybody else for their problems. And we're going to talk about that today. That's one of the reasons that Christian stay in the bible. Did you know, this message is for a lot of people today that you know, there's some people today, if you really want to be, you can be set free. Amen?

James Greer (05:04):
Then they obeyed God. God raised up a leader and that leader's name was Gideon. But God can raise up leaders. He raised up Moses and told Moses, go in the promised land. And the people decided to listen to the spies and not follow. But, this time they listened to Gideon and Gideon led them into a new freedom. Nobody can defeat a Christian, but the Christian themselves. So, what I want to do is, I want you to just look at kind of what was happening. Gideon is a reminder that even when God's people, the Israelites were a type of God's people. They say America is a Christian nation. That's what they say. But if they keep turning their back on God and keep doing the wrong thing, bad things will happen. He could possibly be what's happening today. It might not be what we think. It might be God's way of saying, I'm going to get your attention or I'm going to get your attention.

James Greer (05:45):
The reason Gideon and the Israelites were hiding, they were hiding in caves. The Midianites were very cruel to them. It wasn't that God couldn't protect them. It wasn't, that God couldn't provide for them. It's because they kept sinning and wouldn't admit it, and they wouldn't come back to God. This could be America. It happens to Christians all the time. They'll say, man, I want to be set free. I want a better life, but they don't want to change their life. For a Christian, there's nothing or nobody that can put you in bondage that can keep you down. That God doesn't allow, except for sin in your life.

James Greer (06:57):
Number one, being the wrong kind of bad boy or girl will cost you. It'll cost you. Many times God will allow other people to come into your life and defeat you and even be cruel to you, but it's only because of sin in your life, not theirs. Judges 6:1 sets it up, it says, The Israelites did what? Evil in the eyes of the Lord and he handed them over to the Midianites for seven year. I want you to see something, you see it's capital LORD? I mean it's not just lord. When Gideon talks about the lord, it's little lord, but this time it's capital LORD. Because when you see that, it's saying, this is the Lord, the one who is in control, the master of the armies. I mean, he's the ones in control. The Midianites were very cruel. Verse two. And he said that they were what? Cruel. These are God's people and God's allowing the Midianites to be cruel to them. And they are hiding. How many Christians are in hiding. Man, I see them all the time. Their secret servants. I mean, they're hiding and nobody knows they're Christians. They're hiding. And like what we are talking about, they're in dirty places. See, sin causes you to hide and get into dirty places you don't need to go. Amen? And that's what they were doing. And they're hiding themselves and they're in the mountains and they're in caves. And their strongholds were sin. Listen, sinning had brought cruelty and bondage and fear in their life. Sin brings cruelty and bondage and fear in your life.

James Greer (07:56):
See, the Israelites kept circling. God would bless them. And instead of enjoy the blessing, they'd let the blessing turn them back into a curse. And it happens to people all the time. God starts blessing you and you, you have more freedom and maybe sometimes you get a better job. And all of a sudden, you don't need to come to church because you're too busy. And maybe it's not too busy, maybe you have too much pleasure. And so God's blessing. Maybe he gave you a promotion. Maybe, maybe you get off on the weekends. Maybe you're making more money. Instead of giving God the honor and glory, now see you've allowed the blessing to become a curse. Or you allowed it to become a bondage to your life. Maybe you've allowed to come the wrong kind of freedom to you. And before long, I can tell you you'll be back in the wrong cycle and you'll be back in to bondage, defeat and stress and worry. The cycle needed to be broken. God's going to raise up fearful Gideon, who was hiding, to be a faithful fearless warrior for God. In fact, I'll tell you eventually God uses Gideon who was hiding, takes 300 people, 300 men. He defeats 134,000. That's a bad boy. Amen?

James Greer (09:06):
Sin can lead to fear, worry, anxiety, depression, and even thoughts of suicide. Now, I'm not telling you that all depression and all thoughts of suicide are because of sin. I understand chemical imbalance, I understanding. I struggled with it for a while. I understand what it's like. But I can also, I'm trying to teach you the danger of continual living in sin. After God has convicted you to confess and turn from your sin. See, Satan wants to keep you in bondage. Just like he did the Israelites for seven years. Some of you been in bondage for five years, 10 years, 50 years, 40 years, 70 years. And God wants to set you free. Satan wants to blind you from the real truth. It's so important. It's so important.

James Greer (10:04):
Let me stop and give you some insights that can set you free if that's okay. Amen? Now, some of this came from Andy Stanley's starting over again. If you want to start over again, what I would suggest is you get that material. We have it. We would give it to you and go through it with somebody or go through it with a counselor like, J D or someone, but use this particular material. This is what the Israelites were trying to do there. They said, we came to the point. We've got to start over again. I'm tired of living like this. I'm tired of hiding. I'm tired of being dirty. I want to be set free. I'm ready for a new life. Maybe ready for a new relationship. Maybe you're tired of the way that you're living. This is what many of you would like. You'd like to start over again. This can help you today.

James Greer (10:55):
The reason history repeats itself in lives is because we don't own our part in the history and the problem. Why did the Israelites continue to repeat themselves? Why did they stay in bondage for seven years? Because they would not admit their problem. They were cruelly being mistreated. They were almost at starvation, but they wouldn't admit their problem. If you feel others, including God, I've never seen a time where people want to blame God for their problems like it is today. If you feel like you're being treated cruelly over a long period of time, you've not accepted you're part of the problem probably. You want to blame others for your problem. You blame your parents. If it wouldn't have been for my parents, I wouldn't be so discouraged. I wouldn't be so defeated. I wouldn't be living like I am. If it wouldn't have been for that mate, that left me and cheated on me. I wouldn't be living like this. If it wouldn't been for that boss. That boss, he didn't give me the promotion. He fired me. So, that's why I'm living now. That's your choice. That's why you're living like that. God never intended you for living like that. Take your part of the blame and get set free and do it today. Amen? Nobody can defeat you, but you. Instead we try to convince ourselves and others that we've done no wrong. There was only one person in this, nobody in this room. And there's nobody online. That person is Jesus Christ. That's your wake up call.

James Greer (12:20):
When something important ends like a relationship, you've got to go back in order to go forward. You've got to go back and own your part to go forward. I didn't. So, go back and get with that person. I didn't say goodbye. Go back and own your part of the problem where you can be set free from the person. When you don't go back and own your part. You're tied to that person that other person may be gone. They may be enjoying life. They might be on the beach drinking, I don't know singing Kumbaya. And you're here, poor me. I didn't tell you what they were drinking, but I just moved on.

James Greer (12:58):
We were born blamer's. We are natural born blamer's. We inherited it. When Adam and Eve sinned, Adam blamed Eve, and even blamed God. So, it shouldn't be surprised today. Eve, she blamed the serpent. You can't blame your way out of bondage, defeat and discouragement. You don't get better by blaming. You can't blame your way out of shame. Blame. Listen, this is real important. Blame sets you up for repeated failure in repeated performance. Everybody knows people that just keep cycling out. Let's just do the same thing. You know, they're okay for a week or two and then right back they're out. You're just setting yourself up because cause you keep blaming. The only true way to make peace with your path is own it. Own your part of the problem in the past.

James Greer (14:02):
Judges 6:6, you're not gonna believe how they were. So, Israel was reduced to what? Starvation by the Midianites. Then the Israelites did what? They finally, they cried out to the Lord for help. See, they finally came to the part that they were reduced to nothing that they finally cried out to the Lord. The one that was in control, the ultimate authority. Did you know, another word for the Lord is the one that controls all armies. He's in control of the armies. It's so important. It was only as they started owning up to their part. It's only as they started turning back to the real God, that God began to open the doors, to give them a new freedom. It teaches also it's never, never too late to be excited about your future. When we began to own up to our part and do our part, God will always do his part. Stop blaming God and start looking to God.

James Greer (14:56):
Second, the wrong kind of bad boys. When they become good boys, God can use them in a great and mighty way. See, Gideon had been hiding. Wasn't being used at all. God looks down and sees Gideon hiding, threshing wheat, probably hot, dirty, nasty, but that didn't what God saw. God looked down in Judges 6:12 and saw something different than we see. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, mighty, he wrote the Lord is with you. Can you imagine he's at the bottom of the barrel? God steps in he's in a hiding place. The Midianites had been destroyed. The angel Lord appears to him, okay, you ready? God can see you as you should be, not as you are. God saw him as he could be not as he was. Man, I love that because that's what God wants me to do. And you to do this morning. He wants to see us as we could be. If we're being defeated, not as we are. Where God can help you. That's good Brother James. Amen?

James Greer (16:14):
See, another thing. When the wrong people, even the wrong bad boys, become the right boys. God can use them in great and mighty ways. Paul, the apostle Paul, when he was bad, man, he was out killing Christians and he was torturing them. Dude, when he turned around that dude wrote three fourths of the New Testament. I mean, he was one of the greatest evangelists next to Jesus Christ. God used him in a great and mighty way. God looked down and he saw Gideon and he said, man, you're a mighty hero. You're a man of courage. You're fearless. You're a champion. You're a mighty warrior. And when you're right with God, that's how God sees you. There's nothing too hard for the Lord. So, what do you do?

James Greer (17:01):
Number three, you stop blaming and you get into the game. Genesis 6:13, and Gideon replied. I don't know if the Lord is with us. Why? Every time somebody has a problem, they say, why me? Why does this happen to us. Instead of saying why, say God, what would you have me do? And, and where are the miracles instead of God? When are the miracles coming? What if, what if you changed why and where? To what and when. Man, it'd be unbelievable. Now, the ancestors told us about didn't they say the Lord brought us out of Egypt? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.

James Greer (17:40):
The truth is whether you're online or in here outside, some of you all feel defeated right now. Some you all feel discouraged. Most of the time in all the years I've been in the ministry, most people will blame other people for it. I don't know if I've never missed giving an invitation. And I miss giving an invitation, by the way. And I love being in front and praying with people. But I don't know if anybody ever came to me and said, Brother James, Pastor James, I need you to pray for me. The reason I'm discouraged or feel defeated. It's all my fault. Maybe a few times they used to say, if you only knew what happened to me.

James Greer (17:51):
The Lord has a word for you today. Nothing can defeat you. Nobody can defeat you. No enemies too big, no enemies, too strong. But you, the Lord wants you to look to him. Not to them. You're the only one that can defeat you. I want you to go home today, understanding nobody can defeat you, but you, he said, then the Lord abandoned us. If you're a Christian, God will never abandon you. He can't because he lives in you. Even if you deny yourself, he can't leave you. We know Hebrews 13:5.6 said, let your conduct be without covetousness. In other words, to be satisfied where you're at. In other words, get your life straight with God. Be content with what you have. See, if you're not content with what you have, you're not going to be content if you get something else. He said, he's telling you why to do this. He's telling you why he wants you to be content. He says, once you learn to be content with what you have, you say, I want you to know. You'll finally learn. I'm never going to leave you. I'm never going to forsake you. And when you learn that I'm never going to leave you. I'm never going to forsake you.

James Greer (19:43):
Guess what he said then? Then you get to the point I can boldly say, not just say it. You're bold about it. You're a warrior. You're a champion that the LORD, the ultimate authority in the world, the one that's in control, the one that's in control of all the armies. He's my helper. Did you all know when David fought Goliath, I'll be preaching on part of that next Sunday. He said, the all-powerful Lord of armies is with me. The same Lord that they're talking about right there. He said, now the Lord of the army, the ultimate in control of all, the ultimate authority. He's your helper today.

James Greer (20:21):
He wants to be with you. I love that. He wants us to be bold. He wants us come through to him. I'm not going to fear what man can do. Why should you fear what a man can do to you when you got the Lord of the armies on your side? I'm in fact, in fact, I think, you know, every week I said, there's a verse that I try to keep for myself for the rest of the week. I think this is going to be my verse, Judges 6:16, it says the Lord said unto James, I will be with James and James will destroy the enemy, as if he was fighting against one man. You all do know, learn to personalize God's word. Put your name in there. I mean, you got some enemy, Oh, quit worrying about the enemy. The Lord said, he's going to be with me. And I know who the Lord is. He's way bigger, more powerful than anybody. And just use it, personalize it, claim it this week.

James Greer (21:20):
Man, I had so much more I would like to talk about Gideon, but I've got to give you a slow and exciting closing. Gideon went on to defeat the Midianites, who had gathered 134,000 men. They were warriors. Gideon came to them with 300. The reason it was reduced to 300 is because when he came, he had 3000, he had 13,000 God kept saying, Hey, if you feed them, now I may not get all the glory. So, it got down to 300. And I said, you know, when you defeat 134,000 with 300, they're going to know that the Lord of the armies was with you. God wants to give you great victory, but God wants to get the glory for it. We have to really come to the point that you stopped saying, I'm worried about who's against you. Way too many, especially young people. Well, and adults too. I'd say they're worried about their boss against them. They're worried about the company against them. They're worried about somebody they know that's against them. My goodness, get a life, grow up in the Christian life. Mature.

James Greer (22:43):
The important thing is who's for you. I mean, really, when you really understand who is for you, that God is for you. You quit worrying about who's against you. That's kind of what Romans 8:31 says it said, what then, shall you say to these things? If God is for you, who can be against you? Well, you can say, well, the devil, the world and the flesh yet, but they can't win. So, quit worrying about it. Make sure you understand who's for you and quit worrying about who's against you. Amen? Did you know the hero in the story is not Gideon? It's us. It's us surrendering to God. God is always the hero. He's trying to uplift what God can do in your life. He's an uplift what God can do in my life. God is the hero. You might have 137,000 enemies that you think is following you. God's on your side. He'll win.

James Greer (23:35):
So, how do you win today? Stop blaming others, including God and your enemies for your problem. Some of you need to be set free today. Some of you came in here worried about other people, and you're blaming them. Some of it's your past, some of it's your present, God wants to give you a glorious future. So right now, just stop blaming everybody. Second own up to your part of the problem in the past. Satan has tried to hide it from you, but every broken relationship, every major problem, there's always been two sides to it. And you had a side to it. I've had to do that recently. It was so clear to me to see the other people's fault. And when I began to ask God about my part, he was clear to show me my part. And it was only as I owned up to my part was I set free from them.

James Greer (24:40):
There was a point I couldn't even look at people every time I saw them. I just cringed. You know what the difference is now when I see them, I feel sorry for them. And that's how you know, when their God's you'll know, because when their name comes up. You just can't hardly stand it. And I said, Hey, I got to see my part. I was part of it. God, forgive me. My part can't control what they do. I can only control what I do. And guess, man, I will tell you you'll start enjoying a new freedom that you've never known. Make sure God's on your side. Make sure the Lord is on your side. The one that's the Lord of the armies one. That's also an in control of everything. I mean, if he's on your side, there's nobody that can defeat you, except for you. Make sure to do that.

James Greer (25:34):
You've got to make sure that there's a time that you invited Jesus Christ into your heart as Lord and Savior. Not just join the church, but I hope today, if you want to join, you will. Not even that you just followed through in baptism. I was baptized and was not saved. I think if you've been saved since you've been baptized, I personally think you should be baptized again because you understand baptism. Doesn't save you, but it's a picture of washing away. All the sins, the death, burial, resurrection, that I've got a new power, a new presence with God. So, I'd make sure I invited him into my heart. Make sure after you're saying that you're no longer blaming God and others for your problems. Stop being defeated and being discouraged. Confess your sins. Third, ask God to help you see yourself. Listen, as God sees you. There's a lot of people just don't feel good about their selves, young and old. I'm not talking about being a conceded idiot, but God made you fearfully and wonderfully made. I mean, enjoy what God made. I mean, you're important to God at any age, whether you're 8 or 67 or whatever. I am 45, I think you're right. I learned to love every stage in life. I mean, he's okay. So, see yourself as God sees you. God sees you as a champion. Sees you as a hero. He sees you as a mighty warrior. Enjoy the new freedom and power that God has for you.

James Greer (27:03):
Fifth, begin to live like the Lord is on your side. Because he is, if you're right, how do you live like the Lord is on your side? Something comes in your life, God's in control. He's the ultimate authority. It's not what somebody else says. It's not even what I feel. God's the ultimate authority. If I'm coming against a great battle. I'm going to get the Lord on my side because he's in control all powerful. And he has the armies to defeat them. Get a new found confidence, a new boldness, a new peace. Even in the midst of all the chaos. Whether it's the racial chaos, whether it's the virus chaos. I'm going to tell you a secret, God's in control. He'll guide it whichever way he wants. We'll turn back to God and have an unbelievable peace like we've never had, a new reconciliation or we'll turn from God and we'll have chaos. There is no other answer.

James Greer (28:13):
It starts with each individual. And what I want for Journey Church and the ones online. I want us to have the peace and the power of God like we've never had it before. So, I almost said, stand Darryl. I was going to give an invitation. I can pray for you. Anyway. I really think we can give an invitation almost to everyone I want. I'll pray for you. He's like, okay. Maybe I can give it right there where you're at. I'm about to go crazy with all this stuff. You know, I really do have a burden though today. I have a burden for people to be set free. I have a burden for you to deal with your problems. I have a burden to stop blaming other people. I have a burden that you could experience the power and presence of God, like never before. So, maybe you could stand. I won't, I won't call you up front, but stand. I always love that when we stood. Darryl, if you'll come to the front, if you would, Darryl.

James Greer (29:01):
Father, it's a special day today. I've been so excited about your word. I just couldn't wait to get here. I couldn't wait to preach it. I've been reading it and going over it again and soaking it in. And God I know sometimes it comes in, just goes out. I want it for our people so bad. So, whether you're here in the sanctuary or whether you're online, I pray right now that you'd let God put his Holy spirit finger on the area that you need to accept your own blame. Say God I accept and I'm sorry. I want to stop blaming other people for my problem. God, I want to come into your presence and have a new power. I don't want you to use me in a great and mighty way. God, I want you to give me peace in spite of all the situations in all circumstances, Lord, I know you're the ultimate authority, that you're in control. For those that need to be baptized, in a minute. Brother Darryl talks to you, just get your card and mark it. Whether you want to join church, whatever it is you need to do. I pray that the Holy spirit would guide and direct you this morning. It's all in the precious name of Jesus. And everybody said, Amen.

James Greer (30:26):
On behalf of Pastor James and Journey Church. We're so glad you joined us this morning in worship. If the Lord laid upon your heart, that you want to accept him as the Lord and savior, I'm going to ask you to click the link below and allow Pastor James to walk you through the plan of salvation. If you have prayer requests that you would like, click the link below, we have people on standby right now, wanting to pray with you and for you. And we're asking you to give to the ministries of Journey Church, click the link below and whatever the Lord has laid on your heart. Simply give also we have a dynamic children's program here on campus and online. We want you to come and be a part and guess what? The church is wide open. We want you to come, 8:30, 10, 11:30. We'll see you next Sunday.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360