by Tony Langton

Recently the Lord has impressed the story of Gideon on my heart
in a profound way and I have been teaching from the lessons in
Gideon’s life that I have been storing in my heart. I was particularly
impacted by noticing that when the Lord took the initiative to
deliver His people, Gideon was hiding in the winepress threshing
wheat, “ignoring” the Midianite enemy who was oppressing God’s
people. This is very similar to today in which the evil powers are
stealing, killing, and destroying those around us largely undetected
or resisted as we are directed to do in James 4: 7. Resist the devil
and he will flee from you. The enemy is largely underestimated today.

Possibly his biggest battle was in tearing down his fathers’ and
townsmens’ Baal altar which was a very costly step of faith.
Interestingly, the Midianites were actually defeated (spiritually) at
the very point of his courageous move to eradicate this false religion, even before ever engaging the enemy. Often the “idol
removal” is the act of faith that opens a door in the heavenlies for
power to deal with outside forces and the powers of darkness that
are gripping many of those that we love and minister to. I have
been pondering about how I can recognize idols in my life. Here is
one warning sign of idolatry that I’ve noticed: it is when anyone
attacks, threatens to remove or shows disrespect for something
that has become an idol, it provokes anger and stirs us up on the
inside. In Gideon’s case, his neighbors were more than aroused
but wanted to kill him. In my observation of a modern-day Gideon
or two, the murder is usually done with the tongue through slander
and gossip.

Probably Gideon could have preached against Baal worship a long
time with only slight opposition, but it was when he decided to
TAKE DECISIVE ACTION and demolish false religion that his
opposition arose becoming violent. The same will be true for the
Gideon’s of today when directed by God to take a stand against
man-made traditions, unbiblical religious practices, or any other
idolatrous form of religion that substitutes for personal
communion with God. People who are involved in a false religion
will usually tolerate us holding a private position (conviction) of
not bowing to man-made tradition and empty Baal-like rituals.

Even some will allow a few of us to teach against religiosity without
a major backlash. However, woe to the one who decides to
ACTUALLY, APPLY the clear teaching of the Bible found in
Gideon’s story and begin to dismantle and remove the idols that
have flooded the church. THIS IS WHERE IT ALL BREAKS
LOOSE! We desperately need some Gideons who will understand
that we don’t have a choice in whether or not to pull down idolatry
in the church. True Gideon’s recognize that they either destroy
idols or the idols will come upon them. It’s that simple. It’s not optional.

May God raise up a Gideon band of spiritual warriors anointed
with boldness to live out the charge given to people like Gideon as
well as Jeremiah who was appointed by God to “uproot and tear
down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” (Jer 1:10).

Many today are attempting to build a proper kind of altar to the Lord
without removing the old Baal altar first, which doesn’t work. The
BUILDING AND PLANTING come after the tearing down.



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