Lessons from the Life of Gideon Part 2: Strongholds and how to take them down

Text: Judges 6:25-27

Sermon Outline:

I.                Introduction: Gideon is given a specific task by God to take down the altar to Baal and the Asherah Pole in his home town.  There are specific ways he is to go about this and we can learn how we are to tackle the strongholds in our own life by gleaning from Gideon’s approach to the matter

II.             Your Father’s Bull:

a.      The bull was a servant. Used to take down the altar.

                                                    i.     Humble hearts take down strongholds

1.     Combats Pride (I have done this without you)

2.     Combats Fame (I have done this better than you)

                                                  ii.     Quiet obedience takes down strongholds

1.     Combats Control (doing things my way)

2.     Combats Consumerism (doing other things that I prefer)

b.     Strongholds have been in place a long time.  They don’t show up overnight

                                                    i.     The sin went back generations for Gideon, not just something Gideon had to wrestle with.  (My experience with Paul Shepherd)

                                                  ii.     Ruts/Patterns of Thought

III.            Build and altar on top (in proper order):

a.      Put God First – “No other God’s Before Me”

IV.           Sacrifice the Bull:

a.      Wood from Asherah Pole for the Fire

b.     We see an image of Jesus, the suffering servant being sacrificed on the wood of the tree of bitterness

V.              Ten Servants – Don’t do it alone.  This is why the church is here.

VI.            Conclusion:  Pride is the strongest hold in our hearts.  Control, Fame, and Consumerism are other big strongholds in our hearts.  Most of our strongholds have been in place for a lot longer than we realize.  We inherit many of them.  We don’t even see them as strongholds most of the time.  Racism, Sexism, etc.  Wrong thinking is not something that we just change in an instant.  We can expect to be confronted for a long time when we begin to allow God to move in our hearts and minds and reveal the strongholds.  The answer is to put things in their proper order.  Put God first.  Subject our strongholds to the sacrifice that was paid on our behalf.  Take them to Jesus.  He can bring the mercy and grace we need to see them go away.  Finally, don’t do it alone.  Find some trusted brothers and sisters in Christ to help you take your strongholds down.