By Dianne Ellis
A friend of mine that God has used greatly in spiritual warfare told me once that God said we need to fight like Gideon fought. So I went to the scriptures and read again the story of Gideon. A couple of things that I noticed were the obvious things such as the number of soldiers. Some less obvious things became clearer.
And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. (Judges 6:11)
Notice that Gideon was working. God usually chooses those who are busy and have shown a willingness to work.
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. (Judges 6:12. emphasis’ mine)
God told Gideon he was a mighty man of valor BEFORE he fought the battles. God knows what each of us is capable of doing. It is God that has given us our strength to accomplish the tasks He has set before us.
And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. (Judges 6:13)
Gideon remembered the miracles of his forefathers. He asked, “Where are the miracles?” It also sounds like Gideon wanted to see miracles for himself which showed he did have some faith that God was still able to perform miracles.
And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? (Judges 6:14)
God gave Gideon an assignment and told him what the outcome would be. God knew when he asked Gideon, “Have not I sent thee?” that Gideon would know that if God sends you He is with you.
And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. (Judges 6:15)
Although Gideon knew that God had sent him, he still did not feel worthy to be the one chosen for the task. He considered himself the least in his father’s house. God chooses the weak things to confound the wise. How many times do you see God using someone that thinks they are ‘it’: more powerful, smarter, talented, and better than everyone else? Such a person is setting himself up for a fall. However, the person who knows they are nothing without God is the one that God can use. Remember He will not share His glory with any man.
And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. (Judges 6:16)
Again God assured Gideon He would be with him and that he would be victorious.
And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me. Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again. (Judges 6:17-18)
God gave Gideon instructions to wait on Him. Gideon agreed to tarry until He came. How many times have you heard a Minster say, “Let’s tarry for the Lord?” Sometimes we get in too big of a hurry for God to move or do what “we” want Him to do. Still God moves in His own time AND in His own way.
And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it. (Judges 6:19)
Gideon understood the importance of a sacrifice unto God.
And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight. (Judges 6:20-21)
If we want divine fire, we have to wait on God, bring our sacrifice, and let God do the work. We cannot do it on our own.
And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, 0 Lord GOD! For because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face. And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. (Judges 6:22-23)
This shows Gideon respected and feared the things of God. Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. (Judges 6:24)
After God gave Gideon his assignment which included waiting on God and bringing a sacrifice, then Gideon saw the beginning of the miracles of God.
And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: (Judges 6:25)
God told Gideon to tear down some things in his life that his natural father was a part of in worshipping idols. God will also tell us to tear down some things in our lives that have been given to us from our parents and friends. He WILL NOT allow other idols in our lives that hinder us from the work He has called us to do. We must ask God to search our hearts and reveal the things hidden in us so God can use us today.
And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. (Judges 6:26)
God told Gideon to build an altar on top of the things he had torn down. God should always be on top of anything we do in our lives.
Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. (Judges 6:27)
Gideon got help and began doing what God told him to do, but he was afraid of his father’s household and the men of the city, and did what God asked him in the night. This is his first task of tearing down things against God. Sometimes when God asks us to do something we are afraid of what our families, friends, or coworkers will say. We may do it, but just 1 Ike Gideon, we don’t want to be seen doing it; and in some cases don’t want anyone to know, and not because we are humble, hut afraid.
And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they inquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. (Judges 6:28-31)
I find it interesting that the men of the city wanted to kill Gideon for destroying their god’s altar. How wise his father was in saying that IF he be a god let him plead for himself. In other words, if he is a god he doesn’t need man to defend him.
We have raised our own altars to Baal. We have done this by constantly talking about our problems, explaining our problems, and tracking and trying to fix them, instead of thanking Him for delivering us through the trial.
In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. (Zechariah 12:8)
Then the presence of God will seal our house and He will start the fight.
And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou bast said, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. (Judges 6:36-40)
This is where we get the terminology of fleecing the Lord. Gideon was getting ready to go to war and take a lot of men with him. Perhaps he would have stepped out by faith that God would do what He said He would do without fleecing the Lord. However, now he was looking at taking many men into battle whose lives could be lost and he wanted to KNOW that God would give the victory by his hand. God did exactly what Gideon asked of Him.
Some people today don’t believe in fleecing the Lord; they count it as unbelief. It is not something I think one should do often, but I don’t think it is wrong on occasion to do so for very important decisions.
And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. (Judges 7:2-3)
32,000 men showed up for battle, but God said that was too many for Me to get the glory. He was concerned Gideon and his men would take credit for the victory. The enemy was 130,000 strong, which was a 4 to 1 ratio. Being outnumbered by your enemy by 4 to 1 is a lot! The number four represents, the North, South, East, and West. A human being cannot fight the enemy from four different directions, but can only fight from one direction; God fights the others for you. Even so, God said 32,000 soldiers were too many.
The 32,000 represents the individual level of praying for yourself and your needs. Why was the first group asked to leave? Those who were fearful and afraid were asked to leave early and return back to their homes. Over 20% were afraid. Now, 10,000 were left to fight the battle.
And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. (Judges 7:4-6)
There were 10,000 men unafraid and willing to go into battle. The bible states that many are called and few are chosen. The 10,000 were called, but only 300 men were chosen. The 300 men that lapped the water like dogs were ready in their mind for battle. The Lord chooses who He wants to do battle.
Gideon had to listen to the Lord to know which direction to send each soldier. If he was like us he probably would have thought the 9,700 were his army. The 9,700 were probably making fun or laughing at the 300 who lapped like dogs. (Did you see Joe? He was lapping like a dog, not willing to get down on his knees like us?) Does that sound like some people who think they are super spiritual? However, when does God ever do anything the way we think He will? The 300 represents the intercessor that goes to battle on behalf of the nation. Many times the intercessor is unseen, but they are vital to the church. The Lord makes us powerless, looks at our attitude, and then confirms with our victory.
And it came to pass the same night that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host: And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude. And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host. And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. (Judges 7:9-15)
The Lord had Gideon go spy on his enemy in the night. He told Gideon he could take someone with him if he was afraid, which he did. I believe God has us spy out our enemy as well in the spirit realm. God allowed Gideon to hear his own enemy admit defeat. Perhaps they had heard that Gideon was getting an army together to fight them, because the interpretation of the dream specifically named Gideon. Gideon worshipped God before he went back to give his report. God confirms the victory when the enemy accepts defeat and stops fighting.
(And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do. When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. (Judges 7:16-18)
The 300 men were then divided into three groups of 100. Gideon had them put a trumpet in their hands; which represents praise. Then he had them take an empty pitcher; which represents the body. After the pitcher was emptied out, as we must empty ourselves of the flesh, then they could put in the lamps; which represents the Holy Ghost. So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. (Judges 7:19-20)
Gideon and his men blew the trumpets first. They praised first and then they broke the pitchers; breaking the pitcher lets the light out. Breaking the pitchers represents us being broken in spirit; the Holy Ghost can then come out and shine to the world.
The enemy had an interpretation of a dream that Gideon was going to defeat them, so when he and his men shouted “the sword of the Lord, and of Gideon,” the enemy knew this was foretold.
And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man’s sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath. (Judges 7:21-22)
God confirmed the victory by having the enemy accept defeat and stop fighting. We need to see that the battle is won and the enemy is not fighting. We are still dealing with some problems because we have decided to deal with them. In spiritual warfare, when you go to fight, know victory is ahead and trust God that He knows what to do.
And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply. And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abi-ezer? God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that. (Judges 8:1-3)
This is an excellent example of people wanting to do something they were not called to do. They did what they were supposed to do and it benefited all. We have people like that today that think their role assignment is not as important as others. When everyone does their assignment as they should, then the whole body functions properly and the good of the body is served.
And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them. And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian. And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army? And Gideon said, Therefore when the LORD hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers. And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him. And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower. (Judges 8:4-9)
When I began to do a study of how Gideon fought, the thing that stood out to me was, “they were faint, yet pursuing.” Many of us quit when we are tired. Yet Gideon’s army kept going. They were hungry, and their “friends” were more afraid of the enemy than Gideon and refused to feed them. Gideon told these “friends” that when he got back from defeating the enemy he would tear their flesh with thorns and briars. A thorn or a briar patch can be quite painful. Later, Gideon did exactly what he told them he would do.
Have you ever been hungry spiritually? Perhaps you start reading the Word more, listening to preaching tapes, or going to conferences because you want to be fed. However, if you don’t make the most of what you are “eating” you will just become spiritually fat. Being fat is not healthy.
Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. (Judges 8:10)
The enemy started with 130,000 men and 120,000 were killed; leaving 10,000. The Lord did a great work when He took 300 of Gideon’s army and slew 120,000.
Understanding spiritual warfare is similar to understanding military warfare. The principles are basically the same. There are laws in the natural that reflect laws in the spiritual.
What kind of soldier are you? Courageous, attentive, aware, fit: in shape, committed, loyal, trained, prepared, dressed appropriately, organized, disciplined, obedient, and honorable? You joined God’s army when you received the Holy Ghost. There are those who are on the front lines and those who are getting ready to go to the front lines.
When we go into battle we must go in believing we will win. God is going to use those who are willing to be used. Do not be afraid to fight for the cause of God, for the battle is not ours, but His. Keep a right spirit and work together with love for God’s great purpose.
Your pastor and pastor’s wife are on the front lines. They are scouting out the enemy and his tricks. In the military the men on the front lines are in the heart of the battle. If they call to the back for any kind of weapon they need to win that battle, they get it.
When your pastor or pastor’s wife calls you to fast or pray, do it! Don’t ask why they need your prayers. They are on the front lines. They see an attack coming and they are trying to protect the flock. The church must back them up in continuous prayer. When a minister falls into sin, instead of getting on the phone and calling everyone to give a report, realize the enemy took one of our own that was fighting on the front lines. We need to pray for them and their flock.
SPIRITUAL WARFARE PRAYER MEETING
We always begin our prayer meetings with praise. Praise God until His presence is felt. We also end our prayer meetings with praise. The main thing is to try and stay focused on God; He is the one doing the work.
We also begin by asking everyone to personally repent before coming, or before going into spiritual warfare, but NOT while praising God. We stress the unity of everyone praising and thanking God at the same time. Praising is not a time to offer prayer requests for different needs.
Prayer meetings should have a goal and a purpose and stay focused. Don’t let distractions interfere. If prayer requests are brought up, take them and pray over them later, but not during focused prayer.
PUT ON YOUR ARMOUR
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked._And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:12-17, emphasis mine)
After praying on the Armor, we bind the messenger demons so that they cannot go and repeat what we are praying about. Also, we loose the warring angels to go and war for us. Then, we lay our hands on the map of our city and begin repenting on behalf of the city, for whatever God has led us to pray about for that evening.
After repenting, we begin binding the spirit of what we have repented of while our hands are still on the map. For instance, if we have repented for the sin of homosexuality in our city, we bind the spirit of perversion. Sometimes, we have marched around the map as though we are marching around the city of Jericho and during this intercessory praying there may be groaning and travailing in the spirit. We also bind the spirits and send them to outer darkness. Remember, Christians are children of the King and have the King’s authority to bind the strongholds of their city.
To be effective in spiritual warfare one must be obedient. To have authority in the spiritual realm, a believer must be obedient in the natural realm. For example, the Christian must be obedient to the Word of God. This includes those that have the rule over you, such as Father, Husband, and Pastor. You should also obey the laws of the land. Many times we have a tendency to drive faster than the law allows; however, in order to be powerful in the spiritual realm you must be obedient in ALL things.
Many times as a person begins operating in spiritual warfare God will begin to show them flaws that need to be improved on. Not only does this keep a person humble, but it also helps to eliminate areas in life that the enemy can exploit. For instance, if someone has a tendency to gossip, (or is it just “relaying information”?) God will continually rebuke them about that until it stops. This is because of God’s love and care for His people.
The Word is one of the most important weapons. It is also our only offensive weapon. Learn to pray the Word and use the Word. Let me share some warfare scriptures.
thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider; With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid; I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers. (Jeremiah 51:20-23, emphasis mine)
I will love thee, 0 LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. (Psalm 18:1-3)
He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me…For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall…He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. (Psalm 18:17, 29, 34)
LT have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. (Psalm 18: 37-40)
Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
Another area that is very important is UNITY! The church cannot be effective if it does not have total unity. This is a good time to obey that scripture that says “know them that labor among you”. An army that is trying to take a hill cannot be effective if some of the troops decide they will take a detour and go right and some others decide to go left. They must stay unified with the chosen purpose and go as the leader has instructed. That does not mean that they may not spot some useful information along the way to share with the leader. Still stay focused on the purpose. If we stay unified we can accomplish anything we set out to do.
Other SEALS in the natural have learned to trust and depend on the SEAL that is beside them. In the Spiritual, we don’t always know who the Spiritual SEALS are. Some you will know, but not all. I think sometimes it takes great strength to operate covertly, without anyone knowing who you are or what you are doing. It can be lonely; and for sure there is no glory on earth for anyone to encourage you. David learned to encourage himself in the Lord, as all SEALS have also learned.
Don’t let your past mistakes keep you from going forward in the Kingdom of God. God used Aaron to bring some of the first plagues against the Egyptians, and God allowed him to assist Moses to bring the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. However, while Moses was up on the mountain, Aaron was persuaded by the people to make a golden calf for them to worship. (Idol worship is something that God hates.) Yet, Aaron repented from making the golden calf, and God allowed Aaron to be the first High Priest.
Jesus is calling soldiers that are willing to step up a notch to come forth. He will endow each soldier with whatever they need. He is more than able to equip each soldier with what they are lacking. Still, it takes sacrifice on our part; being willing to leave family and friends for the calling of God; willing to go where no one else is willing to go. Being a Spiritual SEAL is not limited to gender, age, or race. God needs us all to step up in this day and hour to rescue as many souls from hell as possible.
A Spiritual SEAL excels in fighting in the spiritual realm, where the battle is truly being fought. SEALS have been awakened in the early morning or late in the night to get up and do battle. Some have even fought spirits in their dreams.
Some fight for nations, some for cities, and others for their assemblies. Wherever they have been sent, they will fight. Many have been misunderstood, and many have sacrificed their lives for the sake of the Kingdom.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11)
The above article, “Fight Like Gideon Fought” was written by Dianne Ellis. The article was excerpted from Ellis’s book, S.E.A.L.S. Soldiers Equipped Acquiring Lost Souls.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.