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Episode 276: Building our Faith in God

God builds our faith, and the story of Gideon compared with the Battle of Thermopylae.

Published: June 10, 2017

Speakers: Joshua Sosso




hello thank you for tuning in this is Joshua Sosso and you are listening to the prophetic voice of our time many greetings from us here in Israel we are right here in the Holy Land when you listen to this we’ll be in the final leg many people will be heading home and we’ll be on our trip towards Greece where we’re going to visit the island of Patmos and many of the places that the Apostle Paul wrote to and visited so that’s very exciting and it’s really exciting when Pastor Cris gets back with you she’ll be able to share with you some of the testimonies from this trip and it really has been truly miraculous and it has actually been really exciting because many people even at the last minute they came up to us and you know before they said they weren’t gonna be able to come on this trip they said they weren’t gonna be able to come with us but then at the last minute they said you know God opened the door and they were able to pay for their entire ticket to pay for their tour and the whole trip and so God really opened up the doors for many people who up until then we’re saying well they they weren’t gonna come they didn’t see how it was gonna happen but God opened the door so we’re really excited to share with you some of the testimonies from this trip from people and how it’s affected them so make sure to stay tuned for that for sure but man God is really stretching our faith God is really putting our faith to the test it’s really interesting because it’s like every time that God pushes us and say man I don’t think I can handle this but then we hold on and we push through then the next time it seems like it’s even further that he pushes us it’s like God is working out our faith muscles so that when the time comes that were put under pressure he knows that we will have faith in Him and that we will rely on him no matter what it’s kind of interesting because when you exercise you you push yourself really hard and the next day you’re all sore well the interesting thing is that the way muscles get built actually is that when you push yourself so far the muscle fibers and the muscle cells actually tear there’s micro tears all across your muscles which is why the next day you’re so sore because what happens is that those tears in your muscles in your muscle fibers are healing and they heal back stronger you get more muscle fibers than before they come back thicker so that next time they won’t tear when you exert that force on them our faith is the same way where God pushes us past our limit pushes us further than we thought we could before so that next time we come around he can push us even further you know as the Bible says those that can be trusted but little can be trusted with much so whatever pressure you are in right now whatever situation you are in right now give it to God have faith in God because he is faithful to deliver you he is faithful to provide all your needs all the resources to manifest his will in your life and you know that’s what we’re talking about today if you look at the Bible God calls people out of their element he calls them and pushes them to do things that they normally would not have done but because they obeyed God and because they were reliant on God they were able to do miraculous things signs and wonders if you look for example at the story of Gideon in judges what do we know about the story we know that at the time the Israelites had done evil in the eyes of the Lord so for seven years he gave them to the hands of the Midianites and if we turn to judges chapter 6 starting at verse 2 it says because the power of Midian was so oppressive the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain class caves and strongholds whenever the Israelites planted their crops the Midianites Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country they camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys they came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of Lucas it was impossible to count them or their camels they invaded the land to ravage it median so impoverished Israel that they cried out to the Lord for help so Midian had many people it says that they were like a swarm of locust and I don’t know if you’ve seen any footage of locust swarms but it’s like a cloud it’s like you’re walking into a black cloud but it’s insects and they’re just swarming and they eat everything they eat everything destroy all the crops you know people have done studies and they say in a in a locust swarm it’ll range from 40 million to 80 million locusts per square kilometer and the swarm can be you know it can range from a single kilometer to hundreds of kilometers and a kilometer is like 23 of a mile so you just have to imagine when it’s describing the Midianites as a swarm of locusts it’s literally a sea of people coming in ravaging everything taking everything and this happened because the Israelites they turned from God so what do these realize do they cry out to the Lord for help it says in verse 7 when the Israelites cried out to the Lord of Midian he sent them a prophet who said this is what the Lord God of Israel says I brought you up out of Egypt out of the land of slavery I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors I drove them out before you and gave you their land I said to you I am the Lord your God do not worship the gods of the amorite in whose land you live but you have not listened to me so the prophet came and said I instructed you not to worship any idols but you didn’t listen to me so that was the word of the prophets after that happened an angel of the Lord showed up before Gideon now at the time Gideon was threshing wheat the Bible says that he was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites so he was hiding food so that they would not steal it but the angel of the Lord came before Gideon the Lord is with you mighty warrior so this is just a really interesting juxtaposition cuz here Gideon is he’s hiding and he’s trying to hide food away from the Midianite so they wouldn’t steal any right and then he comes and says you’re a mighty warrior he’s hiding he’s trying to pocket food for himself but God has called him to be mighty well Gideon answers in verse 13 and he says pardon me my lord but if the Lord is with us why it has this all happened to us where did all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when he said did the Lord bring us up out of Egypt but the Lord has abandoned us and given us to the hand of Midian but God said to him go in the strength you have and save Israel out of midians hand am I not sending you but giddy hadn’t replied and this is really interesting he says pardon me my lord but how can I save Israel my clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the least in my family so here Gideon is saying I can’t do it he’s not qualified in the Lord and he’s not qualified according to man’s standard so God is calling Gideon to go beyond to a step out in faith to a place he has never been before so that’s streching streching he’s working out those two faith muscles so Gideon offered a sacrifice to the angel of the Lord and then the first thing that he was instructed to do was to tear down the false gods bales altar and to tear down the Ashera Pole and this is really interesting because the prophet of God had just come and said do not worship idols are false gods but the people ignored it they kept those false gods in place they kept those idols in place even though that was the very thing that was causing their own oppression and this is just a side note but people will often cling to and this is the flesh at work well cling to their vices the things that are actually in reality holding them down where they don’t want to let go of this one thing and the idols in their lives are the things that are causing problems might be causing financial issues might be causing issues in their relationships causing issues in their relationship with God if the Israelites had torn down those idols after the Prophet said I instructed you not to worship false gods but you have not listened to me if they had initially from the beginning listen to the word of the Lord and not worship false gods they would not have been subjected to the oppression of the Midianites so it’s really important that we examine ourselves do we have idols in our lives though we’re placing above God because those idols could very well be the things that are causing hardships in our lives and so that’s why the first thing that God had Gideon do was to tear down these idols these false gods and here’s the crazy thing so Gideon was afraid right Gideon was afraid cause he didn’t want the crowd to be hostile towards him in doing it so he went in the middle of the night he tore down bales altar he cut down the Ashera Pole but then when the people woke up they got really angry they said who did this and they investigated and they found it was Gideon son of joash so in verse 30 it says the people of the town demanded of joash bring out your son he must die because he broke down bales altar and cut down the Ashera pole beside it so here Gideon is obeying the word of the Lord and they want to persecute him they want to put him to death which is so crazy because the prophet of God had just showed up and told them that they had disobeyed the Lord but in verse 31 joash replied to the hostile crowd around him are you going to plead bails cause are you trying to save him whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning if Bale really is a God he can defend himself when somebody breaks down his altar so because Gideon broke down bales altar they gave him the name cherub Bale that day saying let Bale contend with him so Gideon listen to the word of the Lord that was his first stretch of faith right but it continues on there so many of you are probably familiar with the story but Gideon gathers together the Israelites so that they will defeat the Midianites and so in judges chapter seven in verse one and says early in the morning jerub-baal that is gideon and his men camped at the spring of herod at the camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh the Lord said to Gideon you have too many men I cannot deliver Midian into their hands or Israel would boast against me my own strength has saved me now announce to the army anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead so 22,000 men left while 10,000 remained so they lost more than two-thirds of their whole army in that moment now I just want to stop and take a moment and think about what’s going on in Gideon’s mind because the Bible describes the Midianites as a swarm of locusts so that means it was a sea of people coming in I mean I don’t know if you’ve seen any arena crowds or anything like that but according to that description if it was literally like a sea of people coming in then it easily could have been several hundred thousand people in that army but maybe for simplicity sake let’s say that there was a hundred thousand Midianites right so a hundred thousand Midianite so how many Israelites were there that came to fight them so initially it said twenty-two thousand men left and ten thousand remain so initially Gideon had 32,000 men so if my guests say a ballpark 100,000 Midianites if there was a hundred thousand Midianites and there was 32,000 Israelites so they’re outnumbered basically three to one so if we’re thinking from Gideon’s perspective it’s like you know God okay let’s break down the numbers here so you’re telling me like we’re outnumbered three to one so if every one of our soldiers kills three million Knights then we’ll be able to make it so it’s like the odds are stacked against Gideon but you know it’s doable it’s doable we can we can handle this but then God says to tell the men who are afraid to leave so 22,000 leave and Gideon’s left with only 10,000 men against a hundred thousand or more strong army so now it starts to get a little bit you know iffy it’s like god I mean I know you told me to tell them to go home but you know now we’re outnumbered ten to one I mean the numbers don’t really make sense here now every Israelite has to kill ten Midianites just to win so the odds continue to get stacked against Gideon but this is part of that stretching and this is the interesting thing too because when God came to Gideon and he says you will defeat the Midianites I will use you to defeat the Midianites what’s the first thought that comes to mind it’s thinking okay I’m going to gather the people we’re going to go to battle we’re going to go to war and God is going to use the sword in our hand to defeat the Midianites we’re going to kill them all that’s our first thought right so when God starts telling Gideon’s men to go home it’s like well God like I know your God but these numbers don’t really add up I mean there’s only 10,000 of us now and there’s a hundred thousand of them you know how are we supposed to kill that many Midianites that’s ten people for every one of us but that wasn’t enough no God said to Gideon there are still too many men take them down to the water and I will thin them out for you there if I say this one shall go with you he shall go but if I say this one shall not go with you he shall not go so Gideon listens he takes them down to the water and God says separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink three hundred of them drank from cupped hands lapping like a dog all the rest got down on their knees to drink and then the Lord said to Gideon with three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands let all the others go home so what a Gideon do he sent them nine thousand seven hundred men home and was left with three hundred to go against a one hundred thousand person Midianite army again if we want to crunch the numbers here that means that every Israel like soldier would have to kill more than 300 Midianites that’s pretty impossible but Gideon listened and here’s the thing cuz god never intended for Gideon to wage a physical battle he never intended them to run at them with swords and kill all of them if we look at the story god had Gideon have the 300 men get trumpets and get jars and he had them surround the Midianite camp and God told them to blow the trumpets and smash the jars that was their instructions and what happened well when they did that God threw confusion upon all the Midianites and they all slaughtered each other in their confusion that is miraculous see God never intended for Gideon to have to physically raise his sword and physically kill all the Midianites God always intended to do the work for Gideon but he needed Gideon to obey Him to trust in him to have faith in Him and you know that’s why with each step his faith got stretched a little bit further it started destroyed es Europol even though the people will hate you for it he destroys the Ashura bull sent twenty-two thousand men home he sends 22 thousand men home send another nine thousand seven hundred men home and he sends those additional men home he’s left with 300 men then he says go into battle with trumpets and glass jars and Gideon obeys and then what happens the Israelites outnumbered three hundred to a hundred thousand defeat the Midianites without losing a single person that’s pretty miraculous those odds are incredible it’s actually kind of interesting there’s actually a similar story in history you might have actually heard of it it’s called the Battle of Thermopylae it has similar odds but in the Battle of Thermopylae the Persians came to wage war on all the Greek nations and the Persians boasted that they had million-strong army many historians you know dispute that fact saying he was probably closer to several hundred thousand but regardless it was a massive army that was coming to destroy all the Greek nations and take Dominion and it was led by King Xerxes which interestingly enough is the same Xerxes that Esther got married to in the Bible so the Greek nations they were not a single Empire there were separate nations but they needed time to form a coalition they needed time to band together an army to attack the Persians so they needed somebody to slow down their assault so a small group 7,000 Greek men in total went to hold off the 100,000 to 150,000 Persian soldiers they were able to find a cut-off point in the road it was a single road single passageway that the Persians had to go through to get to the Greek nation’s to get to Athens those 7,000 men against the 150 thousand to a hundred thousand Persians held them off for seven days now these seven thousand men were led by King Leonidas who was the king of the Spartans perhaps you’ve heard of the Spartans before but King Leonidas realized that they were starting to become overcome because the Persians had found an alternate route around this choke point and were beginning to flank them so what king leonidas does as he tells the other Greek soldiers to run back to the city to retreat while he with his 300 Spartans 700 thespians and four hundred demons 1,400 men guarded the retreat against the hundred fifty thousand strong Persian army so the men retreat King Leonidas the 300 Spartans and the other Greek soldiers fought against the Persian army and the Persians lost in this battle a total of 20,000 to 25,000 Persians died in that battle against only a couple thousand Greek soldiers that’s really impressive actually that’s really impressive and we know that the Spartans were renowned to be renowned hardened highly trained fighters and so for every Spartan they took with them numerous Persian soldiers however as we know the story King Leonidas and all of his men were killed were all executed and were all killed in the line of battle but they took with them 20,000 to 25,000 Persian soldiers that’s a really impressive figure that’s a lot of soldiers to die for just a couple thousand men and actually the seven-day delay that they were able to do was enough time for the Greek armies to be able to come together and form a coalition but King like Leonidas and all of his men died they faced similar odds to the Israelites and they fought with their own strength right they fought with their own strength they were able to have a showing that was very impressive but they still died they still succumbed to the pressure and this is the point that I want to make is that with our own strength we might be the greatest trained the most knowledgeable like the Spartans were highly trained two very renowned soldiers and we can push hard and we can work hard and fight and fight and fight and push to make what we believe and what we want to do happen but we will never be able to achieve the miraculous unless we have faith in God it’s still possible for us to do great impressive things with our own strength but we’re gonna have to work hard we’re gonna suffer losses we’re gonna go through heartaches we’re gonna suffer emotional turmoil but we can still make it happen you know the Spartans are still renowned throughout all history they’ve had you know multiple movies made about the legend of the 300 Spartans because they fought so hard and took someone persons with them but they still succumbed and they still were killed the three hundred Israelite soldiers with Gideon suffered no casualties and completely obliterated the Midianite army and you see the difference and what work did Gideon have to do they didn’t lose any soldiers right Gideon already admitted that he was the least in his family but what a Gideon have to do he had to step out in faith he had to step out in faith and obey God and God did the rest of the work and you see that’s what God has before us you know we can choose to obey God we can choose to listen to God and step out in faith and obey Him and he will see that his plan and his blessing manifests on our life or we can choose to do things our own way and we might get there you might get there but you’re going to suffer hardships you’re going to suffer setbacks you’re going to have to work hard to get there but God knows all and sees all and has all the power if we would just obey Him and listen to him he is offering us a shortcut a way to get there without hardship without suffering so I urge all of you let’s obey God what has God instructed you to do what has God called you to do it’s time that we step out of our comfort zones and we allow God to stretch out our faith allow God to build upon what he’s given us because if God can trust you with little then he’s gonna trust you with a little bit more than he’s gonna trust you with a little bit more soon you’ll be inundated with blessings and you won’t even know what to do with it so this season God is really manifesting and he’s really working in the political sector and the business sector in the media sector all over the world and we need to make sure that we’re in position to have God move in our lives amen well we’re about out of time for today continue to be vigilant God really is moving in the nation of the United States and in the world so we need to continue to listen to him so that he can make his will manifest it here on the earth and don’t forget to go to our website you can listen to previous recordings of this broadcast on our website you will find it under the media section for the prophetic voice of our time

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Episode 276: Building our Faith in God

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