Three Aspects Or Degrees Of Faith – Judges 6:33-40 – Pastor Vince Massa

all right take out your Bibles if you would please tonight turn with me to the book of Judges and find the sixth chapter judges chapter six and I have a simple message for you tonight but I believe it will be something that will help you in your Christian life judges chapter six reading about Gideon here in judges chapter six and I'll begin reading in verse number 33 judges chapter six verse number 33 the Bible says that all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together and went over and pitched in the valley of Jezreel but the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon and he blew a trumpet and a by easer was gathered after him and he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh who also was gathered after him and he sent messengers unto asher and under Zebulon and unto naphtha lie and they came up to meet them and Gideon said unto God if that will save Israel by mine hand as thou I said behold I'll 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 that will save Israel by my hand as thou has said and it was so before he rose up early on the morrow and thrust the fleece together and ring the dew out of the fleece a bowl full of water excuse me 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 the ground all the ground let there be do and God did so that night for it was dry upon the fleece only and there was due on all the ground alright let's go ahead and pray and then we'll get down to what we want to speak about tonight father thank you for this evening and the blessings of this day thank you that we can be in church tonight and I pray God that you'll please help us tonight from your word Lord bless us show us that truth and as we see the truth god help us not only to know it but dear god help us to apply it to our lives and I pray this now in Jesus's name Amen now the book of Judges as you are probably very well aware as a history of the nation of Israel after the death of Joshua and in this book you have the record of Israel's apostasy now that word apostasy means a departure from God you see when the nation apostasy z'd God would chase in the nation by allowing their enemies to have dominion over them and when Israel would cry out to the Lord for help and deliverance God would raise up a judge or a deliverer who would not only save the nation from their oppressors but also lead the nation back to God and then as you read the book of Judges ultimately that judge would die and this whole cycle would begin again apostasy chastisement and deliverance and that's what you read about nothing you find in the book of Judges now when you come to the sixth chapter the book of Judges you begin reading about Gideon and if you number him I number him as the fifth judge over Israel and when Gideon had lived Israel had again a pasta size and the Lord had allowed the Midianites to rule and have dominion over them if you're in chapter 6 of the book of Gideon's look at verse number one the Bible says and the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years and the hand of minion prevailed against Israel and because of the Midianites the children Israel made them dens which are in the mountains and caves and the strongholds all right and so you see now Israel had departed from God they did evil in the sight of the Lord and so now they're being chastised by God and their enemies the Midianites are having dominion over them and then in their oppression and you know god is good because even when God chastens us he gives us the opportunity to get things right in their oppression they cry out to God for help you look down in chapter 6 when those verse number 6 the Bible says and Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites and the children of Israel cried unto the Lord and so they cry out to God in their oppression and God in his kindness and God and His mercy is going to raise up a man that man as we already know is Gideon and this man is going to deliver Israel from her enemies and so you come to this sixth chapter of the book of Gideon excuse me judges and you see Gideon and three things real quickly before I get to what I want to talk to you about in regard to Gideon first of all you see the call of Gideon God's gonna use a man but before God uses the man God has to call the man and so in these first 24 verses of the book of Judges you see the call of Gideon but for allowing you to see this look at version number 11 the Bible says in there came an angel of the Lord that's the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Christ he's the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament and sat under an oak which was an Oprah that pertained unto johast the EV is right and his son gideon thresh to eat by the winepress to hide it from the Midianites and the angel of the lord appeared unto him and said unto him the Lord is with thee thou mighty man of Valor you see you know how God sees you and I he sees you as what you will be and not as you are at that very moment right now when God looks at you and I you know what he calls us Saints we're Saints but sometimes we don't live very saintly sometimes we don't live very godly but in God's eyes were Saints God took a man by the name of Abraham which means high father and when he was childless and old God changed his name to Abraham father of many nations because God saw him not as what he was but as he would be and so you see Gideon here–he's threshing wheat he's hiding out from the Midianites and God calls him a mighty man of Valor verse number 13 and Gideon said unto him oh my lord if the Lord be with us why then has all this befallen us and where be all the miracles that our fathers told us of saying did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt now the lord hath forsaken us and delivered us into the hand of the Midianites 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 you see God said you're my man you're the one that I'm going to raise up you're going to be Israel's judge you're going to be Israel's deliverer and so the first thing that you see is the call of Gideon God starts out by calling a man alright number two in this chapter here's the second thing you see about Gideon first there's the call and then there's the consecration of Gideon the constant consecration of Gideon you know what the word consecrate means it means to set someone or set something apart for God you and I are to consecrate or dedicate ourselves to the Lord and the next thing you see in this chapter is Gideon's consecration after God speaks to him after God calls him God says okay I'm giving you a job to do and the first thing that you have to do is your father has an altar to bail and your father has a Grove by that altar to bail and what you've got to do now is you've got to cut it down if you're going to be dedicated unto me there can't be any altars to bail there can't be any groves to bail and you know this is a difficult thing because we're talking about just any old grove or any altar this is daddy's altar this is Daddy's Grove are you gonna put me before daddy that's the test I'm calling you but I gotta find out if you're really dedicated and so well at this point in time in his life Gideon didn't have enough gumption to do it in the daytime so he got ten of his father's servants or ten of his servants and he did that night but hallelujah he did it so the first thing you see in this chapter is number one the call of Gideon and then number till you see the consecration of Gideon and then the third thing that you see in this chapter is the conversion of Gideon he is going to be a completely changed man and that's in the verses that we read here in chapter 6 of the book of Judges 33 of the 40 and the transformation of Gideon begins with him being filled with the Spirit of the Lord look at verse number 34 it says but the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon and he blew a trumpet and have I as a by easer was gathered after him you know when a man is truly you know what the word conversion means it means to be changed a lot of times we use the word conversion regard to someone's salvation but remember when the Lord Jesus Christ was speaking to Peter the night before he was crucified he said this to Peter he said when thou art what converted he's already saved but he said when thou art converted strengthen the Brethren and Peter not only had a salvation experience he had a conversion experience when he was filled with the Spirit of God on the day of Pentecost this man who had denied the Lord three times stood up before the entire nation of Israel and preached Christ was their Messiah he had a conversion and so here Gideon has a conversion but I want to speak to you tonight here real quickly for just a little while I'm the subject of faith I'm the subject of faith and you know the Bible says in Hebrews chapter 11 verse number 6 but without faith it's impossible to please God and here's my subject tonight three aspects or three degrees of faith three aspects or three degrees of faith here's the first degree of the first aspect of faith number one there's a faith that needs to see something there's a faith that needs to see something God had a job for Gideon to do but you know what even though he was now the Spirit of the Lord came upon him in order for Gideon to move in order for Gideon to do what God wanted him to do he had to see something he says okay Lord well let's do this I'll tell you what we'll do he says I got this fleece he says I'm gonna put it out tonight and he says well I'm going to get up in the morning and he says if it's the ground is dry and the fleece is wet I'll know that you've really called me to do this and so he does that and gets up in the morning and he it's dry on the ground and grabs the fleece he rings it out and he's got a bowl full of water now that should have been enough okay but he says well Lord you know let's I'll tell you what let's go another step further I'd say let's do this thing one more time only this time I'll tell you what we'll do I'll put out the fleece tonight and I want it to be wet on the grass and dry on the fleece do it the opposite and so he doesn't and the next day it's the opposite so now he has assurance that this is what God wants him to do now there's nothing wrong with this especially in regard to Gideon because the Bible says that Jew requires a sign and Gideon wanted a couple of signs however I want you to notice this progression in regard to this aspect of faith I have your Bibles open look at verse number 36 the Bible says Gideon said unto God here's the key word he says if that will save Israel by my hand now God had already said he would he says back in verse number 14 thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites but he's he's not sure yet so he says if you know we'll put the fleece out if you're gonna do it by me then let there be the ground dry and the fleece full of water and you'll notice in verse number 37 alright look at the middle of verse he says then shall I know that that will save Israel by my hand as thou has said well God said it but he said I need this help I need this help alright if you're gonna do it but let's take it a step further then I'll do what if No if no and then you know God does exactly what he asked God to do but he asked God then he tells God I want to do it one more time in verse number 39 Gideon said unto the Lord let not by an 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 upon the fleece and upon all the ground let that be do he says you know what god I gotta put you to the test if I'll know and you'll prove to me that this is what you want me to do and you know I want you in regard to what I'm just talking to you about right now aren't we like that sometimes before we move we want God to show us something before you know what we need to do or to confirm to us right what God wants us to do and believe him in regard to what he wants us to do and when God does what we ask him to do and giving us this a confirmation then it helps us move in the area that God would have us to move in I'm talking about your faith I'm talking about my faith and one aspect or one degree of faith is that in order for us to believe God we have to see some God I'll go here God I'll go there god I'll do this god I'll do that but if you really want me to do it let this happen or let that happen now hey folks don't misunderstand me I'm talking about degrees of faith okay there's nothing wrong I necessarily in regard to asking God to prove it to you show it to you so you'll know all right but we're talking about now a step I'm taking a step of faith I'm gonna believe God but in order for me to believe God I got to have something happen are you with me all right but there's another degree beyond that there's another degree that's a step further than all right this second step of faith that I want to speak to you about for a few moments is this there's a faith that doesn't need to see anything there's a faith that doesn't need to see anything one just believes what God says all right in my illustration in regard to what I want to speak to you about here under this second step or aspect of faith is this individual by the name of Abraham you understand this about Abraham Abraham had left his house and the earth Akala Dees all right and when he leaves his home in the earth account DS he had nothing to go on but God's promise and when he moves out from the other counties he's 75 years of age remember what the Bible says if you want to look at it look at Genesis chapter 12 verses 1 to 3 here he is dwelling amongst the heathen people in the Bible says Lord had said unto Abram get thee out of thy country from thy kindred from thy father's house unto a land that I will shew thee and I'll make a V a great nation and will bless thee and make thy name great and now it should be a blessing I'll bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee and thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed but in are those promises that God makes there and those couple of verses God says I'll make of thee a great nation when you're 75 years of age and you've never had a child with your wife might be kind of hard to believe that God's gonna make he didn't say I'll give me a child I'll make a whole nation but he believes God and he leaves his homeland and he leaves here the Caddy's and ultimately he gets to the land of Canaan and then when you read about the life of Abraham he is residing in the land of Canaan now for several years he's there for several years and after residing in the land leaving home when coming to the land of Canaan residing there for several years you get to Genesis chapter 15 and you know what Abraham still does not have a child and when you look at Genesis chapter 15 verse number 1 the Bible says after these things that's chapter 14 and his deliverance of lot and meeting with Melchizedek all right after these things the word the Lord came in to Abram in a vision saying fear not Abram I am thy shield and my exceeding great reward and Abram said Lord God what without give me seeing I go childless and the steward of his house is Eliezer of the of Damascus and Abram said Behold are you listening he's talking to God he says to me thou has given no seed and lo one born in my house is mine heir he says you know what I don't have a son I don't have a child and when I die my steward my servants gonna get everything I got now God gives them a promise verses 4 & 5 of Genesis chapter 15 and behold the word of the Lord came unto him saying this shall not be thine heir but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir and he brought him forth abroad and said look now toward the heaven and tell the Stars the word tel means number that's why when you go to the bank tomorrow you're gonna go up to a bank what tell her he or she is gonna number some dollars for you or so forth and so on tell the Stars and if thou be able to number them see and he said so shall thy seed be and so he brings him outside of his tent he says now look up in the sky and he says you see all those scars King a number of Abraham he says no they're innumerable he says so shall thy seed be now what I'm wanting you to realize here is that Abraham saw the stars in the sky but there was no special sign associated with those stars he simply believed what God said here he didn't say well you know what Lord I'll tell you what let's do this like Gideon let me put a fleece on the ground and if it's you know what on the fleece is around the ground then I know you're gonna do this or let me do it the opposite way he didn't need any sign God said this is what I'm gonna do and all he had was the word of the Lord and he believed the word of the Lord and because he believed the word of the Lord God blessed him verse number six says and he believed in the Lord and it was counted to him for righteousness I'm talking about degrees of faith I'm talking about aspects of faith and sometimes in your life you're gonna want to know what God's wanting you to do and leading you in a particular way and you're gonna say okay Lord if you want me to do this or do that I want you to give me some kind of sign show me something so I can move in the right direction and do what you want me to do alright but sometimes you're not going to get that sign God's not always gonna work with you that way and sometimes you're gonna have to take another step of faith another degree of faith another aspect of faith and you're just going to have to simply get a promise from God in God's Word and you're gonna have to just believe what God said just believe what God said and I got no sign I got no if I got no I need this – no I got no let me prove it one more time God said it I believe it I'm gonna do it and sometimes that's how God wants us to work he's just gonna give us a word and that's the Word of God alone is going to be our motivation for us doing what we need to do alright I'm talking about three aspects of faith three degrees of faith that's that it won't be long I'm re n point number three first aspect of faith – sometimes alright in regard to our faith we need some help we need a sign we need to see something when he got to prove to us in some aspect of what he would have us to do but another degree of faith is this beyond that as sometimes all we are going to get from God is a promise and we're simply to act in regard to what God would have us do because we have a promise but then here's the third aspect of faith and this goes beyond the other two sometimes we're going to have to have a faith that believes even when signs circumstances feelings and human reasoning are all running contrary to what God says I mean you're looking at the circumstances of the hour and everything in regards to the circumstances of what's going on around you says it's not gonna happen from a human perspective can I give you my Bible illustration okay I'll give you an illustration from the scripture you got to go a New Testament this time and you got to go to the book of Acts chapter 27 Acts chapter 27 the Apostle Paul has been arrested and he's on his way to Rome to stand before Caesar and accept 27 and they get on the ship on the Mediterranean Sea and they come to this particular place and Paul warned them that they were to winter there but the owner of the ship and the captain of the ship don't want to listen to the Apostle Paul so they take off and they get on a on the ship and they begin their journey and they get themselves in a great storm a great tempest in fact this tempest has a name it's called Urraca lay down in Acts chapter 27 and you know Luke dr. Luke the travelling companion and colabor or the Apostle Paul is writing the book of Acts and here's what Luke says in verse number 20 and when neither Sun or stars in many days appeared and no small tempest lay upon us all hope that we should be saved was then taken away Luke's right in the book of Acts and you know what Luke is basically saying we're gonna die we're gonna die there's no Sun in the morning because we're in the storm there's no stars at night because of the storm we're stuck in the storm we ain't never gonna get to Rome all hope is what taken away all hope is taken away and every once in a while folks you know what hey listen to me you're gonna get yourself into place and you're looking at the circumstances and from a human perspective you're gonna have no hope all right but let me read on in verse number 21 the Bible says but after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them and said sirs you should have hearkened unto me not have loosed from Crete to have gained this Harmon loss and now I exhort you be of good cheer be a good cheer Luke just said there's no hope he says be a good cheer he says for there shall no loss of any men's be of any man's life among you but of the ship for there stood by me this night the angel of God whose I am and whom I serve saying fear not Paul thou must be brought before Caesar and lo God hath given thee all them that sail with thee all right the storm is raging circumstances say you're not gonna make it he says but you know what let's be a good cheer because you know I've got away from God and it doesn't make any difference if there's a storm I got a word I got a word I'm gonna believe God in spite of what's going on around me ain't gonna put out no fleece ain't gonna wring it out and find water we ain't gonna put out a fleece and find it dry hey we ain't just even gonna look in the stars in the night and believe God everything is going against us but I got a word from the Lord and you know what God did it in chapter 28 verse number 1 the Bible says and when they were escaped it came to pass and you see God will do it for you too sometimes sometimes we get looking at the circumstances and from a human we start reasoning I'll give you this story and I'm done there was a great preacher of years ago his name was a seed Dixon great preacher great pastor great evangelist all right and AC Dixon he pastored in a few different places one of the places he pastored was in Boston Massachusetts and in this church that he was pastoring in Boston Massachusetts they had a great financial need it was a great financial need and so they decided that the men got together the men of the church got together and they were gonna have a prayer meeting to pray about this financial need that the church had so the men got together and they prayed and during the course of this prayer meeting one man stood up he said he said God spoke to my heart he says God's told me that next Sunday all right this was on a Sunday they were praying he said but next Sunday when we take the offering he said God is going to meet the financial need that we have prayer meeting comes to a conclusion week goes by it's next Sunday you know what happened on the next scent that's next Sunday it rained I don't mean it just I mean I'm talking like a rainstorm like we had on Wednesday night it's just bored buckets all right and it didn't seem like it ever was gonna stop all right that's how what kind of rings storm they had on Sunday and you know what happens a lot of times when it rains like that folks don't come to church I mean some well but some incoming okay and especially you're talking back and you know the end of the 19th century you know they didn't have a car to jump into necessarily or another way to get there so if they're gonna get the church they're gonna have to hoof it or get some way you know what I'm saying so it's torrential e raining and people aren't going to come to church and so they're gathering together and everyone knows that today you know what it's not going to be a real great attendance and so one of the men stands up and says hey listen I know what you said about not meeting the need today but maybe we ought to wait to next Sunday and you know what the man said to the person that was saying we got to wait a week he said I'm trusting the Lord not the weather and so they even though it was a much smaller crowd than usual they took their offering and when they took the offering and they counted the offering the need was met and more what am I talking about talking about your faith talking about my faith and I'm talking about three aspects or three degrees of your faith sometimes you're gonna the gods gonna want you to do something and like Gideon you know what you're gonna need some help to move to respond to act your God to show you something right and then there's gonna be other times in regard to your faith you're gonna have to be just like Abraham you're not going to get a sign you're not gonna have to God have God do something God's just gonna tell you something and God's gonna expect you to act upon it because that's what he said to do and then there's other times in regard to your Christian experience where God's gonna put you in the middle of a storm and everything is gonna be going against you circumstances everything's going contrary to what you want God and believe God's supposed to be doing and you know what God's gonna want you to do just trust what did Paul say sirs I believe that's my message let's pray I had to bother eyes are closed every head bowed every eye closed I'm gonna pray we're gonna sing we're gonna bring the service to an end before I pray and finish a service with a prayer and then a song while no one's looking here for just a moment would you be honest with me for a moment maybe you're here tonight and you'd be saying pastor right now I'm finding myself and I don't need to know the particulars but you might say just with your uplifted and pastor right now I'm needing God to do something in my life in my home some aspect of my life and I don't really don't care where you are in your degree of faith one two or three but I'm just asking you to slip up your hand if this is you and say pastor pray for me right now because I really need God to do something for me god bless you just slip your hand up and then take it down yeah god Bless You Father I am thankful tonight that we have a savior I'm thankful tonight we have a comforter that dwells within us I'm thankful tonight I got a book that shows me the truth that guides me in the steps of faith and God you said that we're to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ so god help us to grow in our faith God wherever we are in this aspect our degree of faith help us to go on and go beyond it and dear God you saw the hands and you know the circumstances of some of these folks God if it's a sign something to prove to some of these that are going through some stuff tonight to just encourage them god I pray it give that to him but Lord maybe some just need to find a promise and believe it and dear God maybe there's some here tonight as they look at their circumstances everything seems to be going against God I pray they wouldn't give up hope I pray that they might be able to say I believe God so blessing Lord and help him Lord and do some miraculous things from Lord and I prayed in the wonderful name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ amen all right let's stand together you want to come want come pray for a moment

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