Counting the Omer: Day 36 (14 More Days to Pentecost)
- “So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The-Lord-Is-Peace” (Judg. 6:23).
- “And Manoah said to his wife, ‘We shall surely die, because we have seen God!’” (Judg. 13:22).
God Is Peace! Know the Lord Is Your Friend and That He Is for You
Succeed Like Gideon—or Flounder in Unmet Potential Like Manoah/Samson
Lately, I have been talking a lot about the principalities represented by the five kings in Joshua 10 and their corresponding strategies against us. I am convinced that coming to a place of understanding and victory against each one will have huge ramifications for spiritual victory and advance. (For your convenience, I will keep the original article posted.) As I meditate on them, it seems the Lord gives more and more revelation. Today, I want to share about the first one—God is our peace!
Knowing “The Lord is Peace” was key to Gideon’s success. Conversely, not knowing that was probably the principal reason for Manoah’s failure as a father and for Samson’s correspondingly tragic life.
In Judges 6, the Angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to Gideon and called him a mighty warrior and said that God was with him and that he would deliver Israel. Gideon rejected that, but the Lord’s messenger repeated the prophecy. As the conversation continued, Gideon was not convinced, but asked (he thought it was a man) for him to wait while he brought an offering. The man (Angel) instructed Gideon to pour the offering on the rock and then he touched it with his rod. It began to burn and the Angel disappeared.
What follows is the key to Gideon’s story and his success. Gideon was awestruck, but he was also filled with fear. He had seen the Lord face to face. Surely he would die! But the Lord spoke to his heart, “Peace be with you … you shall not die!” (Judg. 6:23).
This word from the Lord touched Gideon deeply and settled his heart. He was so moved that he built an altar and named it “The Lord Is Peace” and worshipped. Somehow he knew that God was his friend. Everything had changed. He eagerly looked forward to hearing from God and obeying him. That night when God told him to tear down the idol in his father’s house, he did so, trusting that God would back him.
Gideon became a changed man because he knew “God was peace.” When the Midianites came again, he knew to blow the trumpet and gather the people (6:34). The rest is history. He wasn’t afraid to set “fleeces” before the Lord for assurance. Afterward, he didn’t mind that God whittled his army down to 300! He won an amazing battle and became leader of Israel, all because he knew the Lord was his friend who would never leave him.
A few chapters later (in Judges 13) is the story of Manoah, Samson’s father. In a similar fashion, the angel of the Lord declared to Manoah’s wife that she would bear a son who would “save” Israel. At Manoah’s request, that same angel appeared to him as well. Like Gideon, Manoah also presented an offering. Here, too, the Angel manifested as Lord and Manoah was afraid.
But now the similarity ends. Manoah whispered his fears to his wife, but never talked to the Lord. He never saw or experienced that the “Lord is peace.” One can’t help but wonder why Manoah never seemed to “rise up.” His life appears nondescript and devoid of faith. He certainly didn’t instill self-discipline, faith, or a sense of righteousness in Samson. We can only surmise, but one wonders if Samson’s life would have had more impact had Manoah come to the realization—like Gideon did—that God is peace; that God was his friend.
I know the same is true for us. We can have encounters with the Lord and see miracles, but if we don’t come to the place where we deeply and truly see that “God is my friend; He is peace and is for me,” then we probably will not reach the potential that He has for us.
As you continue to count down to Pentecost—and as you continue to walk with the Lord—remember He is your peace. If you are not sure, then be like Gideon. Ask Him! Worship Him. Let your heart be settled. God is for you!
Thanks for praying.
Ron and Teddy Sawka
Five Strategies the Enemy Uses to Stop Us
(Originally posted on May 3rd)
Last week, I wrote about Joshua’s victory over an alliance of five kings and how those “five kings had fled and hidden themselves in a cave at Makkedah” (Josh. 10:16). I further pointed out that Makkedah means “diminishing, decreasing, poverty, and depression” and how this is the enemy’s plan for each of us to keep us small and to prevent us from advancing. Each of the names of the cities of the five kings (10:3) represents a demonic entity that attacks us. Together, these five things work to diminish us and to keep us in poverty instead of abundance. These five kings are as follows:
1. King of Jerusalem (Peace)—The enemy always attacks our peace. He wants us to move into worry and anxiety, which leads to fear. Fear cancels faith. Without faith, we can’t please God (Heb. 11:6), and without faith we can’t advance. So, we must war to stay in peace. Philippians 4:6–7 states, “Be anxious for nothing … let your requests be made known to God; and the peace that passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
2. King of Hebron (Self-Effort)—This is actually a religious spirit. It tries to make us think things aren’t going well and that we must “strive” to do something. It becomes “self-effort” instead of listening to the Lord and only doing what He wants/initiates. Thus, we unknowingly begin to operate in unbelief. We must rest in Him. He can and will bring us into our destiny (see Hebrews 4).
3. King of Jarmuth (Spirit of Besiegement)—This spirit tries to make you feel the situation is hopeless. It wants you to feel that God can’t move in your situation, that you will never do the right things, that nothing will ever change, and that you will never have enough. This leads to isolation and causes you to miss connections and blessings God has for you. This is an anti-Christ spirit. Whenever you feel hopeless, rise up and say “no.” Declare “God is with me and He is in charge. He is blessing me.”
4. King of Lachish (Spiritual Blindness/Deafness)—Many Christians suffer from this. They think God is not speaking to them. They feel they cannot see anything God is doing because He isn’t doing anything. But in actuality, He is working all the time and is speaking constantly. The remedy? First, listen carefully and receive everything He says and know that He will say more. Proverbs 1:23 states, “If only you will respond to my rebuke, then I will pour out my thoughts to you and I will make my words known to you.” Second, give thanks. Be thankful in every situation and you will start seeing the hand of God at work (see 1 Thessalonians 5:18).
5. King of Eglon (Spirit of Self-Accusation)—This spirit loves to get us accusing and condemning ourselves so we grow increasingly despondent and hopeless. None of us is perfect. We all fall short; we all fail. When we do, we must immediately repent and then receive forgiveness and move on in joy and confidence. See the story behind “the joy of the Lord is our strength” (Neh. 8:10). After they repented, they were told to be joyful. Our repenting makes the day “holy unto the Lord.” He wants us to honor Him by rejoicing.
Evangelistic Broadcasting in Japan
MPP can also be seen on my Facebook page.
- May 17–20, Interior Sabah, Malaysia (Arranged by Ap. Aster Soong)
- May 21–22, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (Ap. Aster Soong)
- May 23, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia (Ap. Kung Ching)
- May 24–25, Bintulu, Malaysia (Ap. John and Annie)
- May 26–28, Jakarta, Indonesia (Fendkey and Lina)
- June 3, Arise 5 Network Meeting, Sano, Japan
- June 4, Arise 5 Tokyo Prophecy Café Church
(My complete schedule for the year is listed at arise5.com/events.)
Giving to Arise 5
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Bank Info and Online Giving
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