The Strong Weak Man


Series: Armor of God

Title: 2. The Strong Weak Man The shield of faith, and the story of Gideon. #faith


  • 2017-08-19: White Rock Lake
  • 2018-09-15: Birmingham First Church
  • 2019-02-23: Valley


  1. Hymn 515: “The Lord Is My Light”
  2. Hymn 608: “Faith Is the Victory”

Scripture: Ephesians 6:16

Slides: Click here

  1. Two different introductions
    1. Armor of God Intro: Introduction
      1. We’re focusing this summer on the armor of God–how we as a church can move forward under God’s command to advance His kingdom and win souls from the devil’s side to God’s.
      2. Thus far, we’ve looked at several important aspects of this:
        1. We’ve identified our enemy.
        2. We’ve seen the need to be courageous and stand firm.
        3. We’ve seen how the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness equip us for battle.
        4. Last week, we examined the shoes of the readiness of the gospel, and saw that it is imperative for us to become active duty soldiers in God’s army.
      3. However, we can’t expect the devil to sit idly by and allow himself to be defeated without a fight. And he fights dirty.
      4. Our question today is this: What defense do we have to keep the devil from stopping our service in the Lord’s Army?
      5. Our focus verse: Ephesians 6:16. We’re going to discover today what it means to take up the shield of faith, and how to use the shield.
    2. @ Standalone Intro
      1. I love interacting with people from other countries. One thing I like about it is that it broadens my horizons.
        1. As an English teacher, I’ve experienced many different cultural ways of interacting with the world.
          1. Korean girls calling their boyfriends 오빠.
          2. Saudis: Negotiation
          3. Line and Manuela: sisters?
          4. Secular drift in Korea
      2. Culture vs. Christ
        1. Our instructions are clear. Armor of God, Ephesians 6:10-18a
      3. Today, we’ll examine a part of the armor of God and see how it can help us in our battles.
  2. Gideon, the strong weak man
    1. @ Background: Israel had once again turned away from God, and found themselves severely oppressed by their neighbors, the Midianites, for seven years. The people were reduced to hiding in caves for fear of the Midianites. Whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianite hordes would come and devour the crops, using them to feed their vast throngs and leaving nothing for Israel to eat. Finally, they cried out to the Lord for help, and He sent a prophet to remind them why they were being oppressed.1
    2. @ Judges 6:11-15: @ God called Gideon a mighty man of valor, but Gideon begged to differ
      1. Have you ever been there? Have you ever felt too weak to engage in spiritual warfare? Have you ever felt like you were in serious danger of falling?
      2. At this time, Gideon was hardly a mighty man of valor.
        1. He could see those flaming darts of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16) and he was terrified.
      3. @ God, though, wasn’t concerned with Gideon’s weakness; He knew what He would do through Gideon.
        1. He called him a mighty man of valor not because that was what he was, but because that’s what God would make him.
      4. @ The first lesson about the shield of faith: When God calls us into battle, He will provide what we need.
        1. God wasn’t worried about Gideon’s résumé. He didn’t care how weak his clan was.
        2. The important thing for Gideon was to obey.
        3. So for us.
          1. We can worry ourselves to death in fear of what might happen to us if we move from reserve status to active duty in God’s army.
          2. However, just like Gideon, our call is to obey, trusting that God will provide what we need.
          3. How we feel about it is irrelevant. The fact that Gideon was afraid didn’t change the fact that God had called him.
          4. Faith is only faith if it is exercised.
        4. When God calls us, our duty is to obey and not worry about what could happen.
    3. @ God miraculously demonstrated who it was who had been speaking to Gideon. Gideon brought food to offer to the angel of the Lord and the angel touched it with the tip of his staff, causing fire to leap up and consume the food. @ Then, Judges 6:25-32: God gives him his first task
      1. Gideon’s valor was still in its infancy. He obeyed God’s command, but only at night.
      2. Nevertheless, this was a key instance in the development of Gideon’s faith.
      3. Gideon was able to have some support from others which further strengthened his faith.
      4. @ The second lesson about the shield of faith: When we use it, it gets stronger.
        1. No matter what the assignment, God will give us the faith to complete it, if we’re willing to obey Him.
        2. Over time, perhaps imperceptibly, our faith will grow stronger and stronger.
        3. @ James 1:2-4: Our experiences of faith-growth lead to spiritual maturity.
          1. “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.”–Ellen G. White, Life Sketches, p. 196
    4. @ Finally, God called Gideon to deliver Manasseh and their neighboring tribes from Midian. God assured Gideon that He was with him through the fleece. Previously, Gideon had felt too weak.
    5. @ However, now with a force of 32,000 men, Israel felt too strong: Judges 7:1-8
      1. Just as it is wrong for us to think we’re too weak to accomplish any task that God gives us, it is also wrong to assume that we possess the strength ourselves.
      2. @ When Gideon said that he was weak, he was right. The only strength he had came from God. His shield of faith was exactly that: a shield of faith.
      3. If Israel had gone into battle thinking that they were strong enough, they would have essentially been going into battle without any shields.
      4. @ The third lesson about the shield of faith: Whether our battle is big or small, we must remember that God is our only source of victory.
        1. @ 1 Corinthians 10:12: The devil is a dangerous foe, and stronger than us. We can’t extinguish his fiery darts unless we continually rely on God for strength.
  3. @ Wrap up:
    1. Ephesians 6:16: In the battle for souls, we must be able to withstand the devil’s counter-attacks.
    2. How is your armor coming along?


  1. Reference: Judges 6:1-10