Monday, June 09, 2008

Instruments of Hope

After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed 600 of the Philistines with an oxgoad, and he also saved Israel.
(Judges 3:31 – ESV)

So what do we need to do? We need to rise up like Shamgar. But how are we to do that, how can we battle back the massive tidal wave of sin and godlessness in our society, what can we do as one church, as one person, in one community? How can we raise up a revival when we cannot get up ourselves? It would seem as if there is no hope for a Shamgar today.

No, we cannot be like Shamgar, actually, not until we see that we need to be delivered and that Jesus is our ultimate deliverer. When He came on the scene there was spiritual darkness greater than at any time in Israel’s history. True believers were living in fear, taking the back roads, unable to overcome. Until John the Baptist the Jews had been without a prophet for 400 years. They were under Roman rule and religion had apostatized under the Pharisees. Now here comes Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, a lowly carpenter, no weapons in His hand, nailed to a cross, seemingly defeated and yet ultimately victorious. In this insignificant first century little old Israel, this most massive event of consequence took place.

Jesus is our righteous judge, He is the One who has delivered us from sin, death, and hell, and only He can cause us to rise up to declare His righteousness, in the place we are at, the place of grace. The Savior has won the war, and He causes us to be spiritual Shamgar’s to deliver His people in battles all over His world.

Friend, Jesus delivered you and His people while the rest of the world was mocking and laughing, and His disciples were in fear. The world can laugh at you and your insignificant little life, and your Christian friends can be living in fear, but if you trust Jesus and give glory to God, He will raise you up like Shamgar to show the light of Christ like a flaming fire to a dark and desperate world, and He will use you to help your brothers and sisters in Christ to also rise up again, and He will use you to help deliver souls from hell. You don’t have to be some ministry big shot. Christ has been raised up and He wants to raise you up to show forth His unconquerable deliverance. You can start a revival, you can be raised up, cry out to God today, and be used whenever, wherever, and however He sees fit.

The truth is that the Philistines remained a thorn in Israel’s side for many years later. Shamgar wasn’t the only or the final deliverer. The Philistines were still around, waiting to give Israel much trouble, but Shamgar did what God raised him up to do. He was raised up for a revival in that part of the land for that time. Believe me, those people he delivered were just as joyful at what the Lord did thorough him as with anything else. To them he was the deliverer.

You may not drive back the enemy fully, but you can fight fully in the power of the Lord and His might, and set those free whom God has called you to, in your own life, in your home, your work, your school, your church, your community, your world. No, Shamgar didn’t stop the Philistines from advancing forever, but he did have the satisfaction of a life lived for the Lord. He was willing to die that the power of God might live through him, and for that one moment, at least, God used him to do something supernatural. God made his life count.

That is the essence of revival, that God would allow us to arise from the dead and be the instrument of His grace, to make a difference, and there is great satisfaction in that. Let us not be satisfied until we see a revival in our own lives, in our church, and in our world. Oh Father, that you would empower us with your Spirit so that we may shine the light of Christ for your glory. Raise us up, send a revival, let us live out your Word, and drive back the enemy, amen.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


Dan said...

Awsome radio broadcast today sir. Keep up the good work.

Even So... said...

Thanks Dan...for those of our visitors who wonder what Dan is talking about, we started a radio program weekdays...hopefully we will be doing it on the Internet in streaming audio sometime soon, we'll let you know...God bless you...