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REARRANGING THE PROBLEM

Dr. D. K. Olukoya

Judges7: 1-7says,“Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.”

Israel had fallen into the sin of idolatry and this time as judgment, God permitted a vast herd of the Midianites to invade their land and rob them of their harvest. However, God raised Gideon to deliver them. The book of Judges is a book of problems, the kind of problems people encounter when they make God the tail and make themselves the head. Anytime you put God behind, there will always be problem. That was how the Israelites got into trouble.

The Lord commissioned Gideon to lead the Israelites in battle against the Midianites. In response to the Lord’s command, Gideon assembled an army by the well of Harod while the Midianites encamped somewhere in the north. Gideon had 32,000 men while the Midianites had 135,000. You can check the figures in Judges 8. That means that Gideon was facing 135,000 Midianites with 32,000 people, a ratio of about 4-1. Imagine Gideon’s feeling when God told him that his men were too many. He asked those who were afraid to go home and 22,000 of them departed leaving Him with 10,000 men to face the 135,000 Midianites. Yet to the greater astonishment of Gideon God told him that the people were still too many. Then those who went down on both knees to drink water were eliminated and those who lapped as a dog were to go for the battle.

This takes us to the issue of lack of vigilance which is one essential characteristic in people that the enemy holds tight to enable him re-arrange problems in the lives of many. I Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Picture the soldiers who bowed on their knees to drink from the well, they could be attacked easily because they would have laid aside their weapons to be on their knees. They would not have seen the enemy approaching because they would have their faces buried inside the water, and the enemy would have overcome them. So, God removed them and left those who lapped like dogs. When a dog drinks inside water it does not bury its nose inside the water, it just stretches out its tongue and laps. The men who lapped went down on one knee while retaining their weapons with one hand. So, they were vigilant. In their posture, they remained alert watching for any surprise attack by the enemy.

Only 300 of the 32,000 men passed the test and the ratio now became 450:1. They started with the ratio of 4-1 but by the time the Lord had dealt with them, the ratio fell to 450-1.

We have some lessons to learn from this. The Lord says “Be vigilant.” The devil does not go on sabbatical. He never takes a holiday. When you think you need to relax and put your weapon down, the devil will release an unanticipated arrow.

The passage we read is very clear. The Almighty God looked at the 32,000 volunteers and said, “No, they are too many. Reduce the men. 22,000 went home and among the remaining 10,000 He selected only 300 and told Gideon that those were the men he should work with. What were the reasons for God’s action?

  1. It is to prove that victory is from the Lord and not from man. A man may boast and say all kinds of things. He may say that he is the best man in the world. Yet victory is from the Lord and not from man. For example, nobody can scatter this country because of the prayer of the children of God. Anybody who wants to scatter it shall fall down and die. The Lord has a purpose for Nigeria, in Africa, and in the world as far as the gospel is concerned. The Bible says that it is not by power or by might but by the Spirit of the living God. So, our personal foresight, planning ability, intelligence, technological know-how, etc cannot save us in the day of trouble. Victory is from the Lord.

     

  2. It is to prove that God does not work with photocopy. The fact that some men were not picked meant that they were not supposed to be there at all. Likewise many people just join the crowd of Christians without any conviction. God does not work on photocopy. He works on the original. Those rejected men were photocopies. They heard that there was going to be a battle and they joined, but they did not do so with conviction, so God had to discard them. Supposing you have to face persecution now for Jesus, can you be numbered among those who will stand firm?

     

  3. It was to prove that those eliminated men were not an asset to the cause. They were a liability. They were not there wholeheartedly. They would have been a cog on the wheel of progress, so God had to remove them. I pray that every unprofitable friend, unprofitable crowd and unprofitable parasite in your life shall scatter, in the name of Jesus.

     

  4. It is to prove that God’s strength does not depend on number. So, stop saying that you are failing because nobody is supporting you. If God supports you, then every power in the universe is behind you. It is a very bad confession to say, “I have nobody to help me.” We count people’s heads but God counts the hearts. God is interested in the heart and not the head.

    A large percentage of these soldiers who bowed to drink the water took off their helmets, slacked their belts and removed their equipment, not minding the possibility of an ambush by the enemy. They forgot that they were at the warfront and that the enemy could come upon them anytime. They were drinking water as if all was well. Only those who lapped without relaxing had the real soldier spirit. They were vigilant, never once taking their eyes off their leader. They were ready to spring to action anytime. God said, “These are the ones who can walk with me.” Are you like that? Are you vigilant? Are you quick to detect sin in your life? Are you quick to notice when the Holy Spirit is saying, “Son, daughter, this is not the best for you?”

     

  5. It is to prove that many are called but few are chosen.

    It is lack of vigilance that allows the enemy to be re-arranging problems in the lives of many people. Many Christians do not realize that they are fighting very terrible and clever spirits. Jeremiah 6:14 says, “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” They were patching it up when there was no peace. When you are not vigilant as a Christian, the enemy would re-arrange problems in your life.

What do we mean by re-arranging problems?
In some parts of the world, suicide rate is now very high. People commit suicide so frequently and their governments do not seem to have an answer to the problem. What they have done is to spend money training people to try to persuade those who want to kill themselves not to do so. If somebody climbs a high building and is threatening to jump down, the trained people would be invited to the scene to persuade the person not to die. But most of the time, the people being persuaded would just jump and die. Suicide attempts got so rampant in a particular hotel in one city that anytime anybody came into the hotel lobby the first question the receptionist would ask him is: “Are you staying or do you want to jump?”

In some places also, divorce rate is very high and sometimes a week after a wedding, the spouse files an action for divorce. Some couples start fighting at the altar. When the pastor says, “Read these after me,” the bride would say to the bridegroom, “What kind of voice are you using to read? Why are you reading it with an unserious voice?” Some countries have come up with a regulation that a couple cannot divorce within three years of their marriage. This only amounts to re-arranging the problem.

A TIME OF SPIRITUAL CONFLICT

The time we are living in now is a time of terrible spiritual conflicts. Although we have many Christian churches now, there are also many satanic churches around. Although we have an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, there are also intensive demonic activities. Although we have abundant life, there is also death around. We have a lot of prosperity, and a lot of poverty too. We have a lot of love for God yet we have a lot of hatred for the Lord. Therefore, it is a time for all Christians to be very vigilant and to know that what most people sometimes describe as solution is not solution but a re-arrangement of the problem.

When you go to a herbalist, he will only re-arrange the problem. He would remove one problem and replace it with another clever one. When you go to a white garment prophet, he would trade your soul for temporary physical solution. When you go to an occultist, he would use your soul to form a covenant and give you temporary relief.

Sometime ago, a boy who had epilepsy was brought for prayer. Before then he had been taken somewhere and somebody did something after which he gave him a cross to hang over his neck. The boy thought that the problem was over only for it to get worse a few months later. When he was brought to the church, the minister of God asked him to remove the cross from his neck and break it. He did so and found in it a paper on which was scribbled the phrase, “donated to satan.” That boy thought he had been healed not knowing that all the so-called healer did for him was to re-arrange the problem.

Vigilance is very essential in these last days. The Bible says, “Be sober.” That is, “be quiet,” “be calculative,” “have a sound mind,” “be humble,” “be attentive,” “be careful.” The Bible does not stop there. It goes further to say, “Be vigilant.” Why? Because the devil, your adversary, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.

Somebody shared the testimony of a sister with me. The sister was preaching the gospel in a street and a certain man invited her to share the gospel with him. She entered the man’s house not knowing what the man had in mind. Suddenly, instead of the man to sit on the chair and listen to her, he slapped her on the chest and started chanting incantations. But everything he chanted to happen to the sister happened to him. He fell down and began to scream and beg the sister. The sister was surprised at what was happening. She did not understand why the man had to slap her on the chest when he was the one who invited her to preach to him. Meanwhile she could notice that life was going out of the man as he continued to beg her to rescue him. So, she prayed for him and he recovered. He asked the sister, “What kind of power do you have?” He told her that for the past 21 years, he had sacrificed a virgin every year to his idol. He would simply call them into his house, slap them and they would fall down and he would cut off any part of their body that he needed for his rituals.

The man could recognize a virgin if he saw one, but when he tried this sister, he met with failure. Why? It was because the sister knew her God and was obedient to Him. Unfortunately, many sisters are ashamed of preaching the gospel. Some men too, are ashamed of sharing the gospel. They fail to realise that the more you witness, the more power flows into your life.

Be vigilant for the devil, your adversary, walketh about seeking whom he may devour. If you notice that the time you spend in praying is reducing, or that your Bible reading no longer makes sense, or you find that fasting is becoming problematic and that going to church is not enjoyable to you anymore, you better shake yourself loose and start praying because the devil, your adversary, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.

The reason he is seeking whom he may devour is because he cannot devour everybody. There are some people he cannot touch. The Bible says, “Christians, seek not yet repose, hear your guardian angel say, thou art in the midst of foes, watch and pray.”

A certain sister employed a nanny. Anytime the nanny was bathing the child, the child would be screaming his head out, and after the bath too, he would continue to cry for almost an hour. One day, the sister prayed and the Lord opened her eyes and she found that the nanny was pouring pepper spiritually into the water that she was using in bathing the child. Then she understood. If you want to employ a houseboy, be vigilant. If you want to drink tea and you don’t know where it comes from, be vigilant. If you want to put something in your mouth, be vigilant. If you want to go to this party or that party, be vigilant. It is not compulsory for you to honour every invitation. Some of them may be traps.

Beloved, you must be sober and vigilant.

PRAYER POINTS

1. I will not abort the programme of God for my life, in Jesus’ name.
2. Oh Lord, set my inner clock for divine appointment, in the name of Jesus.
3. Every power suppressing my elevation, fall down and die, in Jesus’ name.
4. Every demonic panel set up against me, scatter unto desolation, in Jesus’ name.
5. Every satanic padlock in my hometown working against me, I command it to be roasted, in Jesus’ name.
6. Every fetish material directed against my progress, be roasted, in Jesus’ name.
7. Every meeting summoned against me by witchcraft, receive confusion, in the name of Jesus.
8. I shall laugh last, whether the enemy likes it or not, in Jesus’ name.
9. Every power keeping me low, fall down and die, in the name of Jesus.