Empowered by faith
How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death. Hebrews 11:32-35 NLT
The writer of Hebrews is not done yet in listing God’s followers who lived lives empowered by faith. From the text, he mentioned names of six men who were victorious because they trusted God. Gideon, though hesitant at first, obeyed God in leading God’s army to fight the Midianites. He trusted God that when he was commanded to reduce the number of his soldiers from 32,000 to 300, he realized that the battle is of the Lord. With 300 men, Gideon defeated the Midianites using trumpets, pitchers, and concealed torches. Gideon’s life was empowered by faith that through him, God manifested His power. Same thing with Barak, having soldiers comprised of only two tribes, Naphtali and Zebulun has to fight Sisera with 900 chariots and myriads of troops. Yet, despite what seemed to be no match, Barak won the battle because of his faith in God. No one could have imagined that Samson will be included in the list for his actions showed that his allegiance at first was not to God. But when he realized that he was called by God to deliver His people from the Philistines, he regained his perspective. In his blindness, he prayed to God and asked for strength to which God answered and with his power defeated the Philistines. Jephthah, in his foolish decision to offer his daughter to be sacrificed became an outcast. Then God gave Him an opportunity and he was recalled back to Israel and with that call, he expressed his faith and was used by God to defeat the Ammonites. David was known for his acts of faith not the least of which was his victory against Goliath where he expressed his dependence upon God. “Everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (1 Samuel 17:47). Prophet Samuel was known for his faith early on his life when he served Eli, the high priest. He demonstrated his empowered faith every time he proclaims the Word of God to anyone who is willing to listen. What is common to these six men was their faith which they demonstrated during the time when it was limited. During their time, people “did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Their stories provide great encouragement that we should not lose hope for faith to be empowered is not beyond any of us. Because of our relationship with God, within us is the Spirit of God that will provide us faith empowered by Him so we can defeat strongholds that will prevent us from maturing spiritually. God will deliver those who are faithful any time God wants them empowered in their faith.