“Look before you Leap” is wise...but “Pray before you Look” is wiser!
Scripture Read: Judges 8:24-27 Yet Gideon said to them, “I would request of you, that each of you give me an earring from his spoil.” (For they had gold earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) They said, “We will surely give them.” So they spread out a garment, and every one of them threw an earring there from his spoil. The weight of the gold earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of gold, besides the crescent ornaments and the pendants and the purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and besides the neck bands that were on their camels’ necks. Gideon made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city, Ophrah, and all Israel played the harlot with it there, so that it became a snare to Gideon and his household.
Application: We will look with greater detail in a later at what Gideon did here and what it caused. I want to park here for a moment and consider what did not...
happen here and what we can learn from this. Gideon does not appear to pray and seek the Lord’s wisdom here. If he had, perhaps he would never have allowed this snare to come about. What is our prayer life like? What do we pray for? Let’s consider the words of one of the Bible’s greatest prayer warriors!
Ephesians 3:14-19 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
This prayer of Paul is so powerful! When we pray what do we pray for? We might pray for riches – but are they the same riches Paul is talking about? Notice the source from which everything flows and then notice to what end it is for. What is the fullness of God? Consider …
As we meditate on this prayer we must face the fact that the majority of prayers we hear today and perhaps even pray ourselves are requests for material things. That is not wrong, but is it healthy? Paul prays for that which would make us more like God. Notice he makes it clear that our source for what he is asking for is from God Himself. “His glory” & “His Spirit” – with that kind of thinking there can be firm confidence that this prayer will be granted.
When we pray for what God desires, God will bring it about. That is why – even tough the scripture tells us to be specific with our request, we need to make sure we are still open to God’s desire for that specific request – this is where the “name it - claim it” make their mistake! They try to demand and intimidate God. That will not happen. All of what Paul prays for is focused on the end product, which is that we will be filled with Christ. This word carries with it the idea of completeness also. Not only are we to be filled with the love of Christ, but all the works of God. To have God so dominate our being that we never lose consciousness that we belong to Him and He is our Dad. That is a prayer to pray for! Father fill us with You!
Meditation Questions: Make a list of what God has done in your life. Do you have one? How long is it? What does that say? When was the last time you remembered what God has done in your life before now? What circumstances were you in? What does that say? Do you trust God? How do you know that? How would anyone else know that? Take whatever giant is in your life right now and compare it’s power to the Power you have seen God work in your life. Is your focus on that giant greater than the “Jordan Stones” in your life? Do you know what a Jordan Stone is? (Joshua 4:1-8) If not, what does that say? If so, what are you going to do about that?
 Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964- (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.) (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
 Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.