Summary: God’s committed three hundred proved to be Brave, Selfless, and Alert.
Humor: Adapted from Our Daily Bread, January 30, 1994. Borneo in 1964. The Elite Troops of Nepal were known as Gurkhas. In combat, they had earned a reputation as tenacious and fearless soldiers. They are probably most famous for the long forward sweeping knife that bears their name. During hostilities with the Indonesians, these brave, elite troops were asked if they would be willing to jump from airplanes into combat. After discussing the plan with his leaders, the Ghurkan commander agreed to the airborne operation, with three requests.
1) They requested the planes fly slower than normal.
2) The Ghurkas requested a swampy area near their target as a drop zone.
3) Finally, with much hesitation the commander asked if it were possible for the planes to fly no higher than 100 feet.
Here’s the problem that posed the officers in charge of the Airborne Operation.
1) The planes already slow down to 90knots for jumps, if they go much slower they couldn’t stay in the air.
2) Water on drop zones are considered hazardous. A swamp would be definitely be a place to avoid.
3) Finally, the officer explained that the parachutes would not have time to open at 100 feet.
To that the Gurkhas replied, "Oh, you didn’t mention parachutes before!"
The Ghurkas got their reputation because of their undying dedication to duty. As God’s people do we show the world that kind of dedication, loyalty, and commitment?
Our topic today is commitment. We will use Gideon as our Scriptural guide. So I invite you to find and hold Judges 7.
The one thing that shapes your life more than anything else is commitment. The commitments you make are what develop your character. Even the commitments you make, but don’t keep, have a profound impact on how your spiritual growth. Commitment is the road intersection where ideas and values become real as they are acted upon. Your life experiences will be either be negative or positive depending on the value and the object of your commitments.
1. If you are afraid to commit to something, you will fall for anything.
Candle in the wind, ship without a rudder
2. Christian Schizophrenics make commitments to competing values.
As your competing values vie for your time, those around you committed to the Kingdom become frustrated at your lack of consistency. Your church family wants to depend on you. Your participation is a blessing. And each time you bring your “A Game”, the rest of us develop a hunger for more from you. But if you have competing values, your mediocre commitments tend to spoil our appetite.
3. Fully committed … to the wrong things. If your life is surrounded by accomplishments and holdings that you can’t use in the millennial reign of Christ you are worldly. You are carnal. This is an area in which I have a great deal of expertise. When I was first identified as a potential Special Forces soldier, I bought into that vision with all my heart. I completely committed to becoming a Green Beret. After months of training and preparation I finally got my chance … and I made the most of it. Once earned my beret, it completely shaped my character. No mission too difficult, no sacrifice too great. No matter how great the odds, we always found a way to get it done. I really believed that I could learn to do anything. And I was fully committed … to the wrong thing. I don’t think I was out of God’s will by being in Special Forces. I was out of my Lord’s will because I wasn’t committed to Him while I was in. My priorities stunk. I was so “sold out” that I thought everything and everybody were resources for me to use to accomplish the mission. Brothers, if your commitments are like mine were, you are neglecting your family. You are neglecting your church. You are neglecting your Lord. I will share with you later how the Lord pulled me out of that carnal world of false commitment.
4. God wants you to commit to Him. He has a plan to develop your character into the image of Christ. But you have to buy into it. I want to see the day when God’s people are as sold out for Him as I was for the Green Berets.
Turn with me to the story of Gideon in Judges 7. In this account, Gideon has brought his army to the well of Harod south of the camp of the Midianites.
1. Chapter 6 tells us the Midianites, who were related to the Israelites through one of Abraham’s concubines, had been oppressing them for 7 years. Along with others they were destroying Israel’s crops and stealing their livestock.
2. The people cry out to God who tells them, He brought them ought of bondage, delivered them from the Egyptians and drove the people of the promised land out before them. “But you have not obeyed My voice”, is the Lord’s reply. In short, this oppression from the Midianites is chastisement from God because of their lack of commitment.