Summary: How does God Choose Men and Women for Service? This message examines that subject.
TESTS FOR SELECTIVE SERVICE
INTRO: It is revealing to study God’s method of selecting the soldiers to follow Gideon. First, God changed the hearts of people. It is evident that the masses were intent on killing Gideon (Judg. 6:30). Yet, when the spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, thirty-two thousand men came together to become soldiers of Gideon. God changed men so that they changed priorities.
I. GOD CHOSE SOLDIERS WHO WERE UNAFRAID (v. 3).
The first men to be set aside as useless were those who were afraid. Twenty-two thousand out of thirty-two thousand were disqualified because of fear. Two thirds of the group were useless.
Fear takes a large toll today. Peer pressures, financial commitments, leadership responsibilities in the church are a few of the fears that disqualify many today.
II. GOD CHOSE SOLDIERS WHO WERE SELFLESS (vv. 4-7).
He eliminated the fearful first, then the self-indulgent. All but three hundred men thought only of their own needs. They did not look up to watch for the enemy or to see to their brother’s need.
Many self-indulgent people are rendered useless in God’s kingdom because they are concerned only for their own needs. They never share, witness, give, teach, or pray for others.
III. GOD CHOSE SOLDIERS WHO WERE ALERT (v. 7).
Three hundred people were selected for a surprise night attack on the enemy’s camp. The test by which Gideon’s men were selected is variously interpreted. The drinker’s stance seems to suggest alertness. They kept a watchful eye for the enemy.
Many times in the New Testament Christians are warned to be on guard. The enemy attacks at the least expected times and places. It is a timely reminder for Christians in all ages.
Paul’s words remind us. "Beware of evil workers" (Phil. 3:2).
CONC: God is searching for good soldiers who can pass the entrance exams. The requirements are demanding: fearlessness, selflessness, and alertness.