How God Can Use Anybody Part Two
This article is from a message at Might Men of Valor by Pastor Sonny Arguinzoni
Let us examine some of the roadblocks that he experienced. First, roadblock, number one was he experienced fear. Fear. Now you may say, you are not afraid. You are not telling the truth. Every time we would get a challenge, and especially when God challenges us, there is that little feeling of fear that begins to grip you. Gideon found himself gripped with fear, paralyzed by the threat of the Midianites invaders. He was hiding and hoping his enemies would overlook him. You see, when God tells us to step out, He does not give us a step by step plan.
It would be nice if whatever you are doing right now, whatever situation you are in, God will just give you step by step plan and says, everything is going right. He does not do that. He just says, just trust me man, but God, the enemies are all around me. Trust me. But God, I am about to sink. I just cannot figure out how it is going to happen. Just trust me. There’s always that element of fear that begins to grip us. And there may be some of you that have fear with your life right now because you are facing whatever situation you may be facing. But fear is the opposite of faith and faith is the opposite of fear. So, we need faith.
The second roadblock in Gideon’s life was also doubt. Unfavorable circumstances have a way of creating doubt within our minds. It would not be nice that because your call to the ministry, that everything is going to be nice. They will not be any problems. You want to be problem proof. I am serving God. And that is somebody whenever they on a honeymoon, whenever they accept the Lord, they say, “Oh, I feel so good. I feel the call of God. And that old devil is a punk and I’m going to go and I’m going to take that city.” Just like if the devil is going to sit back and say, “Okay, okay, take the city.” No, no there is going to be opposition. There is going to be trouble it is going to come your way. There is going to be unfavorable circumstances that you will experience. And many of us, instead of having faith in those moments, there is a tendency to lose faith and begin to doubt. So many doubt, just like Gideon had dealt with within his mind. This is why he kept on putting all kinds of fleeces before the Lord, because of doubt. He did not have faith.
Roadblock number three was something that many of us may have tonight. I think I got some of this myself. I may not look like that. I try to cover it and hide it. But I think I have it. In fact, some of the people that talk the loudest have it too, some of the extroverts. I think they have it. They try to cover it by talking loudly and talking a lot. That is an inferiority complex. Inferiority complex. I think many go to drugs because of that. Because you are looking for an excuse. You are looking for something that will give you confidence.
In Judges chapter six and verse 15, he says, “Oh my Lord, how can I save Israel?” Indeed, he says, again, “My clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my father’s house.” I want you to know this tonight. If you feel inferior, it is natural to feel inferior in the natural. We are all inferior. I do not care how talented you are tonight. I have news for you, all of us are inferior when it comes to the supernatural resources needed to accomplish God’s purpose. We need to focus on what God can do through us. We cannot do it on our own. We cannot do it by the strength of the flesh. It is only God. I also want to tell you do not let anybody label you and keep you from God’s plan for your life. There are people that labeled you that you cannot talk. Ever see people like that?
Some people we have inferiority complexes because they did that since we were kids. Maybe they did it in school, your teacher did that in school, maybe your parents did that. Your parents were abusive. When you were young, you cannot talk. He will never be able to have a big ministry. He will never be able to amount to anything. He just cannot do it. Do not let anyone put limitations on you. I say it again, do not let anyone put limitations on you that God never intended to be there in the first place. Therefore, if any man be in Christ, therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. I said, all things, all things are passed away. Behold, all things have become new.
You may think that God can never use you, but God uses ordinary people. This is why we are the choices people in the sight of God. If God loved anybody, man, he loves Victory Outreach. That is why he has us spoil. Now there are three kinds of people in life. There are the excusers, the accusers, and the choosers. I said the excusers, the accusers, and the choosers. The excusers are people who make an excuse for everything. In fact, you that are not following God, you are an excuser. You’re making an excuse for everything, “I just can’t do it. It’s too hard for me.” Ever heard people say that? I am not pastor Sonny. I am not pastor Mitchell. I just cannot do it. It is too hard to serve God. It is still hard to make that commitment. They make excuses for not really being what God wants them to be.
And then there are the accusers, are people who put the blame on others. There are people like that. Always putting the blame on others. Anything happens, it is all their fault. It is the pastor’s fault. It is my leader’s fault. If I had better circumstances, if I had a better upbringing, always going back to their upbringing. If I had a better environment, if I had more of a chance, they are always blaming other people. Those are the accusers.
But then the third type of people and these are the people that we need to be tonight. Those are the choosers. The choosers are people who make it in life. They choose to believe in God. They choose to move ahead. Despite the difficulties in their life and handcuffs and problems in their life, they choose to move ahead in God. God wants you to be a chooser today. You have the responsibility to choose. Ephesians 3:20 says God is able to do more than you could think, or even imagine. Have you ever meditated on that scripture? It says God is able to do more than you could ever think. Think about the biggest vision you ever had. Think about the great exploits that you imagined that you wished you could do. Well, it tells us, that God is able to do more than you would ever even imagine. That means that you cannot out ask or out vision or out dream God.
The greatest limitation in your life is your own attitude. I think some of us tonight, we need a change of attitude, man. Stop telling everybody, “Pray for me. Pray for me. Pray for me.” Stop saying I got to get to the conference and take all these notes. And because I am taking all these notes, I am going to go back, and I am going to do them. And it is going to work. No, you need a change of attitude. How much will you choose to believe God? In Philippians 4:13, see the attitude Paul had. This is why he was successful. He said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He says, “Because I have Christ within my life, there isn’t anything I can’t do.”
And then the fourth roadblock is that God tested Gideon. Let us talk about the story of the Midianites. The Midianites had about 135,000 men in the army. Whereas the Gideon army only numbered about 32,000 men. The odds were actually four to one. And then God told Gideon, God looked and said, “That’s too many.” Imagine that! Four to one. Now imagine you being Gideon, man, and you are supposed to lead that army. God says to Gideon, “That’s too many Gideon.” God told Gideon there are too many. Let everyone in his army who was afraid to go home. So, he said, “All those that are afraid, you’re really afraid. You do not want to go into battle. Raise your hand.” All those people raise their hands. And there were about 10,000 people. Only 22,000 men were left. That increased the odds to six to one.
And then God looked and said, “That’s still too much.” Now imagine that. Imagine Gideon what he was feeling. I do not know about this. I do not know what is happening here. “God, what are you doing?” Then God told Gideon to test the men to see who would remain. Those who lap like a dog to drink water were told to remain. And the rest were sent home and left Gideon with only an army of 300 men. Could you imagine that? An army of 300 men to come against an army of 135,000 men. What would you do? I am telling you tonight, I give Gideon a lot of credit. I think most of us would have packed up and gone home. “Say what? Forget it, man.” And gone home. Gideon did not do that. God says, “Gideon, now that you have 300 men, that’s great.” Now, this is a God-sized battle. God had said, “I like those odds.” This is a God-sized battle. He says, “Now Gideon, now you are ready for the battle.”
God uses the most conspicuous person, the most insignificant person. There is nothing impossible for God. That is why God is able to take the foolish things of the world like you and I, and He’s able to bring revival around the world. There is not anything that God cannot do. God will test every one of us. We need to be prepared for God to test us. He takes us from being the ordinary person into one who will accomplish an extraordinary task for him. So, we should not let the roadblocks become a stumbling block. We all feel ordinary. We all are afraid of times. We all have doubts and questions. We all test God at times. God also may test us at times but let us remember that God is a faithful God.
So, as you could see, God tested Gideon and before God could ever use you, he will test you. I got news for you, man. If you have not gone through the testing, you need to go through it. Do you want a big ministry? You need big tests. He will test you. He will test you whether you are really going to trust him or not. To trust him and obey him. This is what happened in Gideon’s life. God said, Gideon, I have a task for you to do, but before anything else, I want you to go and tear down the idol that your father built.
Verse 25 says, the same night the LORD said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, one of the seven-year-old, and tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah, which was another God, then build a proper kind of altar to the LORD your God. And the Bible says so Gideon, and he went at night. He was afraid. Went at night. So, Gideon took 10 of the servants and he did as the Lord told him. Gideon had to tear down the idols in his life. God will also test us, one of three ways before He can use us. God may test you spiritually, who is going to be God in your life, who is number one in your life. Think about it. Who is number one in your life? Are you serving other idols? What is it that competes for your time and energy for the number one place within your life?
It could be a person. It could be a career. It could be possessions, whatever it is, whatever is competing with God in your life. I want you to know tonight. God says, cut it down. If you want to be that mighty man of valor, cut it down. You may need to do a little spiritual house cleaning before God is able to use you. God may test you to see what really is important within your life. And then also God will test you emotionally to trust him despite your complexes. So, if you are hiding behind your complexes, then that is not good enough my friend. Hiding behind your complexes is not good enough Hiding behind your complexes in hang-ups, there are some that are doing that, but God says, “I am God. I am God. I can do all things.”
Then God may touch you physically to put your life on the line obeying God. That is what Gideon was doing. Gideon was putting his life on the line because obeying God and tearing down the idols could have cost him his life. In fact, if you read the account in the Bible, they wanted to kill him. They wanted to kill him. The decision that he made could have cost him his life. And I want you to know the time is coming and it is already here where some of us are going to have to give up our lives for the sake of the gospel. It is already happening.
There have been people in Victory Outreach that have died for the cause. I can tell you a number of people in Latin America, talk about the ones that left El Salvador to go to Guatemala. Some of our guys. We go into the roughest neighborhoods. We go into the most dangerous areas around the world. Don’t you think it is dangerous? And there are sometimes that we may have to give up our lives. Some of those young guys that went into Guatemala, two of them were killed because they went to open up a home, a Victory Outreach home in Guatemala. They went out there doing witness, telling people about Jesus and there was a drive-by shooting and they were killed.
Others in El Salvador Victory Outreach were also killed, but you know what I like about what happened. As soon as they were killed in Guatemala, then God raised up other young people in El Salvador and said, we are ready and willing to take their place. And the ministry is still going on in Guatemala. Because people were willing to put their life on the line. That may happen to you. Are you willing to do that? Today, we need to expect that God is going to test our faith. We need to expect our faith to be tested by God.
In the school of faith, we must have occasional tests, or we will never know where we are spiritually. This is why when everything is going well, everything is going well. And you are talking about, well, is not it wonderful. Everything is going great. There is no problem. You know we have not had a problem for a number of months, isn’t it great? And when she tells me that, I said, Oh, Oh, I got a red flag because you guaranteed, soon something will come your way. There will be another testing. As God takes us one level to the other level, every level that He takes us, there is going to be different tests that we will experience along the way. And the reason why is because we really know where we are stretches. Sometimes when we get a little bit too lazy and complacent, so God has to stir us up.
And sometimes he stirs us up when the test begins to come. When our back is against the wall, then we need to once again, see the miracle-working power of God in delivering us. Our faith needs to be tested because it strengthens our faith. It develops the faith muscles within our lives. It reveals the defect of character. You really get to know yourself when you are going through the testing of God. You can rejoice every time the test gets bigger. And the bigger the test that you may be going through, the bigger the trial that you may be going through tonight, you can glorify God and rejoice because of the confidence that God has in you. The bigger the test, the bigger faith you have, and the more growth you have.
God has a goal in mind when He puts you through a test. Before the blessing, there is conflict. James says trials produce patience and endurance. Stay in power, steadfastness, consistency, and perseverance. All these things that you have been praying for, for God to give you. So, you are praying, God, give me patience with my old lady. God give me patience with these people in the church. So, God gives you trials because trials produce patience. So, when the trials come, he is giving you everything that you have been praying for. That is why I do not pray for patience anymore.
Trials and testing work for us, not against us. That is why I said it is good for me to be afflicted because it works for us. Paul wrote concerning patience in Romans 5:34, but with glory and tribulation, notice where he says with glory and in tribulation, also knowing that tribulation work with patience, and patience experience, and experience hope. Not all believers are put through the same test. God’s testing are always tailor-made for each child of God and each experience that you have is unique. The enemy will try and hit you in the most weakest area of your life.
God never sends a test, and this is a beautiful thing about it that God will never permit a test or send a test unless you are ready for it. It is a compliment when God sends us a test, it shows that God wants to promote us in the school of faith. He wants to take us into higher ground. And every time we find tribulation coming our way, and every time we experience a test in our lives and every time trouble comes our way, that is the time to say I am going into higher ground. God is elevating my faith and what is good about it, that trials are transitory. They are going to pass away. They are not going to stay there forever, isn’t that wonderful?
1st Peter 1:6 says, in such keep on rejoicing, though for a little while, a little while you must be sorrow-stricken with various trials. 2nd Corinthians 4:17 says, for our light affliction, I like the way Paul says it. That is light stuff, man. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, he says, it is not going to last forever. Only for a moment. Working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Testing and trials are lessons that should not be wasted. They always have a divine purpose. So, if you are being tried and you are going into the fire right now, say thank you, Jesus, say praise God, everything is falling apart around me, God. I got all kinds of trouble. I got all kinds of blocks. But say, thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus, anyhow.
Testing’s and trials are lessons that should not be wasted. They have always a divine purpose. We should not let them immobilize us. The danger is when it mobilizes us, and we stop. We do not stop with trials come our way. We are still pressing forward. The devil is hitting us with everything, we are still moving ahead with the vision God has given to us. Everything is happening around us for a purpose. Praise God we are still praising God. People think you are crazy. You are still praising God. You are saying, I am still praising God, but don’t you see everything falling apart? Praise God, hallelujah. Thank you, Jesus. Good things are happening. Something good is going to come out of this.
We praise God in bad times, and we praise God in the good times. We should not let them immobilize us. Someone wrote our faith is never really tested until God asks us to bear what seems unbearable, do what seems unreasonable, and expect what seems impossible. And God was asking that of Gideon. See, testing will either drive you to God or drive you away from God. Let it be that it is going to drive you to God. Then last of all, after the test and I liked this part, was Gideon’s transformation. Oh, we all want that transformation, don’t we? We all want to be a mighty man of valor. We sing about, “I’m a mighty man of valor.”
I wonder, are you a mighty man of valor. I wonder how many of the mighty men of valor. Is not just singing I am a mighty man of valor done. I am a mighty man of valor. Takes all these steps. This process that God puts us through. When I think of all the processes that I went through my God, I thank God. Listen, you have an example right here, man. It is a miracle that I made it. My wife says, and the funny part about it, she says it in these women’s conventions. I tell you this, I will tell you again, it is a good one. I am sitting in the back with the ladies. And I sit down, and all the ladies are there. And then my wife does not know I am there, and she is ministering. You know what I found out; they talk about their husbands.
They are in those conventions pulling your covers, man. I said I want to find out what they are talking about. I want to find what they talk about. So, I am sitting in the back-row seat of the convention, then my wife gets up there. And then she says if you knew my husband and I said, Oh, here it comes man. And she says, you see him now, that is not the same husband. When I married him, I say, oh my God, I married an animal. She said he was an animal.
And then I had two sisters sitting by me and they go, Pastor, you are an animal? I say I got to get out of here. I wonder what else she is going to say. But when I stopped to think about it, I was an animal coming from the streets of New York City, that is all I knew, man. I did not have the benefit you guys have. You have been discipled in a church. I was in a rehab home and then from the rehab home, they sent me over to Bible school and I still have that walk. Those days I used to wear leather jackets. That is gone now I know, but those days I used to wear a leather jacket, my leather jacket.
In fact, when I came from New York one time, I came in one of those hats, the three-piece suit I came off the plane with one of those hats. And I had a guy in Bible school, Sam is here, Sam was in Bible school with us. He will verify, he will confirm it. I had a guy messing with me in Bible school and I thought I was in the joint. So, what do I know? I am in Bible school. I have only been saved for six months. I do not even know how they took me in Bible school, saved six months, man. I remember I was going to all these squares and then this guy keeps on bugging me. He is a big guy. He is a real big guy. I think he is a missionary now. He is a big guy. And I was not big like I am now, I was skinny. I came in skinny. And this big guy, he says something to me. And he talked to me. I said, “Who are you talking to, man? Don’t you know I’m from Brooklyn?”
Well, Brooklyn, nothing. I said “Really?” So, I said, well, this guy’s big. If I hit him with my fist, he may beat me up. So, I went over, and I got a stick. I am doing a little confessing here tonight. I got a stick and when I went after him with a stick and he went into the dorm, says, “Come over here!” They had to pull me off him, man. And then he ran away. He is crazy. He is crazy. I am crazy, I will give you more. Do not mess with Brooklyn, man.
When I think about that now, and I say, what did God see in me? And I was the candidate for the mighty man of valor? My God. Yet God was able to see something that even my old lady did not see. And even I did not see, but God saw something. In the midst of it, God says, I see, even though he has those rough edges, even though he still acts like the streets and the world, by the time I finish with him, I am going to make him a mighty man of valor. I am going to finish. I just figured I would throw that in.
Gideon’s transformation, that is where he received God’s power within his life. Verse 34 says, then the spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon. I said the spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon. Now he is a mighty man of valor. God says I am going to help you. I am going to put my power in your life. The secret in Gideon’s life is now God is working through him. God works in the world, but he does it through people that are usable. God in Gideon. Now he has the power. Now he has the confidence. Now he has a strength to take on this mighty army. Gideon was transformed by God’s spirit, from a loser to a leader. God does not display his power by finding people who are strong in themselves. No. God displays his power through those who are inconspicuous, and who because of their weakness and frailties become a backdrop so that when everyone sees them, they say that is the power of God.
God does that so that when people look and they see that which is unattractive and see attractiveness in it when they look at that which is essentially weak and see supernatural in it, when they look and they see something that is common and they see something uncommon in it that they may say that is truly the power of God. Gideon was now ready. He was transformed into a leader. Gideon became a national hero, someone who a few weeks ago was afraid of his own shadow. A good example of that, that we have in the Bible. And we find that God always works that way, is Abraham and Sarah. Abraham 99, Sarah 90, when Isaac was born. So that everyone will know that it was God.
Moses. Moses was 80 years old, a tongue-tied shepherd. Yet God used him to pull off the Exodus. Joshua, with an army of slaves marching around Jericho till the walls came tumbling down. David, with a slingshot, defeated the giant Goliath. And what about Gideon? Gideon with an army of 300 men overcame the Midianites with torches in one hand, and trumpets in the other and the breaking of pots. What a ridiculous way to win a battle.
God loves to take what is inconspicuous, and weak, and fragile and move in with his power so that all of them know that it is God. God will empower those He calls and chooses to think supernaturally, to plan supernaturally, to act supernaturally. God wants to use you tonight to do the impossible. God wants to raise up world shakers and history makers. God wants the raise you tonight to be a mighty man of valor.
I think after this message, you have no excuse, man. You got no excuse. I do not care what, you have no excuse. There is not any excuse that you could give why you cannot be what God wants you to be. God specializes in people like you and me. That is why I say the future is bright, man. This is just a little growth that we are experiencing. There is going to be an explosive growth that is going to be taking place. And you know who God wants to use? God wants to use you. God wants to use us. When people look at us and say, could anything come out of this? Yeah. We are good. God is in it, man. Yes, yes, yes, yes. It is God and us. It is God and us. God wants to raise up some of you to be mega-church leaders. The time of mega-churches in Victory Outreach has come. Some of you are going to be breaking down those barriers of thousands of people. Now we have got to pray to God, keeps you humble.
God is going to raise some of you up to go into different places around the world and be a world shaker. God’s going to raise some of you to do things that you have never done before. I am still believing to do something that has never been done before. There are still things that need to be done that had never done before. And I am saying, God, give me something. I want something big that has never been done before. And God is able to do that. God is able to do that. God has given us the inner cities of the world. Are we going to sit back and have just church as usual? Are we going to be those history makers, and world shakers and vision casters and men of God that God wants us to be those mighty men of valor.
God is looking for generals, God is looking to raise up mighty men of valor. Are you going to be that mighty man of valor. Do you want to join the army of the mighty man of valor? Then whatever situation you find yourself tonight, whatever lies and limitation the devil has been telling you, I want you to say, “Devil, you’re a liar. I rebuke you in the name of Jesus. I refuse to be limited. And I am determined to be everything that God wants me to be.”
Listen to me, I know that if I make an altar call, this altar is small and everybody cannot fit here, but I am going to ask those of you that you’ve been suffering from complexes. And you have been limited, and there has been limitations in your life because of that inferiority complex that you have. And people have always told you that you cannot make it. And somehow you put a lid on your potential of what you could be and what you could become. But tonight, you say, I want to take that lid off. I want to be everything that God wants me to be. Then I want those of you … I want you to be honest and I want you to come and stand right here. Tonight, God wants to give you victory. God wants to give you victory right now from all over this place. I want you to come and stand and turn it over totally and completely to Jesus.