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Judges 7:2, “And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too
many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt
themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.”
Have you like me ever noticed the
testimony of the giants of the faith? They were born in poverty, dad an
alcoholic, and mom the spiritual leader, struggled in their youth, or a tragedy
early in their lives. I do not know of a great man of God who has built something good for God that was born into wealth with a silver spoon in his mouth.
Get the picture! Gideon was
chosen by God to lead the people of God against the Midianites. He called for a
volunteer army and 32,000 men showed up and we read how God responded in Judges
7:2. God is saying, I will give you the victory and not you.
The main thing in this story is
this: too many men, too much strength, too much prowess, too much ability, and
God said to them you are not going to win the battle with those 32,000 men with
their strength, their prowess, and their ability. God then instructed them to
trim it down to 300. God is saying you have too much strength to win and you
must become weak to win. God is saying I must get you where you will start
depending on me again.
The truth is an army of 300 men
going to war would have to depend on God. These 32,000 men did not need God,
but those 300 did. The reason a lot of people are never used in roles of
leadership by God is because they have too much going for them. Young people do
not become too excited about your pretty face or your handsome looks because it
does not impress God at all. Do not become to wrapped up with your youthful
figures young ladies. It won’t help you at all in God’s work. 
After 19 children
I bet Susanna Wesley did not have much of a girlish figure left. There is
nothing as ugly as a female who has a pretty face and knows it. There is
nothing as ugly as a handsome male and he knows it. Sometimes God has to trim a
man down to size so God can give the victory and other times he chooses the
base and foolish, the inadequate, and the weak in order to give the victory.
I Corinthians 1:26-29, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that
not many wise men after flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the
wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things
which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God
chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
That no flesh should glory in his presence.”
God is saying I cannot give
wisdom to those who are wise, but I can give wisdom to a foolish man. That is
why we need Bible college students to be under a local church attending their
services rather than attending vesper services, Shakespearean theatre, and Art
Museums on campus.
Zechariah 4:6, “…Not by might, nor by power, but by my
spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”
It is not by looks, nor by
intellect, nor by talent, nor by genius, nor by ability, nor by heritage, nor
by a deep mind, nor by personality, but by my Spirit saith the Lord. God is
saying to us, “I have to do one of two things…
Trim down
to size those who have it all so I can use them
Build up
the base, the foolish, and the weak so I can use them
Some of you reading this book as
leaders have too much going for you and some of you have nothing going for you.
God wants to use both of you. How in the world will God do his work?
Why would God allow that? The
reason is so that we will through ourselves at his feet and beg for God’s help
when we fail without God’s help. God said, “I will bless the weak and not the
strong. If you are strong you will have to become weak.” God wants to cause you
to become strong with his strength. If one is weak all they have to do is yield
themselves to God.
Sometimes God allows the strong
to fail. I can preach a sermon around the country and feel like I just touched
Heaven and then next time feel like an absolute flop. God wants you and I to
empty ourselves and become a nobody, base, foolish, and weak. God wants us to
trim ourselves of our own wisdom, intellect, knowledge, abilities, talent;
human might, and fall down at the feet of Jesus begging for his help while
baring our soul to him. God then can use that person.
32,000 men are too many God says,
20,000 is too many, 10,000 is too many, and Gideon is down to 300 with God
giving the victory.  That is what
God did with a Tom Malone, John R. Rice, Carl Hatch, Curtis Hutson, Lee
Roberson, Jack Hyles, Kevin Wynn, Rick Martin, Hugh Pyle, and Billy Sunday.
Great God…little me! That is the formula.
John the Baptist said, “He must increase and I must decrease.”
Sometimes, God comes along and says you have too much going for you. Sometimes,
God comes along and allows us to be born into poverty, a broken home, or a
financial struggle. Why, because God wants us to see that we cannot do it
without him.
God sometimes says I want to us a
certain man, but he is too smart, too talented, too much of a Mr. personality,
or a pretty boy type. God says I believe I could use this girl, but she is too
pretty or too stuck on herself.
Why, because he is base, weak,
and a nothing to the world, vulnerable and he needs God. There is no one who
has sinned that God cannot use.
Jesus is at the head of the
table. The twelve are sitting around the table. Our Lord said, “Someone sitting
at this table is going to deny me.” Peter said, “Not me Lord! It may be John,
but it will never be me. Maybe Thomas, or Philip, or James, but not me.”
However, God had a Pentecost for Peter to preach and God had a local church for
Peter to pastor and God had a world for Peter to reach so God said, “I’ve got
to get that pharisaical attitude out of him. Peter you have too much going for
God waited for Peter to fall in
order to pick him back up. Peter was too much of a leader, public speaker,
leader, and too talented for God to use. There is no doubt about his having too
much going for him. There was no leader like Peter. God allowed him to fall so
God could pick him back up so he could be used to preach on the day of
Pentecost, pastor a church, and reach the known world.
God seems to never choose the
obvious one or the one men would choose. God is going to choose someone whose
not so smart, so talented, so strong, or so attractive. That way God will
receive the glory. God is saying to the high and mighty come down from your
high horse. 
God is saying to the down and out come to me trusting me and let me
use you to confound the high and mighty. Hey, Mr. Pharisee come down off of
your high horse. Hey, you who are down and some have counted you out rise up
and trust God to use you.
Peter cussed, cursed, denied the
Lord, denied his faith, denied his church, denied his brethren, and ran with
the wrong crowd. Peter had too much going for him, but now he is down and out
so God can finally use him.
Gideon had too much going for him
with 32,000, or 20,000, or 10,000, but 300 was just right not for Gideon but
just right for God.
Sometimes God chooses to use
whose who fail, sin, or are living in affliction. The Apostle Paul had a thorn
in the flesh. Charles Spurgeon and his dear wife had fifteen years of physical
affliction yet the Christian world has never forgotten what God did with them.
Russell Anderson born in
Kentucky, raised in poverty, a coal mine worker as a teen, wild youth, and yet
God saved him and used him to give 35 million dollars to God’s work while
making him a multi-millionaire. Jack Hyles was born in poverty, alcoholic dad,
and single mother, raised in poverty, most unlikely to be called to preach in
his church, and later kicked out of his own Baptist denomination. Dr. Lee
Roberson for one long year he could not preach because of vocal chord problems
yet he ran 10,000 in attendance while baptizing a 1,000 converts that same
year. Dr. John R. Rice anointed him with oil and God gave his voice back to
God allowed affliction to come to
Evangelist Joe Boy in his 90’s yet he had some of his greatest campaigns in his
later years. Evangelist Lester Roloff had such a severe boil problem that he
would have to sit in a hot tub for hours to get any relief. He became one of
the greatest examples of living by faith the world has ever known.
God is not interested in using
the most popular one he is interested in using the one no one notices much. A
David working it the field caring for his dad’s sheep, a zealot like Saul of
Tarsus, a fisherman like Peter, an orphan like Moses, a second man like Joshua,
a woman like Deborah, a maiden like Mary, sisters like Mary and Martha, a
brother by the name of Lazarus, a young captive like Joseph, a little lad with
his lunch, an exile on the isle of Patmos by the name of John, or a young
preacher by the name of Timothy. God is looking for the one is unknown so that
he may make him known for God’s glory.

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