Thursday, January 29, 2015

Power in Brokenness

~ Are You Broken Enough That God Can Use You? ~

Normally being “broken” does not bring thoughts of strength and happiness. Whether in regard to promises, relationships, hearts, or material objects like toys or vehicles we do not relish broken things.

One exception is the concept of breaking a horse—uncontrolled power is turned into useful power under control.  A broken horse has learned to submit its own will to the will of its master. Interesting “power under control” is an excellent definition of the Biblical concept of “meekness.” 

God wants us to be broken, for our own good, and so that we can be made useful for His kingdom. Brokenness enables us to see ourselves as we really are, and to appreciate God’s mercy and grace.  Brokenness is the opposite of the attitude that says: “I can handle this on my own.” While we bless people out of our natural abilities we spiritually bless others out of our spiritual gifts and our brokenness.

The Scriptures tell us that God does not think like we do and that His ways of accomplishing things is different than our ways. “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Natural Objects  ~  A broken cloud gives rain.  Broken ground brings forth grain. The broken grain gives forth bread.  Broken bread gives energy and health.

“Manmade” Objects  ~  Marble must be chiseled in order to be made into a meaningful statue.  Diamonds must be faceted by an expert before they are beautiful. Recall the account of the woman who broke the alabaster jar out of love for Christ. “And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, ‘Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.’ But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me’” (Matthew 26:6-10). 

Old Testament Characters  ~  Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness before God chose to use him. God wanted to use Jonah to save the city of Nineveh but first he had to be broken. King David failed miserably before God’s Spirit used him mightily. 

New Testament Characters  ~  Peter failed miserably and was broken in spirit before God used him mightily. God used him to cause thousands to believe in the Messiah—Jesus Christ. 

The Apostle Paul had a background worthy of boasting. But he suffered greatly as a Christian. But in his suffering and being broken he learned the truth about his own sin nature. “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:12-17). 

Interestingly every truly Godly person I have known has had a deep sense of their own sinful nature and a realization that God gives them daily far more than they deserve.

Our Supreme Example  ~  For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). 

the good news:  Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

side note:  Brokenness is also the only cure for the troubles of nations. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). 

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

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