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2 Corinthians 12:7-10 - And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

~ A.W. Tozer – It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.

It is necessary that God takes anyone who wants to know Him, serve Him and be mightily used by Him through seasons of pain, trials and hardships that break you, OF YOU, but won’t leave you wounded and broken.

We watch God take people in the Bible through this. David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, Job, Peter and Paul. Every one of them were broken to the point where they truly wondered if they were broken beyond repair. They doubted themselves and wondered how they could ever be useful to God. Some wondered if they had wasted their life. Others just wanted their life to end.

It was in their greatest moments of despair, failure, betrayal, dismay, depression and pain that God developed them into the mighty instruments of God that they became.

Brokenness is painful, but it develops humility and dependance on God that very few experience.

In the same way that olives are crushed to produce oil, in the same way that grapes are crushed to make a fine wine and in the same way that flowers are crushed to make perfume, we must be humbled before we can be mightily used by God.

If God is breaking you, although it is challenging, painful and emotionally draining, you can rejoice knowing that God thinks that you are worth the refining process. God will take all of us through trying times to refine us, heal us, break us from things that hold us back and draw out what is valuable inside of us.

The truth is that many of us will go through several of these times during our lifetime and in our walk with God.

Broken times come in many forms and in many ways. Some of them are unique to just you and others are things that we all must experience.  These times leave us weak, questioning ourselves, God and our choices. They leave us with a keen awareness of our own weaknesses, sins and shortcomings.

Brokenness is an absolutely adequate word to describe how we feel. Utterly at the end of ourselves and over almost everything.

You need to hear this. – Just because you are going through a season of brokenness does not mean you are broken. It may feel like it.

What is happening is you are being refined.  Stop asking the questions – What is wrong with me? Why am I such a failure?

Ask instead. What is God doing in all of this? How can I cooperate with Him?

There is a great shaking going on among the body of Christ. Those who want to know God and be used mightily are being broken and those who are arrogant are being revealed.

Before David could be King, he had to go tend sheep.

He defeated giants; He was anointed but he was not released to lead until he learned how to tend.

David had to learn to be a keeper before he could be King.

Moses spent forty years in the desert before he could spend forty years leading Israel through the wilderness. You must have been there before you can take people where God needs them to be.

The Anointing that comes from brokenness will cost you.

Deep heart-searching change is painful and labor intensive as well as emotionally and physically exhausting. – Isaiah compared these times to childbirth.  Isaiah 26:17 - As a woman with child Is in pain and cries out in her pangs, when she draws near the time of her delivery, so have we been in Your sight, O Lord.

Someone said – There is always travail before you prevail.

It is human nature to pride ourselves in our ability to be unbroken. The British call it “having a stiff upper lip”.  In America we revel in the idea of never allowing anyone to see you sweat. We become hard so no one can ever hurt us or our heart. We put on the façade of having it – “All together” – sometimes so well that we believe it ourselves. We spend much of our time trying not to appear cracked, hurt or weak. We are told to always project strength.

Half of what is taught in churches today is all about how to keep ourselves strong, intact and to be the best version of ourselves.

We come to God crying out to be whole when we would do just as well to say with all sincerity “Lord, wound me, break me, mold me, shape me, fill me and make me like you.

All of us struggle with pride on some level. 

I can assure you if we do not allow God to break us of pride then pride will ruin us. Today with all the talk about achieving our dreams, on becoming self-reliant, self-sufficient and the best version of ourselves and living our best life all we have done is become self-righteous. We talk about becoming leaders, and influencers and less about becoming the servant of all.

We are so busy trying to be great that we have lost our ability to relate. We are so busy focusing on impact that we have lost the common touch that was able to transform hearts.

Humility is a lifelong struggle for all of us.  All of us struggle with pride, image, accomplishment and capability.  God values humility and brokenness over ability and giftedness.

It takes brokenness to rid us of pride. The sooner we realize that we are flawed, broken and utterly dependent upon God the sooner we will experience true joy and freedom.

In God’s economy it is only when we are weak, it is only when we lose our self-reliance that we are truly strong. We self-righteously try to talk ourselves right out of weakness.

I have a revelation for you. It was when Jesus was literally broken, His body whipped, physically weak. He was forsaken by God -emotionally abandoned and alone. It was when he was hanging naked on display for all to see – humiliated and dishonored –that He broke the power of sin and death.

Modern Christianity wants nothing to do with this weakness and humility stuff and we have never been weaker.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 - And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul said when I am weak then I am strong.

Someone needs to hear this – you have been asking to minister in the power of God, but you want to feel strong, you want to feel on top of the world, you want to feel invincible.

My friend that is where pride comes in that will destroy you.

God is bringing us to the point where we realize that we don’t need to be great. We don’t need to be strong in ourselves, He is bringing us to the point where we are STRONG IN THE LORD AND IN THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT.

Not our own. That is where God works best.

I am excited about what God is doing in the life of those who love Him. There is a precious, powerful work that is happening in the body of Christ. It is not easy; it is not comfortable, and it certainly is not fashionable. IT IS necessary in these last days.

Know that you are loved and not alone. This work of brokenness of complete dependance on God. This thing that is completely different than the way the world works – is God doing His perfect work in us.

May it be our cry today – Lord break me, mold me, fill me, use me.

Pastor Marvin & Dawn

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