Psalm 34:17-18  The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

As the godless agenda advances in America, as the standards of individual liberty are being rejected by our leaders and by a complacent American polity, it is easy to lose heart.  If you do not have Christ, then the discouragement must be overwhelming.  But if you do have Christ, then I am here to tell you that  we need not fear the smallness of men.

As God told Jeremiah, who was calling on God to unleash his wrath on the godless of that time, “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?” (Jeremiah 12:5).

 

Artist- Susan Smolensky

Artist- Susan Smolensky

 

We, as Christians, are called to run with horses.  But we cannot be strong until we are broken.  Perhaps this nation needs to be broken before it can find strength, once again, the liberty of the Lord.  What follows is a commentary on just a small sampling of how God uses the broken, and why we who are in Christ are strong in Christ only be being broken before him.

Does God mean for us to be broken?

Paul Gordon Collier

My family is studying Joseph right now.  God gave him two dreams.  It doesn’t say it explicitly, but I doubt God really wanted Joseph to share those dreams.  They were prophecies that did end up coming true, but there was no need to share these prophecies with his brothers and his father and mother, prophecies that made Joseph, at the time, look arrogant, prophecies that ultimately led to his brothers turning on him.

They were going to sell him into slavery, but Judah called on a less harsh ‘punishment’, to sell Joseph into slavery.  I’d say Joseph was being broken.

He was in prison and asked the chef to try to get the word to the Pharaoh that he was the one who interpreted his dreams, but it was not his time to become the Pharaoh’s right hand man.  I think it was because he still needed to be broken.  He needed to be humble, for he was about ready to be placed in a position of immense power.

His brokenness prepared him to be a vessel for the Living God, but there was victory in that brokenness, and this is the difference between brokenness in the natural and brokenness in Christ.

Through Joseph’s enslavement, through his years in prison, he was being prepared to do the work that would save his people.  If Joseph isn’t there, the planning of the seven years of the fat cows would not have happened.  The seven years of the skinny cows would have meant that Jacob and his whole family would have died in Canaan.

But since Joseph continued to submit to God and serve Him only, even in his brokenness, Joseph was allowed the privilege, the insane honor of being the vessel that God would use to spare His people.

Sermon on the Mount

Sermon on the Mount

What does it mean to be broken in the Kingdom of God?  It means we know, we have no doubt what awful wretches we are, that our victories, our glory, our righteousness comes only through the Holy Spirit doing His work through us.  Brokenness in the Kingdom of God is strength, strength in God.

Look at the first two Beatitudes- Matthew Chapter 5-

3  ¶Blessed are the poor in spirit: for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

What does it mean to be poor in spirit?  It means to know that our spirit is wretched.  We are, in the flesh, fallen and decrepit.  Only through the grace of Christ are we continually transformed to become more and more like Him, a transformation that is never completed until we are with Him.

4  Blessed are those who are sad: for they will be comforted.

If you live Christ, if you are becoming more like Christ, you begin to see the world through His eyes.  And what you see around is the fallen world, the people around you, the majority of them that you see, seemingly headed towards the second death.  You cannot help but feel a part of His anguish.  You cannot help but be humbled and laid low by such a sobering reality.  You cannot help but be broken before Him.

I consider these two beatitudes to be the conversion, moving from belief in Christ to total love for Christ, to be brought to the cross and to see yourself as the agent who whipped him, the one whose sins required our King to suffer the wrath of the Father so that you might be reconciled back to Him.  If you come to the cross, you are broken, you are in anguish.  It is a good think to hold on to.  You should never let it go.

David Wilkerson said in his “A Call to Anguish” sermon, “God, keep me on my knees”.  The great men and women of faith were poor in spirit and they grieved for the children of God around them who would not love Him and be embraced by that love.

Was Jeremiah a broken man?  Was Isaiah a broken man?  Was Peter not broken numerous times?  Paul, did he not offer his very soul if it would save the Jews?

Being broken doesn’t make you weak.  In the Kingdom of God, brokenness makes you strong, through the Holy Spirit.  I love what Eric Ludy said in his sermon “The Gospel”, and I am paraphrasing- God sends us out as fluffy little lambs with the faces of lions.

It is our brokenness that makes us undefeated.  It is our brokenness that makes us Kings, Queens, and Priests in His Kingdom.  It is our brokenness that enables us to be strong, for we know we do not rely on ourselves, but him.

God called Joshua out to deliver his people to the place of rest, Canaan.   He was to face 31 empires, empires of giants with towering fortifications.  The first stronghold God calls Joshua to take is Jericho.  Did God have Joshua charge forward with his might and his power?  No, God had Joshua display what must have looked like extreme weakness to the men behind that wall.  He had him march around Jericho for six day- six days to create the world- and on the seventh day- the day of rest- He called him to march seven times and…….blow the trumpet.

God called Joshua to display to his people that it is not their strength, but God’s.  This is what it means to be broken and to stay broken.  If you are broken without God, then you are just broken and useless.  You fall into death.  But if you are broken in God, you are the mightiest fortress.

God called the weakest member from the weakest tribe, Gideon, to dare call the people of Israel together to confront the Midianites   And when 23,000 showed up, God said:

Judges 7:2  And the Lord said to Gideon, So great is the number of your people, that if I give the Midianites into their hands they will be uplifted in pride over me and will say, I myself have been my saviour.

If we are broken, then when the Holy Spirit does His work through us, no one will doubt that it was God, not us.  We are none of us strong, yet, we who are broken in God, are the strongest of all because it is God our enemies face, not us, because it is God who meets our challenges, not us.

i am the vine

Jesus said this:

John 15: 5  I am the vine, you are the branches: he who is in me at all times as I am in him, gives much fruit, because without me you are able to do nothing.

Stay broken, but claim the victory that God gives you in your brokenness.  Joshua looked broken and weak but the walls fell.  Gideon chases away all but 300 of his men and looked like a very bad, broken General, but the Midianites fled.  Joseph bragged and was thrown down a well, sold into slavery, and spent years in prison, but saw his people saved by the vision of the seven fat cows and the seven thin cows that God gave him in his brokenness.

Stay broken, not weakened, for in your brokenness you are like Elisha’s servant, who might not see what Elisha sees;

2 Kings 6:17

And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

army of angels