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Brokenness- The condition of Power!
God does not need our strength in any area in order to use us. He is not interested in our ABILITY- only in our AVAILABILITY! Spiritual work is not performed with tools of the flesh; rather, spiritual work is performed by the Empowerment of the Holy Spirit of God working in spite of fleshly vessels. Many of God’s people talk about “Passion” in the work of the Lord- I would suggest to you that “Passion” is a work of the flesh. However, Zeal is a work of the Holy Spirit and Spirit empowered. The Lord Jesus said “THE ZEAL OF THINE HOUSE HATH EATEN ME UP”! Of the Lord Jesus John the Apostle wrote in The Gospel of John 2:15-16 “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. 17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” A quote from Psalm 69:9. With the help of the Lord, we’ll let God’s word tell us the story of brokenness!
GIDEON and the VESSELS OF CLAY
Judges 7:15-22 “And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. 16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. 17 And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do. 18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. 19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. 20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. 21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. 22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.” It is the dead of night; Gideon and his three hundred men- going in the POWER OF THE LORD and not in Man’s strength- attack the camp of the Midianites! They have swords in one hand and lit candles covered with clay pots over them in the other! Gideon and his troops yell out “THE SWORD OF THE LORD AND OF GIDEON” and then break the pots, allowing the light of the candles to escape! The Midianites thought that each candler represented a division of soldiers and when they saw the 300 lights and heard the noise from the vessels breaking they were so scared that they left all and fled! In this story, Gideon takes the army available to him from 22,000 men down to 300 choice men, men yielded to the control of God in their lives, and then they made their battle. Notice that the vessels were clay pots. When the clay pot broke, then the internal light was hidden no more and the result was victory! Jesus Himself said in Matthew 5:14-16 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” As believers we are to LET THE LIGHT OF CHRIST SHINE THROUGH OUR LIVES so that others may come to know Him! We are the only BIBLE that many will ever see! So let us live for the Glory of God and the salvation of others!
Christians- did you pick up on the obvious parallel in the story of Gideon to our lives today? We are the clay pots! Inside the believer is the Light of God’s Holy Spirit and the Light of God’s Holy Word! We are found in a battle with good and evil every day! When the power of the flesh is broken –the power of the clay pot- in the Believer’s life, then and then alone can the full power of God be displayed through man’s weakness and the result is the believer’s victory- a victorious life that shines into the lives of others! The Psalmist wrote these words: Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” The Apostle Paul understood this precept- personal brokenness! Do you remember what he said in regards to the physical ailment God allowed him to bear in this life? 2Corinthians 12:7-10 “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” Believers we are not strong when we find our confidence resting in our own capabilities, talents and mental prowess; - rather, we are strong when we are BROKEN in spirit and in heart before God our Father! When the clay pot is broken- the light of the internal candle can shine forth to men!
The Broken Box
Mark 14:1-9 “After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. 2 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. 3 And being in
The Broken Seal
Matthew 27:62-28:6 “Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. 65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. 66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch. 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.” Pilate and the leaders who had seen to the Crucifixion of Christ had ROME SET IT’S SEAL on the Tomb of Christ to put an end once and for all to this supposedly false Messiah! But on the third day, GOD SENT HIS ANGELS TO BREAK THE SEAL OF THE STRONGEST NATION ON EARTH and so the greatest event in all history was completed at the breaking of a seal! Through the breaking of the seal of the power of the flesh, the power of God was revealed! God’s resurrection power is ALWAYS seen when there is brokenness in a Believer’s life! When the Believer relies upon God and not upon himself or his own fleshly abilities, there is more and more power available for fruitful living to God’s glory! As the Broken believer lives in the power of the Holy Spirit of God, so the life of Christ is seen more and more in that believer’s life! Paul described such a life for us in: Philippians 3:7-10 “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death”. Such a life of brokenness is lived in the full power of God – this power is available to every Believer’s life!
THERE ARE EXAMPLES OF BROKENNESS IN SCRIPTURE:
Mark 9:20-29 “And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. 21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. 22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. 23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. 25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. 26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. 27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. 28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? 29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” This father was incapable of helping his own son! His own abilities and his own strength were not equal to the task of spiritual deliverance- IT WAS ONLY WHEN WITH A BROKEN AND CONTRITE SPIRIT HE CALLED OUT TO GOD that the power to deliver his son was available! Listen to the sincere cry to God from his brokenness: “IF THOU CANST DO ANYTHING, HAVE COMPASSION ON US, AND HELP US!...LORD, I BELIEVE; HELP THOU MINE UNBELIEF”! This cry from a broken and contrite heart was not despised by God and his prayers were answered. The DISCIPLES asked: “Why could not we cast him out?” Jesus said “THIS KIND CAN COME FORTH BY NOTHING, BUT BY PRAYER AND FASTING” (as a footnote the most accurate manuscripts do not have the word “fasting”- their lack of spiritual power was due to a lack of prayer in the disciples’ lives!). Only when we are LIVING A LIFE OF DEDICATION AND PRAYER, FROM A BROKEN AND CONTRITE HEART can there be the full power of God available to the child of God!
Luke 7:2-10 “And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. 3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: 5 For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. 6 Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: 7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. 8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.” This was a real business man- as a Manager working for the state I have found in this man a pattern for my own life- As this Centurion, I have chosen to view my position not as a position of authority I HAVE- rather, I view it humbly as the Centurion did- I AM but A MAN UNDER AUTHORITY and therefore have a stewardship and not a liberty! This Centurion was a man of brokenness and yieldedness- as A ROMAN CENTURION he could view himself as better than many- having “ARRIVED” in life. RATHER- this Centurion’s broken and contrite heart was seen in his response to the Lord Jesus: “I AM NOT WORTHY THAT THOU SHOULDEST ENTER UNDER MY ROOF” At the request of this humble man, made in brokenness and humility to the Lord, his servant was healed!
THE MIGHTY GENERAL!
2Kings 5:1-15 “Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of
For you and I the situation is the same! THERE ARE NOT