Sunday, 20 August 2006 00:00

The Purpose of Brokenness

John 12:24 (KJV)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

If someone were to ask you, "Do you want God's best for your life?" what would you say? Most would respond "Absolutely!" But if you were asked "Are you willing for God to do anything necessary to bring you to total surrender to His Lordship in your life?" the answer may be a little different. However, God's best always involves His Lordship.

"Before any of us can fully live as God has created us to live, we must first die to our desire to control our own lives or to live life according to our plan and will" Charles Stanley.

  1. We must in some sense die in order for the abundant life to begin...
    "Unless the kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds" (John 12:24). Jesus was primarily referring to His impending death, but the application would be for you and me, too. "The man who loves his life shall lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life" (John 12:25). This principle is throughout creation. (1). Wine comes from crushed grapes; (2). Bread comes from crushed grain. So too, God's people will only produce the life of Christ when self is broken and crushed.
  2. The devil's purpose is to cause God's people to live without dying to self...
    When people live their lives without thought of God, they have not died to self. When a person has not died to self, he then strives for things that bring fulfillment. The people of Israel were in rebellion against their God. They followed after other gods, neglected the commandments of God and sought their own paths. God sent a pagan nation to break Israel of her sin. The people complained, but God said, "Behold I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doing god" (Jeremiah 18:11). When was Israel more comfortable? They were at ease when they followed their own plans, but they were most uncomfortable during their time of breaking. "There is a way that seems right to man, but the end is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12).
  3. Brokenness leads to an irresistible light shining forth from your life...
    "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (II Corinthians 4:7). This treasure is the gospel of Christ. The little phrase "earthen vessels" is literally "clay jars" and refers to our earthly lives. Clay jars were not fancy containers. They were not of gold or silver, but simply clay.
    1. Earthen vessels are not natural, but artificial, the work of the potter.
    2. All vessels are not of equal capacity; some are less, some are greater.
    3. Vessels must be receivers, otherwise they cannot be dispensers.
    4. Vessels are not the fountain of their own fullness.

    All this to say that God breaks you of your self dependence, your self pride and your self efforts. The purpose of brokenness is for you to reflect Christ in all you do. God will always bring his people to this place. It is a good place to be.

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