To Honor Jesus Christ, Glorify
God, Encourage Believers, & Warn All
information is offered with the hope that YOU can come to KNOW the Lord
It is recommended that you read " God is in Charge " before reading this; otherwise, you may not be able to understand this.
In order for us to have a REAL relationship with the LORD, we need a "basic bending." Our flesh, which includes our mind, attitude, basic viewpoint of reality (especially of ourselves), needs to be dealt with (broken) radically. Our being dealt with ("broken") may be called the END of SELF, the "mortifying (putting to death) the deeds of the flesh," the LORDSHIP of Christ, the dethroning of self, sanctification, or some other term. However, it consists of our giving up our own will so that His will can be done. Said another way: Jesus is Lord; self is no longer Lord.
The process of giving up our own will is also described in the Bible as "repentance", or being "turned" by God. Repentance means to change direction or "turn." As we will discover, it is God Himself who causes us to repent because He is the one who "turns" us by creating the circumstances which cause us to repent (turn).
What we will learn is that there are TWO things we come to realize in the process of "repenting:"
1. We are NOTHING
2. God is EVERYTHING.
So in the course of repenting, actually on the way to repentance, we learn who we are and who God is.
The timing of God's progressive revelation of Himself to us is illustrated below.
Psalms 80:3 Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Psalms 80:7 Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Psalms 80:19 Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Notice the repeated use of the word "turn" in conjunction with the light from His face ("shine"). Keep the "shining of [God's] face" in mind as you seek His face. The meaning of the shining of His face, or light from His face, will become apparent as we proceed.
Note also that as God "turn[s] us again" in verse 3, he is " God ." Later, in verse 7, the God that " turn[s] us again " has become "God of hosts ." Later, in verse 19, the God that has "turn[ed]) us again , has become "LORD God of hosts ." What we see here is a progressive revelation of who God is.
At first, He is known as "God." Then, we learn that He is the "God of hosts." "The hosts " are all His angels which He can send to fulfill His will. Therefore, His power and authority is so great as to be beyond our comprehension. Therefore, we have been shown God's power and authority, but there is more to come.
That which comes next is the addition of the word " LORD" making God the "LORD God of hosts." The addition of the word "LORD" is significant because it refers to the fact that the " God of hosts " has become our "LORD ." What has happened is that we have REACTED to God's revelation, having seen His power and authority, and have realized that He is our " LORD ." One's Lord is one's master, his boss, the one in charge. Once we reach this state we have given up our own will (due to constant failure) and have realized He is in charge of our life and He can not fail..
[May I say that I know this only because of personal defeat, failure, and PAIN. May I say that being "between the rock and the hard place" means between Jesus Christ (the rock) and our circumstances. I suffered loss and had painful struggles to arrive at this point. In all this I learned to rely on the LORD only. He made my failures a "thigh out of joint " from which I will always walk with a limp. There will never be a time when I can boast of my strength again. I am thankful to God. Where I was once proud of my own works; I have been brought down. The Lord did create a crisis, but he had also been at work gradually SUBTRACTING from me for years. The biggest sin of all is pride and self reliance .
We are to labor to "enter into God's rest." "Resting" in God is impossible for self reliant, proud people. If His yoke is easy and His burden is light, why are so many of us working so hard? Why are we so burdened by duty, especially Christian duty? This burden can not be the fruit of the spirit. Except ye become as a little child, you can not enter into God's kingdom. Children depend on their father. Being in God's Kingdom is being in the spiritual realm where all outward measures are abandoned so we can "wait on the Lord." If you are not "waiting on the Lord" and have not "entered into His rest", you are not bearing spiritual fruit, but are struggling in the FLESH. Why is this?
Pride keeps us from giving up the FLESH. FLESH is any and all self-initiated work . The question is what is the SOURCE of what you do? The question is not WHAT you do. Do your actions, thoughts, viewpoints come from self or from God? The answer to this questions tells us if we have entered into God's rest. The FLESH is not just "bad things"; the FLESH is all things initiated by self, even "good."
How do we "enter into God's rest?" When it is done, how will we know? To bear fruit a seed must be "buried." Once you are "dead" and the FLESH is gone, the spirit of God can then be expressed in your "temple." The very "life" of God Almighty (in you) can be imparted to others only after the husk has fallen to the ground. Then, the "life" that all the believers need will emerge with no effort whatsoever. To turn away from the FLESH to the spirit we must repent . One thing - the way UP is found only by going DOWN. The FLESH rebels at this constantly. This "one thing" is contrary to everything in our society and contrary to the very nature of man himself. The problem is that everyone wants to be "resurrected" but nobody wants to "die." Even Jesus did not resurrect Himself. He "lay down" His life and the Father "raised Him." Are we any different? Lay down the self and the Almighty will raise you up.]
[One other thing- if God spoke to Balaam through an ass and he used you to speak today, can you think too highly of yourself? ]
Why is all this so necessary? The answer lies in the utter depravity of the nature of man as a result of his fallen state. Man has absolutely no ability to approach God. Man does not even have the ability to have faith. He is utterly fallen and without hope on his own. So, then, how can a man have faith or repent? We know that a man is given fath. Faith actually comes after the Almighty acts upon a man with the Word of God and the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How about repentance?
The process of accomplishing repentance is the work of God, not our own. Remember that He is the "author AND finisher of our faith ." Repentance occurs when we come face to face with OUR OWN INADEQUACIES and we are at the "end of our rope." The Lord's work in bringing us to the end of self is seldom recognized because it comes in ways that are difficult to accept. We like to say that the things we see could not be His work. The following verse presents this truth.
Jeremiah 5:12 They have belied the LORD, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine: (Some say that "prosperity" is the measure of Christians. They say that we will have no " evil ", no difficulties such as " sword " or " famine ."
Jeremiah 5:13 And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them.
When faced with the difficulties, they say " it is not he."
To these, the prophets have become "wind". The Word of God "blows" by without signification.
In other words, when we say that "evil", " sword ", or " famine " (or any other "problem") is "not he " we " have belied [called Him a liar] the LORD ." When we take this position that God could not be behind our circumstances , the Word of God is blowing by us just like "wind." We can't see it, we don't know where it came from, and we don't now why it is " blowing ."
Why does God use difficulties ("evil") to teach us? What is His message? Answer - He wants us to be defeated so that we will rely on Him, not ourselves.
What is at the root of our self reliance problem?
There is a strong element of PRIDE, the most deadly and subtle of sins, that must be searched out and rooted up from the depths of our being. This pride often manifests itself in RELIGIOUS practices and beliefs and therefore is disguised as "rightness". Pride is the sin that enthrones self. It is the sin that keeps other sins " secret ."
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease . (Subtraction must take place on my self. Self must decrease.)
Psalms 90:8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
(His light shines on our secret sins. It is the light from His person that causes us to see. His countenance is his face. Being " face to face" or "seeking his face " sheds light on us and we see our sins when he judges us. To be face-to-face means to know a person. He judges us by His Word causing us to judge ourselves. When we come face-to-face with Jesus, we can judge ourselves by his example of "obedience unto death ." Knowing Jesus himself is EVERYTHING . Seeking the Lord means being prepared to have your "secret " sins revealed to you. These sins are secret because they are unknown to the sinner himself . Now you see why his face shines on us.
Psalms 19:12 Who can understand his (OWN) errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults . (We are unable to understand our own faults without light. These sins are indeed " secret " because they conceal rebellion/pride.)
To get rid of these secret faults, God has the following plan:
Proverbs 3:11-13 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding .
The SORES and the WOUNDS you experience are the Work of God Himself:
Behold, HAPPY is the man whom God CORRECTETH: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For HE maketh sore , and bindeth up: HE woundeth, and his hands make whole . -- Job 5:17-18
It is better to cry [after being rebuked] than to make merry with fools.
Making us "happy" is NOT the WAY God works with us. "Happy" is an end, not a means to an end.
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter : for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools. -- Ecclesiastes 7:2-5
Psalms 38:2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore . (It is GOD HIMSELF who is sticking you and pressing you sore to get rid of these secret faults. Receive his arrows. God is using the situation you are in now. He does mine.)
Psalms 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted ; that I might learn thy statutes.
(AFFLICTION gives us KNOWLEDGE of the LORD. He CHOSE to suffer affliction. Knowing his statutes is more than knowing his word. See Psalm 147:19. Jacob became Israel after he wrestled with God. Understanding his statutes requires a great wrestling. Jesus wrestles to defeat us. To win you must lose. See Gen 32:25.)
Psalms 4:1 To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm of David. Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress ; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. (We get ENLARGED when we are in DISTRESS. Distress subtracts until you "find nothing.")
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth . (We can NEVER be received without "scourging". The cross of Jesus subtracts, scourges, from our ways. You see, he wants to receive you, but there is work to be done first. Should we worry?)
Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (NO ONE can be against us. So, let us stop blaming others. Let us confess our own sins.)
Leviticus 23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall AFFLICT your souls , and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD .
(In much of the standard commentary on this, it is said that there is NO New Testament equivalent for this. It has been my experience that there is. This offering, "made by fire", is our ownselves offered to the Lord, after having been through God's "fire" in our lives. Offering requires DEATH. )
Leviticus 23:29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people . (This is the Old Testament equivalent of Heb 12:8 in which those not scourged are not sons. If YOU have not been humbled, you are not His. The light from the Lord causes you to fall to the ground, at first. Read about Paul.)
Psalms 18:27 For thou wilt save the afflicted people ; but wilt bring down high looks . (WHO gets saved? The Lord brought down my high look.)
Psalms 22:24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. (When you reach an "end", a defeat, you cry out to the Father.)
Psalms 25:16 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. (I was desolate and afflicted. THEN I called on Him.)
Psalms 25:18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. (This is the very thing the Lord CAUSED me to pray.)
Psalms 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all . (NOT few, not some; but many. He will put you into affliction and He will deliver you. It is all God's work, He and He alone is worthy, He earns all your "crowns.")
Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; (THE LORD HIMSELF learned obedience. This verse was a seriously convicting message for me. If the LORD learned obedience, what do you think we are to do? Get a PhD? Be a Bible Scholar? Become high and mighty? How did the LORD learn obedience? It says BY THE THINGS WHICH HE SUFFERED. I thought I knew the Bible. I was proud and lifted up. The LORD brought me down and then His Word healed me. Being in His Word saved me.)
Psalms 107:20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from THEIR destructions. (Our ways end in destructions; His Word heals us.)
John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (JESUS could do NOTHING of HIMSELF. Can we? Jesus had no "agenda", but His Father's.)
1 Corinthians 4:12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: (we are to repent of our own sins, not focus on others, even if they wrong us. We are called to bear injustices, not call for our "rights.")
1 Corinthians 9:12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. (Let's NOT get in God's way by taking the easy way out for ourselves or someone we love.)
Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it . (You are in a selected few if the Lord shows you this.)
Philippians 3:8 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, (ALL THINGS, except the LORD, are DUNG. LOSING them is a BLESSING, at first in disguise. Jesus of Nazareth is EVERYTHING.)
The Objective for Every Believer
Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (We suffer so that we can KNOW HIM PERSONALLY, AFTER being made conformable unto His D E A T H.)
Philippians 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Awesome is our God. The only way to understand the Bible is for the Lord to reveal it to you.)
2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know WHOM I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (HE is ABLE! We KNOW a person, not a doctrine. We KNOW it is HIS work, not our own. That is why our salvation is sure.)
2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: (Read about Peter's denial)
2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution . (Not might, but shall.)
Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man . (HE tasted it.)
Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation PERFECT through SUFFERINGS .
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (Does He love us? Well, you want evidence that you are His? Are you chastened and scourged?)
Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (I want to be treated as a son.)
Hebrews 12:11-13 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (GRIEVOUS now, fruit afterwards!) Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; (Get 'em up in the air toward Him.) And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed . (Get on the straight path; stop wandering in your own ways. He has made us " lame " so that we can be " healed ". Notice that we are LAME . This is our BROKEN condition.)
The PROCESS of "breaking" us MUST be done in conjunction WITH the WORD of GOD. Look at the process as described by the INSTRUCTION BOOK. When you are BROKEN, SNARED, and TAKEN you are KNOCKED DOWN, TIED UP, and DRAGGED. While this is happening, you go forward awhile and then you FALL BACKWARD. Believe me, if you need to be SNARED and TAKEN, it is NOT to a place you DESIRE. That is why all works are from God. He drags you there and breaks you. No brokenness, no fruit. God break us, so, He made the fruit, not us.
But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be BROKEN , and SNARED, and TAKEN .
-- Isaiah 28:13
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; (Bitterness happens when we do not forgive our "enemies". We ought to know by now that we do not have any "enemies." If God uses our "enemies" to break us, then, our "enemies" are our "friends.")
Psalms 90:15 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us , and the years wherein we have seen evil. (Praise the LIVING GOD, He made ME glad in my affliction!! He is an AWESOME GOD! He made my very life's circumstances. What love!)
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Being made " CONFORMABLE unto His DEATH , see above Phil 3:10, is the REAL PURPOSE of " all things work together for good ," Rom 8:28.)
What an awesome truth this is! All mouths are stopped at the beautiful work of the LORD.
"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies."
Dear friend, WHERE is the feast table found? You just read it! In the presence of your enemies. If you have no "enemies", you will have no feast.
This is how God works.
Where does this leave the popular Book Prayer of Jabez ?
In fact, What WOULD Jesus Do? (WWJD) - Answer: DIE !
Job 42:6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. (May I say that it is an indescribable feeling to KNOW Job, because you feel the same through experiences.)
Psalms 39:4 LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am . (If you have run out of resources and there is NO WAY you can solve your own problems, you have been blessed by the Lord. You KNOW how " frail" you are.)
Psalms 39:5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity . Selah . (Man's BEST is ALTOGETHER VANITY; this means that YOU are TOTALLY VAIN regardless of your spiritual status.)
Proverbs 1:23 Turn you at my reproof : behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you , I will make known my words unto you.
(Please note the order of events: first, repent having been reproved,
second, He pours out His spirit and makes known His words to us.
(I can tell you honestly that my cup can not contain what the Lord is giving me.)
There is NO way you will repent (change your mind) until you come to the reality that it IS the work of the LORD Himself. He says "my reproof", not someone else's. He says "turn you at MY reproof." Then, (AND ONLY THEN), will He POUR out His spirit and reveal ("make known") the TRUE meaning of "His words."
1 Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing . (This convicted me to the core, because I was proud of my knowledge, was critical in spirit. For any injustice that I may have endured, it is my own failures that God dealt with in my heart.)
Psalms 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart , O God, thou wilt not despise.
(God received me when broken. I have learned a little about the love of the Father, especially when separated from my son, David, who was in a terrible situation over which I had no control) When tears come to my eyes, I remember that God gave His Only Son to die for us. This tells me more of His love than reading ever could.)
Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Matthew 19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
Matthew 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. (I wept bitterly when I, like Peter, came face to face with my own faults and my inability to follow the Lord. Then, the Lord had brought me to the END of myself.)
Psalms 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
Psalms 17:3 Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find NOTHING; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress . (He finds NOTHING when he has emptied us of secret sins. His work in us is a REMOVAL process. He "takes out the trash.")
Mark 14:29 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. (We all love to say we are not like the rest.)
Malachi 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. (He refined me in the "fire"; so that I could offer him myself.)
Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Notice that Peter is converted long AFTER he started to "follow" the Lord.)
John 21:18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither THOU wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither THOU wouldest not. (I prefer now to be carried, rather than walk in my own strength. I walked where I wanted. Now He carries me where I did not want. I no longer say, without being convicted instantly, that I am not like the rest.)
John 21:19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. (We have the capacity to follow by dying to self).
Psalms 51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
(When we die to self, we are glad. When we hear our own gladness, we can rejoice because we know that HE BROKE OUR BONES, self.) THIS is what is meant by santification.
Luke 1:46-47 And Mary said, My SOUL doth magnify the Lord, And my SPIRIT hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
The INSTRUMENT of "magnifying" and "rejoicing " is " bones ." YOU "hear joy and gladness "; you " hear " your flesh being glad. Your " bones ", the flesh, can now rejoice because YOUR soul and spirit have been " divid[ed] asunder " by the Word of God. [Heb 4:12]. The person, the soul, magnifies - the spirit rejoices . Hereby you know that sanctification is done.
John 17:3 Sanctify them through thy truth; thy WORD is truth.
Psalms 92:4 For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through THY WORK: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.
My life was (by external/worldy criteria) a success. My life was by my own criteria a success. However, step by step, piece by piece, all earthly things in my life that I loved were taken out of my heart and replaced by a longing to know the Lord and share the Word with others. Where I used to see sin in others, I see my own sins. (The biggest sin of all is the pride of self reliance.) It is difficult for me to mention a sin of another without experiencing an emotional pain, a deep sorrow, a hurt. The suffering of the Lord Jesus is something I have begun to learn. I learned this while separated from my son, David, who had his own burdens as well. He looked for comforters, but there were none, just like Jesus. He walked the valley by himself, just like Jesus. I have walked the valley by myself. Then I began to learn something about the fellowship of his sufferings.
Where I was quick to judge; I now hesitate. Where I knew much; I now realize that I know little of what I should. I spend more time listening (a difficulty for me). I have a great longing for serious and deep fellowship, not attendance, not study, but, real understanding. I wish for all that they could have what I have received . Where I knew doctrines; I now know the Nazerene. Where I could explain grace; I now know Jacob, Peter, Abraham, Job. The joy is knowing that they are just like me. The joy is seeing them fail in themselves and triumph in Him.
Once Abraham gave up, then did God Almighty appear to him. It was an old "dead" man who came to know the Lord.
Jacob relied on self, to grab and scheme, but, became "Israel." He wrestled with God. The Lord made him limp the rest of his life by making his thigh out of joint. God broke him.
Peter said he would never deny the Lord, said he was not like the rest, but, wept bitterly.
Job "abhorred himself and repented" turning toward the words of the Lord.
When you come to the Lord are you standing? Did you walk in voluntarily? Were you so righteous you DECIDED to enter the Holy of Holies? The following verse tells us how we entered-
Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to FALL into the hands of the living God.
Yes, by the time we get to Him, we FALL into His Hands in utter and TOTAL dependence.
Matthew 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
The "stone" is Jesus Christ. We all will either fall on this stone (in dependence) or the stone will fall on us and grind us to powder. In either case Jesus Christ is "the judgment of the world." His judgment will "grind us to powder" if we reject Him.
If we DO accept Him, we shall be broken. Being broken is a certain condition of a true believer.
Blaise Pascal, the believer who was a mathematician, said this: " The knowledge of God without misery leads to pride. The knowledge of misery without the knowledge of God leads to despair. The knowledge of Jesus Christ leads to both (misery and God) and is in all truth. Therefore, without the Bible (whose only teaching is Jesus) we know nothing ."
"The heart has its own reasons, which reason does not know. "
"Humble thyself, impotent reason." He is referring to the witness of the Holy Spirit. He is saying that man's wisdom (or reason) can teach us no spiritual truth. Pascal was loved by even the atheists because he was not self righteous, but told the truth about the UTTERLY HOPELESS condition of all men (apart from Jesus and the Word of God). He had a "night of fire" in which he had "sweet renunciation." This was HIS GIVING UP (renunciation) of ALL THINGS. When I read this I knew that his Jesus and my Jesus were the same LORD of ALL. My "night of fire" was witnessed by my brother Steve and my friend, Dave. I called them on the phone and told them.
Do You Have GODLY SORROW WHICH LEADS TO REPENTANCE?
Is there anything more contrary to the NEED for BROKENNESS than the current teachings of our society? Self esteem. Self improvement. Self help. Self magazine. Self worth. Self fulfillment. Where the Bible and especially the Cross is a great divider, the prevailing attitude is to include all in one, regardless of the foundation. A false love, a false unity, an unrepentant religion, a "try Jesus" alternative, a "care-bear" sentimentality is seducing us away from "godly sorrow which leads to repentance ." This seduction leads us by appealing to our pride which excuses us from sin by pointing to our own do-gooding as equivalent to the work of Jesus . The first mention of "self" in the New Testament is "I can of mine own self do nothing ." (John 5:30). This is the Son of God speaking.
Isaiah 30:20-22 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.
(Once the Lord breaks you, you "see your teachers " and " hear ... this the way, walk ye in it."
You become tuned to His voice.
You throw away your works as a " menstrous cloth ." You wait on the Lord all the day. In the modern translations the message here, Isa 30:22, is lost as is the case most of the time, because the men who did this work were ready to correct the Word rather than be corrected by the Word. Remember that this work is accomplished in you by the Lord because you are...
2 Cor 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the DYING of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
Does all this seem too hard? Too painful? Are there too many tears?
You see, there is a FINE LINE between WEEPING and REJOICING. This truth is illustrated in the book of Ezra when the "ancient men " who had SEEN the "first house" (temple) were SEEING " the foundation of THIS house [being] laid BEFORE THEIR EYES ." What was their response? Answer - open weeping and rejoicing which was so intermingled the people could not tell them apart.
But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, WEPT with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for JOY: So that the people could NOT DISCERN the noise of the shout of JOY from the noise of the WEEPING of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off. -- Ezra 3:13
The SPIRITUAL REALITY of this physical "house " in the Old Testament and the men's WEEPING and REJOICING is an awesome truth. When we REALIZE that WE ARE GOD's HOUSE , " the foundation of THIS HOUSE [is] laid before [our] eyes ," we come to grips with the overpowering truth that God Himself is working IN US. This realization will come at a time when weeping AND joy are one and the same because the God of the Universe has " written His law in the fleshly tables of [our] heart . " Our very circumstances are His creation.
I cried tears of joy to know that HE made HIS house inside my very soul! What an awesome and beautiful God is the Lord Jesus Christ!
HOW IS A MAN SAVED?
There is No Such Thing as "the Good Ol' Days"; God says not to Speak of Them
God made adversity and God made prosperity so that after finding God Himself, we will find NOTHING else. So, neither prosperity nor adversity is God's will for us, but GOD HIMSELF is our delight. However, God wants us to treat both prosperity and adversity as too imposters. Remember, it is in the DAY OF ADVERSITY that we CONSIDER and learn the truth. Praise God for adversity!!
Ecclesiastes 7:10 Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.
Ecclesiastes 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him [GOD].
The Canadian Goose and I go back a long time. I have always loved them. They are loyal, protective of their children, mate for life and are beautifully instinctive creatures that the Lord made on the 5th day. He made the birds on the 5th day to show our heavenly destination and he made the fish on the same 5th day to show us that we must be "Baptised" with the Water of the Word in order to reach the heavenlies. The Lord does everything beautifully.
I do not believe I have ever told this story in a public place. Before you hear my story, read this to see how the Lord uses the number 51 to represent revelation. I had glorified and praised the Lord for revealing Himself to me. He showed me this by witnessing to my spirit (this page being an example), not by a calculator, computer, or abacus. In short, it is being "touched" by the Word of God (1) AFTER having been taken to GRACE (50, an amplified 5 of grace) through the fire. The story - It was my 51st birthday and I was driving down the interstate when I noticed a flock of Canadian Geese flying from my left directly across my path at that mile maker on the Interstate Highway, at that moment in time. They flew directly in front of me no more than 30 - 50 feet off the ground. They were flying in an unbalanced wing formation. On the left (as I viewed it) were 5 geese and on the right was one goose. So, as I counted them when they passed right in front of my car, it dawned on me that I had just received a birthday present from the Lord. The Lord delights in those who glory in KNOWING HIM and understanding HIM and His lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness. (See Jer 9:24 - for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.) My wife and I have 2 toy Canadian geese (like beanie babies) sitting beak to beak on top of our TV set, next to a painting of two Canadian geese flying side by side with the inscription Dreams can lead us to wonderful places. Canadian geese and I go back a long time.
So, you can understand my fascination with the Canadian Geese mates-for-life that return to the pond at my workplace each spring. They were always together. When one ate grass, the other was standing guard. You never saw one without the other, until last week, for the first time ever. My immediate thought was something may have happened to my friend's wife. Only the husband was on the water. It was a sad and lonely thought contemplating his loss. Then, thankfully, I saw her, building her nest in the flower bed. I had never seen it. Each day I went down to see the couple as they cared for their coming family. I researched the gestation period of the Canadian Geese and attempted to calculate the day the new family members might appear. [Of course, I was not on the water at night, when the happy couple enjoyed themselves. So, I don't know the start date. Others had only recently seen the eggs. We knew it had not been long.] I wondered, frankly, if the Lord would come for the dead in Christ on a day when I saw my first Canadian Geese family hatching. It was a blessed anticipation.
Today, I was down by the pond watching the Mama goose cover her nest. Oh, how industrious and caring she is.
One of the workers came by and said-
"She laid 5 eggs. We took 4 and placed them with the Vet for a National Wildlife Preserve. The other we shook so that it will not hatch (even though Mama Goose believes it will) and put it back in the nest. If we did not put it back she would lay more eggs and the baby geese would return here next year."
I was crushed. All I could think of was the compellingly beautiful instincts the Lord gave that Mother and how she would diligently and dutifully continue her work (and all for nothing). One of the ladies I worked with (Chrissy) was there and heard the story of what had been done. We both said - it is just wrong. It was too much for me as I watched her groom her nest with no chicks to respond. I left work.
My friend, Rob, noticed I was online after I got home and as we IMed I described what happened. (Tears flowed everytime I thought of the vain efforts of the unceasing love and care of that Mother Goose) . You know, that lone "dead" gosling died for the other 4 goslings and that is what Grace is all about. Grace can only be grace when a TRAGEDY has taken place. My friend, Rob, and I prayed that the Lord would cause the "dead" gosling to rise. It is a TRAGEDY that the Lord God said O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killeth the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often I would have gathered thy children together as a hen gathereth her chickens under wings and YE WOULD NOT!
The Lord is as a Mother Goose and he has gone to great lengths to care for us, save us, and deliver us. He weeps over His goslings and wants them under His wings. Say, yes, to Him today.
If you have ever lost a gosling, you know how the Lord feels. He gave His Only Begotten Son.
A contribution from a Reader (Don) who sent me these in emails. They were in all CAPS. I asked Don if he could get them in upper and lower case . He told me that typing is a physical difficulty for him, but, here they are.
Is our relationship any different with our children than it is with God and His children? The answer in most aspects is, there is no difference. We love our children, and He loves His. we correct our children, and He corrects His. we punish our children, and He punishes His.
So what is the difference between our relationships, and His? The answer is in His greatness. His love is beyond measure. It is so great that He allowed His only begotten Son to take on our sin on a cross to gain us back. It does not stop there though! He sent His Spirit to live in those who accept His Son’s death, burial, and resurrection.
Does God want more from our relationship than we are willing to give? From what I have experienced I say yes He does! We know He knows the best way in everything, and yet in many things we do it our way. Why? Because of the self in us that is groomed from the day we are born.
We can not have an intimate relationship with our God until self is broken. Broken is a strange word to associate with the perfect God, but that is exactly what He does to His clay pots until He has removed the self that separates us! Only those who learn to love His refining fire will become His!
Broken, I used to hate that word! To me it meant defective until God broke me enough times to see it as the road to perfection. Now I love the fires touch for without it I know the Father is not working. If He is not working then there must be something wrong because I know that perfection will not happen until we reach His kingdom.
Breaking, remolding, and the fire must be a continual process this side of heaven. It is the process that ensures an intimate relationship with our Father God.Father God’s son and servant, Don
Who do you depend on?
This is not a subject I am going to argue, refute, or otherwise challenge what you believe. I leave that to our God. After 30 years of being broken, remolded, and broken again I started learning.
After the accident I felt I had to do everything on my own to make it. Man was I wrong! Sure with my efforts I regained a lot, but it was never enough. I always wanted to show the world ( through my efforts ) that all my work was pleasing to the Father.
I thought each of nine operations, and all the trials, had brought me so close to Him, but in reality I had never gotten closer, and probably further away in some respects. Not for anything He did. It was more from the one thing that separates us all from Him. The root of our separation! Self
You see I still had to prove to Him I was worthy. What a sad thought! None of us are worthy no matter how much we learn of Him, do for Him, or even profess of Him!!! Until He breaks a person enough to surrender their will, and become as a child like He says in MARK 10: 15, and LUKE 18: 17 we will never enter His kingdom.
It does not matter how much of His word we know, or how much we do, if we don’t depend on Him as a child depends on his father we waste our time.
Father God’s son and servant, Don
Letter from a Reader
I started reading your "Broken" message and you lost my interest at your first point, "We are nothing". I know that this can not be true because if we were nothing then God would not love us so much that he sent his only begotten son to suffer and die for us so we could be saved. I would be interested to see how you square these conflicting concepts.
Thanks for writing.
We are nothing. We are the problem.
If you read the whole Broken page, you will see.
God bless you,
PS 1 Cor 13:2 says if you have not charity, "I am nothing." The fact is we do NOT have it on our own. That is why we are nothing. If you let the verses on this page witness to you, you will KNOW you are nothing.
READER SHARES the FOLLOWING
We [husband and wife going through problems] were given a devotional to read together. The passage for Jan.17th spoke of a potters field, how the potters would throw the marred vessel outside of his shop. Over time, this area would become full of broken pottery. Because nothing could grow there, it was good for nothing except to use as a cemetery for strangers and travelers who had no other place to be buried. The blood money of Jesus Christ was used to buy the place where broken pottery and dead bodies were. It goes on to say that's what we are,shattered, dead, good for nothing. What hope is there for broken pottery ? Only this: if it can be heated hot enough and placed back in water once again, it will become usable and redeemable. So too, if we as broken pieces of pottery become, heated by the trials the Lord allows in us, warmed by the love He has for us, and washed by the water of the Word He gives to us, we begin to be reshaped and used for His glory. That referred to Matt. 26:6-7. Again, the Lords Word gives me hope. Thanks for your prayer Russell, the Lord is so amazing it is hard to fathom sometimes, even in the midst of a trial. I'll continue to pray for you .
Reader Shares This:
Charles H. Spurgeon was right when he was led to say “ I believe a very large majority of church goers are merely unthinking, slumbering worshipers of an unknown God.” If we have to be led in what to say and do to worship God, by others then we have no relationship except what others tell us. Hence we don’t truly know God.
If we want an intimate relationship with God then we must submit all of self to Him. As it says in Mathew And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. The stone being Jesus Christ, and the falling on is submission to Him. Without putting self to death we will not fully submit to Him! As God lead my wife to say “being broken is painful, but the rewards are great.”
If we limit our worship to a set time frame, then it is for our own self, not God’s. That self motivation will lead to death as God says in Proverbs 14: 12, and . Even getting to know and hear God must be done by a broken and contrite heart led by God the Holy Spirit. He’s the one that will teach us, and lead us in all truth. Jesus Christ is the Truth!!!
Father God’s son and servant, Don
Please e-mail us with questions or comments today. I
might be wrong, but, the Bible is never wrong.