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God's Pathway of Brokenness

By Dr. Charles Stanley

Watch God's Pathway of Brokenness video.

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:6-10

I. Introduction: Brokenness is God’s requirement for maximum usefulness (Life Principle #15).The Father uses adversity to breaks our self-will and transform us into useful vessels for His kingdom. Usually when people think about facing hardship, they focus on the suffering and pain involved. But what exactly is brokenness? What is its purpose? And is there any way to avoid it and still be useful to God?

II. The Principle of Brokenness

A. Brokenness is the Lord’s method of dealing with our self-reliance—that desire within us to act independently from Him.

B. God wants us to bring every area of our lives into submission to His will, and He uses our trials to lead us to a point of total surrender.

III. What Brokenness Is Not

God desires to break our self-will so that we can be fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. This means three things:

A. Brokenness is not chastisement or punishment. When the Father chastens someone, He addresses a present, immediate sin.For the believer, brokenness isn’t a penalty, but an act of mercy intended to bring him to repentance.The Lord does not punish Christians. Only those who reject Him are subject to His wrath.

B. Brokenness is about the futureThe Father deals with our attitude for the purpose of conforming us to His will and making us effective ministers to others (Eph. 2:8-10).

IV. The Process of Brokenness

A. Through adversity, God targets the areas of self-will in our lives. He wants to break the attitudes that do not honor Him—such as self-righteousness, self-reliance, and self-centeredness. The result is that He fills ours lives with spiritual fruit (Gal. 5:22-23).

B. Examples:

1. Moses was broken in the desert. He spent 40 years learning to obey the Lord, before God used him to free Israel from Egyptian bondage.

2. The apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” kept him from exalting himself, despite his impressive credentials (2 Cor. 12:7).

3. Jesus corrected Peter’s pride many times (Matt. 14:24-31; Matt. 16:21-23; Matt. 26:33-35; Luke 22:54-62; John 13:5-10; John 18:1-11) so that the apostle could lead the church (Acts 2:14-47).

C. We are only as useful to God as we are obedient to Him. Whether He allows difficulties to arise in our family, finances, or health, He does so out of love. His ultimate purpose is that we become spiritually mature and effective for His kingdom.

V. Why We Resist Brokenness

A. Pride

B. Ignorance

C. Fear

D. Worldly entanglements

E. Unhealthy relationships

F. Rebelliousness

G. Strongholds of Satan

VI. Consequences of Resisting Brokenness

A. We hinder our relationship with the Lord.

B. We delay the fulfillment of God’s will in our lives.

C. We hurt those who are closest to us.

D. We limit what the Father can do through our gifts and talents.

E. We are “put on the shelf”—unused by the Lord and prevented from experiencing His blessings and future rewards.

VII. Conclusion: What does God keep targeting in your life? Is it your self-reliance? If so, submit to the process of brokenness, and allow Him to control every area of your life. Let Him determine what remains and what must go. Yes, there is suffering in surrendering to the Lord, which may include physical, emotional, spiritual, and even relational pain. But the blessings on the other side of brokenness are most certainly worth it

Copyright 2014 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

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