Friday, September 4, 2015
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We had this van. It was a great van. It got us where we needed to go. It had been a reliable vehicle until this one trip. The van decided to take up heavy smoking. We had just arrived in this town where we would be staying, and suddenly the van began to smoke! Some good friends of ours directed us to a mechanic that we could trust. And he gave us the exciting news that our engine had blown and we needed to replace it. Well, after investigating all our options, we decided that those dollars would do more repairing our vehicle than replacing it, except we didn't have any dollars to put toward it.
It appeared to us that things seemed to be falling apart. But that breakdown actually launched a series of miracles that we never anticipated. Fellow brothers and sisters in that town somehow found out what had happened. They supplied us a loaner car, and in an act of love they blew us away. They put together all the money needed for a new engine. Our incredible Lord loved us and He helped us through His wonderful kids. And when God stepped in, the result was above and beyond all we could have asked or imagined. The mechanic actually found an engine that was considerably more powerful than the one we had lost.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Power of Being Broken."
See, God allowed our vehicle to be broken. And as a result, it ended up with more power than ever before. That's a miracle that He doesn't just do on vehicles. He does it in His children. He might be doing it with you right now.
Our word for today from the Word of God is from 2 Corinthians 1:8-9. Paul in this passage talks about "...the hardships we suffered. We were under great pressure." Does that sound like you at all? "...far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life." Maybe, again, this sounds a little familiar. "Indeed in our hearts (he says) we felt the sentence of death." It's like he said, "I thought we were going to die." I mean, he is broken!
Why? Paul found out the reason why. Here's what he says: "This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." When Paul had just about died emotionally, he finally quit trying to manage things. Then, apparently, he depended on "the resurrecting power of God as he never had before."
This becoming broken to become more powerful scenario happened at least two other times in Paul's life. The day he met Christ he was knocked off his horse, totally blind, totally dependent so he could meet and experience a living Christ. And then there was this thorn in the flesh; some physical ailment that tormented him and God wouldn't take it away. But Paul finally said he had come to accept it. He even celebrated his weaknesses - his broken parts. Because God said to him in 2 Corinthians 12, "My strength is made perfect in weakness." Then Paul said, "It was so that Christ's power may rest upon me. When I am weak then I am strong."
Every time Paul got broken, he came out living more of God's power. A lot of us are like Paul: self-sufficient, controlling, driven, and because there is so much of us in the equation, we have little room left for God's power.
Maybe God's putting you through a breaking time right now and, yes, it hurts. Or maybe it's for the same reason our van broke, so there could be greater power than you've ever had before. Because broken times often precede the greatest time of spiritual empowerment in our lives because there's nothing left of you. Now it can be all God. When that happens, you're about to trade in the limited power of the past for horse power you've never driven with before.
First, comes brokenness and then comes power.