I left off last time talking about Trials & Adversity and the purpose of it in our lives. I shared with you that it’s ultimate purpose is that Trials & Adversities are to break our dependencies on our flesh. Once this happens we experience what many have come to call “Brokenness”. If you have ever really been to that place then you know exactly what I am talking about.
Brokenness is the place where you quite literally come to the end of yourself – your strength, resources, ideas, power, influence, options, opportunities etc…. are all gone and there is nothing left but you and God. You may feel as if you are sitting in an emotional heap of nothingness and there is absolutly nothing else you can do to fix the situation or circumstances. You have hit the preverbial “brick wall” and most likely have colapsed.
The principle rests in God’s marvelous design. God’s design is that my outward man (my reliance on my fleshly strategies to make life work for me) be broken so that the inward man (Christ in my spirit) may be manifest through me, that I might receive from Him and display His Life through me. Sometimes things that may need to be broken in us are our ways of trying to avoid the very things we fear most. We may need to be broken of our ways of trying to get what we need and want or our love affair with these familiar beliefs, laws, ways that are most precious to us a.k.a. our false beliefs. I have found that brokenness is absolutely necessary for experiencing Life in Christ, victory, or a walk after the Spirit. It is necessary for our experiencing His sufficiency and our needs being met. Romans 8:13 tells us that if we live according to the flesh we shall die. But according to Matthew 16:25 and Luke 17:33 if we lose this fleshly life we will find Christ’s life and whoever seeks to save his fleshly life will lose it.
So the purpose of brokenness could be summed up in several key points:
1. To realize my fleshly efforts are futile; that I can not live the Christian life nor get my needs met by my own strength, by my own resources or strategies and controls.
2. To realize that I have no ability in my self-life; that without Him doing it, I can do nothing.
3. To give up on trusting my fleshly way, my false beliefs, and the resulting behaviors and damaging emotions.
4. That my outward man might be conformed to the image of Christ.
5. That I might depend on God.
6. That the life of Jesus might be manifest in my mortal body.
So, if we find ourselves at this place of brokenness as a result of trials & adversities what do we do? We receive the trial & adversity….as the Bible says, we take up our cross. Receiving that trial & adversity with the attitude or mind of Christ – with a mind of humility. A beautiful display of this is found in Phil. 2:5-8. “Have this attitude in yourselfves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Christ received His trial with an attitude of humility, not trying to regard His equality with God so as to try to preseve His Significance. He could humble Himself to accomplish the task because He knew WHO He was and WHO He belonged to. We can now experience the joy of New Covenant living in relationship with Him and that transforms everything!
Fleshly Stategies = Trials & Adversities = Brokenness = ______________________ we will fill in the blank next time!