- Written by Shannon Wendler
- Category: Devotionals
- Hits: 113
Our next series of devotionals in August will be on removing toxic people out of your life. As Christians, it is imperative that we show compassion and help others. However, it is not OK to allow toxic people into your life or try to control and manipulate you.
Join us as we cover this crucial life lesson.
- Written by Shannon Wendler
- Category: Devotionals
- Hits: 216
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17
GOD'S LOVE IS NOT A PAMPERING LOVE, BUT A PERFECTING LOVE.
Before I was born again my life was a complete mess, a complete mess in a sense of "I thought I had it all under control" the deception I had fooled myself into was my worst enemy. I was doing it my way, and if I did it my way it would be right not perfect but right. Do you see how completely utterly ridiculous that sounds? Now it does to me, but at that time in my life it was all I knew and it was the only way I knew how to live.
God literally used the bad in my life to allow me to be broken before I realized this way of living was not only wrong but displeasing to him. In order to be part of His Kingdom, this had to go and it had to go fast. He showed me a better way, a path I have been on for years. It is a path, not all will stay on sadly and it is a path that is not easy to walk. I will not sugar coat it, it is hard. It requires faith in Him and without that faith, you will veer off.
I have been riding horses since I was 3 years old, and one thing I have learned is that if a horse will not yield to its master to obey his command whether it is a nudge to get him to move or pulling back on the reins to stop. It is not a horse worth riding it is not useful or enjoyable. Think about it before a horse can be useful to its owner, it has to be broken. An unbroken stallion is proud and strong. It will not allow you anywhere near it and let no one ride it. My brother had the privilege one time to climb on the back of a beautiful paint stallion. The horse bucked, kicked, even took him into the woods to use the branches to get my brother off his back. The horse was stubborn, difficult, bucked, kicked, reared up, but my brother stayed on and in the end, my brother finally broke him. After that, you could not have had asked for a more faithful riding horse. Why did it behave like this? Because it did not want to be broken. It fought and fought till it had to give into the will of it's master.
Sometimes we have that same stubborn, rebellious, self-sufficient spirit within us, and God often breaks those attitudes because they keep us from experiencing true intimacy with Him. Have you ever been broken? Can you say you are obedient to God? Before you answer think about your walk with him and think real long and hard and ask yourself have you been broken?
Brokenness is empty-handedness before God. It makes no demands. It is falling into the embrace of your loving Father and finding Him to be enough. It says not only “God, I need You,” but “God, You are all I need.” Until you allow yourself to be broken and allow God tear down all that is hindering you in your relationship with him.
What are some of the things God breaks? Here are some of the big ones:
Stubbornness. “I am going to do this my way.” If you are one of God’s children, that attitude is on its way out. You can fight with Him for a long time if you want, but your stubbornness will eventually be broken.
Pride. “I know better; I am better.” God hates pride in the hearts of His children. He hates it in my heart; He hates it in yours. People who have been greatly used by God have come to grips with the need to dispense with all pride and to humble themselves.
Willfulness. “You can’t make me! You can’t tell me! I’ll do what I want when I want.” That’s willfulness, and it is also on its way out. God will use whatever He has to use to remove it from your heart and life.
Independence. “I can make it without You.” Nothing will inhibit your intimacy with the Father like an attitude of self-sufficiency. Recognize your weakness and rely on His strength.
God will use broken health, careers, dreams, relationships, promises, and hearts to rid our lives of the things that hinder intimacy with Him. Some say a loving God wouldn’t allow pain, but God’s love is not a pampering love; it’s a perfecting love. God is producing something in us the likeness of His Son and He is going to do whatever it takes to make that happen. You might want to get off the program. But any other path will lead you to a place you don’t want to be or you will fool yourself into many years of deception that you have it all under control. Even though your life is a complete utter mess, you are doing it your way and that is all that matters.
You will never experience true intimacy with God until you are able to come before Him in genuine humility, utterly desperate for Him. Face it just like my brother on that beautiful paint stallion you too need to be broken. Pride and thinking you are "fine" and you can handle it all on your own. Will hinder your relationship with all around you most of all it will hinder you in your spiritual growth and your relationship with your Father. You will never fully experience the life he has for you until you do. What is really sad, is you will never ever experience a close relationship with Jesus.
I will confess to each and every one of you and anyone else that crosses my path in my life and I am not ashamed to admit it, I found God not in happiness nor in contentment, nor in doing it my way. I found him in sorrow, pain, desperation. I found God when I was broken.
Lord, I confess that I am naturally proud, stubborn, willful, and prone to believe I’m self-sufficient. I confess that I resist the thought of being broken, but I believe that “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Please help me to let go and allow You to have Your way in my life. Thank You that the more I surrender to You, the more intimacy I can have with You. God, you are all I need. In Jesus’ name, amen.