Sunday, March 18, 2007

Brokenness - Part 3

There are two things that hinder us from being broken:

1. Not recognizing the hand of God in our trials, as a means of breaking and shaping us. Joseph, in Genesis 50:20, recognized that God had meant Joseph's awful trials "for good", even though his brothers had meant it "for evil". We would be wise to recognize our own trials and life situations as God's means to break and shape us.

I still remember a sermon I heard over 25 years ago, at a little Baptist church in Dallas, Texas. I remember it was a blue church. The walls were blue, the pews were blue, I think even the choir robes were blue. Anyway the guest preacher for that day was a guy named Jack Taylor, and he said something I never forgot.

He is a Southern fella, and so he said God "fixes fixes to fix us" (Yankee translation: God brings things into our life to mold and shape and break us. I'm qualified to translate, because I've been in Tennessee now since 1986).

Anyway, he said this profound thing that I've never forgotten:

"If God fixes a fix to fix you, and you fix the fix instead of it fixing you, then God will have to fix another fix to fix you."

One ol' boy preacher I heard just last week understands that (or at least his wife does). He laughed because some trial happened to them, and his wife said, "I wish you'd have learned that from the Lord last time, honey, so we wouldn't have to go through it again."

Part 4
Part 1

5 comments:

Only Look said...

Thanks brother this is helpful as your blog has truly ministered over the last year and a half or so.

The thought grabbed me one day, as a preacher articulated how Jospeph gave Benjiman piles of food while he gave his other brothers just a little; of how God has to work us into that place. So if he could do it through Joseph then how much more the Son of the Living God.

Brian

Only Look said...

All that to say really is that all Josephs brothers were concerned about was no longer envy over the blessed brother but instead all they wanted to do was keep him safe.

Terry Rayburn said...

Hi Brian,

I sense you're onto something precious there, but I'm slow to follow. Could you expand on that thought a little more?

Thanks,
Terry

Only Look said...

Well I guesss what I was thinking is that Joseph was suffering affliction innocently at the same time his brothers lives grew hard from all the grief I am sure from Jacobs sorrows. Now they were before Joseph begging bread basically and He wants Benjiman. Their work gets harder and more laborious yet they do not know a tremendous blessing awaits them and Jacob in the hight of his despair drives his sons by it and all they want is to see their Father happy and I am sure they are wishing they had never even hinted at hurting Joseph.

Joseph having experienced the worst of the hurt is now testing them to see if there is a hint of it left and clearly they don't even blink when Benjiman gets a large portion and they get a regular helping. When they were younger they would have been outraged at this but now all they want is to see good for their youngest brother from Jacobs favorite wife.

Gods affliction yeilds our good and the sweet fruit of righteousness. But the brothers aren't sitting around talking about how humble they are and flogging themselves, they are instead simply accepting the good pleasure of Josephs will here and wishing the best for all involved.There is a contentment about them in the midst of being puzzled.

This is how I think God brings us to obediance on his terms and with his love involved in making us more like him.

I read that the shepherd suffers affliction with the sheep and it makes them better.

I also heard Dr Lutzer talk about what a mess a vineyard is when it is being prunned by the vinedresser, but every cut has precision purpose although it looks horribly messy to those onlooking and don't know much about vineyards. Thats what I heard anyway. When everyone around thinks your life is a mess then the humilation is great, but I know God has a purpose and he will do a wonderful work even when things seem so impossible.

I have just read almost a custom made book. It is almost as if God put the author right there to help at just the right time. It is called "Red Sea Rules" by Robert J Morgan. He is actually a Tennessee pastor. Have you heard of him? I couldn't believe the book, but it has been so helpful. It is really a devotional type of book for those of us who have been through paralyzing fears in the past and it points towards understanding how God wants to work this out of us to the place of beloved rest and constant trust. It is such a good book.

Thanks again brother,

Brian

Terry Rayburn said...

Good stuff. Thanks.

No, I hadn't heard of Robert J. Morgan, but I just read Chapter 1 on Amazon. Looks like a good book.