Friday, June 25, 2010
The Apostle Paul experienced this through his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7). He asked God to remove his thorn, and God said “NO,” so that he might experience spiritual strength through human weakness.
One thing I have often seen, particularly in men, is that God will bring them to brokenness, but once the circumstances start getting better they go back to pride and self-reliance. Therefore, I believe God wants our brokenness to be much more than just circumstantial brokenness. Instead, He wants us to live in constant brokenness.
Constant brokenness is when we are constantly aware of our weaknesses, human limitations, and propensity toward sin that we walk in constant awareness of our desperate need for God. Even when the initial circumstantial difficulty is lifted, we still walk in brokenness. Less in less do we need circumstantial difficulty to make us dependent on God’s power.
However, when the circumstantial difficulty does come our way, by the sovereign decree of God, then we will be able to say with Paul, “That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10).
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
This is a very practical and helpful exercise to do when faced with uncertainly about a decision.
Here is how the Proverbs’ Challenge works: whenever you are faced with a major decision, read through the entire book of Proverbs and ask God to give you a “word of wisdom” in what to do. Preferably read the entire book of Proverbs in one sitting. For the average reader this takes about two hours or less. Before you begin to read, ask God to give you wisdom and fill you with His Spirit. Draw a line down the middle of a page, with the choices of your decision on either side (i.e., take the new job, stay where I am).
As you read through Proverbs, record in the appropriate column the verses that seem to speak to you about that choice. Now, be careful here: at the end of your reading, it does not mean that the column with the most verses is God’s “word” to you. Instead, go back and read all the verses you placed in each column and ask God to have one of them “jump off the page” telling you what His will is for you.
I have done this seven times in my life, and all but one time God has used it to speak a direct word of wisdom to me. I look forward to hearing how He uses this in your life. Please let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.