Sunday, July 18, 2010

Brokenness and Happiness

Well, for someone who isn't in the habit of blogging I have quite a bit to write. The subjects on my heart this past week are that of happiness and brokenness. Doesn't seem like they go together but I believe that they do. To be honest these past 9 months in Peru have been work. Meaning, I haven't wanted to be here. I've wanted to go home, get back to the place that made me happy... or so I thought. On the verge of leaving, like literally about to buy my plane ticket I called my parents to let them know how I was feeling and what I had planned to do. My Mom said take a week, think about it, pray about it, and then see if God would say anything to me. I told her I could not hear God in this very difficult time, so I set this time aside to seek God's will, if He didn't make it clear to me that He wanted me here then I was going to be on the soonest flight home. I decided to take two weeks, well I guess I only needed one. This was honestly one of the hardest times in my life, fearing that God would want me to stay here when I really wanted to come home so badly. My excuses were few but somewhat reasonable, I wasn't happy, didn't think it was a good fit for me, and didn't like some of the things inside of the organization. Day three and God spoke to me, not in an audible voice but He made me understand a truth that I had known but that was more head knowledge, not something that affected my life. "Gary, you can not receive happiness from what you do, what you have, or who you know, only from an intimate and growing relationship with Me, your God." Wow, that blew a reason off of my list as to why I should go home. As time went on, day four, five, six my excuses and reasons as to why I should leave faded and the Will of God remained. "Gary, I have chosen you for this hour, I want you to stay here." God had been breaking me down so that His will might be done in me, so that I would submit to Him and live only to do what He wants from me, not what Gary wants. Ouch, man that's a tough lesson and a process that will not be finished over night. The breaking process must continue, it hurts, but how good to know that my God is good and what He is doing inside of me is for my well being. It all came to light on the 11th of this month when I read one of my writings, something I had written a year before on July 10th, 2009.

This is what I wrote a year ago:

Break Me!
7/10/09 5:46pm

I'm learning more and more that I can put no confidence in the flesh. The flesh will let me down 100% of the time. Paul even says in Philippians that we put no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:1-6). More and more God has been dealing with me on the confidence that I place in my flesh. So what's the remedy for this? We must be broken and filled with the Spirit. Jesus says in John that apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:4-5).

We must also be broken. I don't really know how to be, other than asking God to do it. I believe God is the only one who can break us. Once we are broken of ourselves I believe that the Spirit of God will shine through in a much more brilliant way.

Apart from brokenness I believe the keys to being filled with God's Holy Spirit are simple. Devote yourself to God's Word, prayer, and fellowship. In Acts 1:14 we see that the disciples were continually devoting themselves to prayer and fellowship. It was after their devotion to these two things that the Spirit of God fell upon them.

The only way the Apostles did what they did was because of God's power through them. If we want that same power I believe it's available but we must pay the price of sacrifice in order to get it. We must dedicate our lives solely to God and ask Him to break us. This seems to be a painful process but I know that in the end it must be worth it.

I believe that the Lord might use Peru in order to break me. It's what I ask and pray. Lord God, break me so that I can be used of You in a greater capacity.

End of note.

So as you can now see, I was trying to escape a beautiful but painful process that God is putting me through in order to break me of myself. Just like the Bible says, He disciplines the ones He loves. This life is short, so let's be focused on eternity. If God has got you in a certain place that happens to be a hard painful process just endure. The word endurance in the Bible is "Hupomeno" and it literally means to remain under the pressure of. God is calling us to remain under the pressure of the tough circumstances, if that is where He has placed us He wants us to stay there. Also, for those who would say that they aren't satisfied with life, know that only a relationship with God will fulfill you. Your wife won't do it, your job won't do it, drugs and alcohol can't help, nothing you do will fill that God- shaped hole in your heart. If you don't know God He is willing in this moment to start an intimate, amazing relationship with you. We were born sinners, separated from God but He didn't create it to be that way, we chose to disobey and sever the relationship that we had with Him. About 2000 years ago He sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to die in our place for our sins so that we could be reconciled to God so that we would have another chance to know the one true God. Jesus is like our bridge to God, we must place our faith in Him and turn from our sins. From there the relationship with God has started, now you are called to live in a different way than you lived before (Ephesians 4:1- 6:9). God is happiness and joy, let's choose this week to renew our relationship with Him. Keep the goal in mind... eternity, with the One who made us.