Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Break (02/06/06)
TITLE: The Willingness To Have God Break Us
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It can be safely assumed that we have not, as of yet, been broken by God as long as we consider ourselves worthy or possessing the means to accomplish anything in the spiritual realm independently of His power (John 15:5). We inherited (1Cor. 15: 22) a nature that is “hostile (Rom. 8:7 NIV) towards God and the things of God and is incapable of doing anything about it apart from God.
Repentance, preached by John the Baptist, speaks of changing one’s mind. The mindset that needs to be changed is the “hostile (Rom. 8: 7NIV)” one that we inherited. The pride and arrogance of this inherent mindset is what influences us to believe that we not only can, but also must do something in order to either obtain and/or retain salvation. It is for this reason that religion appeals to the fallen nature within us, as what it promotes APPEARS to provide the means and opportunity to do just that.
The breaking of this inherent mindset, as it applies to salvation, requires that we recognize our own worthlessness and inability and then replace it with the all-sufficient righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ to secure salvation and power of God the Holy Spirit enabling us to execute the post-salvation spiritual life. Religion, that being all that Man has attempted to add to and take from what is found in the Word of God, is all about what WE must do (or not do) in order to please God. Spirituality is all about believing in what God has already done to provide for salvation that cannot be lost and to execute the post-salvation spiritual life via the filling (control) of God the Holy Spirit.
Even the ability to hear (with our souls) and respond to the Gospel Message is not of our own doing, but is the pre-salvation work and ministry of God the Holy Spirit. The ONLY involvement in the salvation process that we have is to exercise the free will that God gave us to either believe or to reject His one and only means of salvation (John 3: 18).
Once we have been broken of the inherent mindset regarding salvation and have been born again, we are then called to the post-salvation spiritual life that follows. Being broken in order to be saved is much easier than being broken during the course of the post-salvation spiritual life that follows. Being broken for salvation cost us nothing and offered us everything in the spiritual realm, whereas discipleship may cost us many things that we formerly held dear in the natural realm (Luke 14:26).
As we spiritually mature by daily learning and applying the “mind of Christ (1Cor. 2: 16 NIV)”, we soon learn that the brokenness that is required to execute the post-salvation spiritual life is NOT like the one-time brokenness required for salvation, but rather a life-long process as we “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Savior Jesus Christ (2Pet. 3: 18 NIV).”
We must be willing to have God break the influence of the fallen nature within us in the area(s) that He brings to our attention, but this will NOT be a pleasant experience (Heb.12: 11). If the issue is pride, expect humiliation. If the issue is not forgiving others, expect the need for forgiveness yourself. If the issue is materialism, expect loss or the loss of enjoyment in the things you possess or possess you. God’s has an antidote for every form of poison that the sin nature produces. What we refuse to learn by instruction, God will use experience (Heb.12: 6, 7).
In salvation the issue of brokenness relates to any attempts to be saved or remain saved via human effort. In discipleship, brokenness is required if we are to continue to overcome the influence of the fallen nature within and submit to the control of God the Holy Spirit as we grow in His grace and knowledge (2Pet.3: 18) and apply what we know to what we do (James 1: 22).
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