God Is Our All in All
Brokenness brings us to the place where we say, “All that matters is God and His presence in my life,” the place where we awaken with God’s purposes in mind, praying, “What do you want me to do, say, and be today in order to bring You glory?” At that point we are in submission: we desire God to produce in us the inner fruit of Christlike character.
The Character of Christ
The fruits of the Spirit described by the apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22-23 ESV and listed here reflect the character of Jesus Christ. His character is marked by these:
- Love: Christlike sacrificial love gives, and then gives more, and then gives still more. When we are following Christ and His example, we can pour out this kind of love on others.
- Joy: Every time we are broken by God and sin is defeated in our lives, joy is the outcome. And when we are full of joy, people notice and are drawn to the Lord, the source of our joy.
- Peace: When we submit our lives completely to Christ, we choose to trust that He is in control, and we are able to rest in His arms. Being at peace in one’s spirit is a countercultural and appealing trait in this pressure-filled world.
- Patience: When we know that we are God’s for all eternity, we are much more inclined to wait on Him for what He has for us in this life, and we can be patient with others who we think are interfering with our plans.
- Kindness: Brokenness brings us to the place where we realize we have no rights; we have turned them over to God. We no longer insist on having our own way or getting what we want when we want it. As a result, we are kinder to others.
- Goodness: When God breaks us, we realize that God alone is good and that the only goodness we have in us is because the Holy Spirit lives in us. The Spirit’s presence in us gives us the desire to do good works, make good decisions, and come up with good solutions. The goodness of God also compels us to look for the good in others and to encourage them, to help those in need, to pray for those who don’t know the Lord, and to seek justice on behalf of those who are oppressed.
- Faithfulness: A broken spirit enables us to say, “I am truly Yours, Lord. You alone are God, and I never want to stray.” The Holy Spirit produces in us a desire to be in close relationship with the Father and to never leave Him, not for a moment. In human relationships, our faithfulness may be evident in our integrity and being true to our word.
- Gentleness: We are able to be gracious and gentle with others when we have experienced brokenness because we recognize that God has been gracious and gentle with us.
- Self-control: When we turn total control of our lives over to God, He gives us self-control, the ability to say no to Satan’s temptations, and the capacity to resist evil. This self-control makes it easier for us to live in a way that honors God and respects others.
In addition to producing this fruit in us, God breaks our voracious hunger to satisfy our own longings and desires. He breaks us so we will want what He wants, and we discover that God wants us to have what we need and what will bring us joy.
Brokenness changes our desires.
The Outer Fruit of God’s Inner Presence
Brokenness causes us to consider the fruitfulness of our witness. The outer fruit that God calls us to produce is to declare His truth and to meet the needs of those we encounter who are in need. We are to be ready witnesses to God’s love and power. We are to reflect God’s compassion with our actions when someone needs help, with our lifestyles as unbelievers watch us, with service that builds up the body of Christ, and with our words when someone asks us about our hope, joy, or love.
Again, the reason for brokenness is so that we might realize that the life we live is not our life: it is Jesus’ life. And we must surrender on a daily basis to the life that He desires to live through us.
Then, what we discover through brokenness is that when we truly submit our will to Jesus’ will and allow Him to work through us, our service to others has much greater power and effectiveness.
The way to the blessing of a new character — the character of the Lord Jesus Christ himself — and of a new power in your personal ministry and service to others is going to be a path that involves brokenness. God has no other plan for us.
Brokenness is His way to blessing.
Excerpted with permission from Finding God’s Blessings in Brokenness by Dr. Charles Stanley, copyright Charles F. Stanley.
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The state of brokenness is not proof that God is mad at you. He allows brokenness in us as a tool to make us more like Himself, more the way we were created to be, less reliant on ourselves, to bring Him glory, and to bless us. Blessing and relationship are always God’s biggest desires for us. Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily