Today’s Scripture:  “10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”  2 Corinthians 7:10

Introduction:

It’s good to finally be able to resume our series, and get back to writing these messages.  I know that lately my days seem a little strange when I don’t take time to write a message, but part of living the surrendered life is knowing that it’s good to take a step back.  Especially when you rely upon the Holy Ghost to help you do something…like write messages.

Since starting this I’ve learned there is a definite difference between messages that I try to write on my own abilities…and the messages I write when I am able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit…and allow Him to speak through me.

You know, that’s one of those things that comes as a result of learning to be submitted and surrendered to the Lord…and it’s one of those things that I’m still learning to do…and what a surrendered life really looks like…and how it applies to my life both as a believer trying to do his best to live a life that’s somewhat pleasing to the Lord, and as a servant hoping to one day hear the words:  “well done”.

So…let’s get into today’s message.  We’ve a few messages to write over the next couple of days to get us caught up so we finish this series on time.

Today’s Message:

People watching is a hobby of mine. Don’t let that stir a panic in you. I’m not a weirdo or a stalker. I just enjoy the human race. What they say, what they don’t say, the color of their eyes, the length of their hair, how confident they are by the way they carry themselves, how nervous they are because they lack said confidence.

This is funny because I do the same thing.  I kind of learned that from my dad who when we’d go out to eat liked to sit where he had a view of everything in the restaurant.  Today…I like to do the same thing.  It’s probably another one of those attention to detail things within me that my time in the United States Marine Corps perfected.  As a recruit one of the jobs of my drill instructors was to observe weakness and exploit it so that we could learn to overcome them…and work to be stronger in those areas.

You know something…this is also something the devil likes to do with us…isn’t it.  He likes to go around pointing out things that we’ve done or are still doing, but the problem for him is that by exploiting our past and our weaknesses he allows us the ability to take those things to the Lord…and ask Him for help, grace, and mercy to overcome those things.  So, even when the devil thinks he’s got us by reminding us of failures, sins, and weaknesses…he hasn’t got anything on us because we can take those things to the Lord…and have Him turn them into good.  (Another Romans 8:28 reference).

The greatest thing I’ve heard said about that is that whenever the devil gets to reminding us of our past…we have the ability and the authority to remind him of his future…Amen!?!

Not only do I like do sit and watch, I also like to sit and listen. I’ve grown a lot during my 30s. So much so that instead of monopolizing a conversation, I actually enjoyed listening to others more. No matter their age, demographic or intellect. I believe I can learn something from everyone…good or bad. In all of this, one of the things that I’ve learned about people is that some people are broken and some people are not.

What Cindy says here reminds me of one of my favorite Proverbs, and something I usually say in response when people remark at how quiet I can be at times.  “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”  Proverbs 10:19 (KJV)Solomon later repeats this here:  “For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.” Ecclesiastes 5:3 (KJV)

I find it interesting that the Holy Spirit led Solomon to say that twice.  I have learned to refrain my lips for the most part, but like most of us there’s still a lot of areas and room for growth.  However, I’m one of those that’s not particularly good at “small talk”.  I’m not necessarily sure why I’m the way I am, but I guess that’s one of those things I’ll be able to ask the Lord about some day.  I can see it now.  I’ll be standing there with Jesus and ask Him:  “Lord, why didn’t you give me the gift of gab?  LOL.”

However, in having the wisdom to shut up some times is going to come in handy because Cindy is about to unpack what she said for us:

Allow me to unpack this for you:

Broken people don’t focus on the sins and issues of others. No, they are so aware of their need for a Savior that they work on themselves. Broken people don’t demand their rights. No, they often lay them down. Broken people don’t dodge responsibility for their actions. No, they are fully willing to accept the consequences of their sin.

The first thought I have when I read this is:  Lord…I want to be more broken.  Because in what she says I see some characteristics of brokenness that allow for us to have a deeper and more intimate relationship with the Lord.  Now…let me unpack this for you.

>Characteristics of Brokenness<

  1. “Broken people don’t focus on the sins and issues of others…they are so aware of their need for a Savior that they work on themselves.”
  2. “Broken people don’t demand their rights. No, they often lay them down. “
  3. “Broken people don’t dodge responsibility for their actions. No, they are fully willing to accept the consequences of their sin.

Let’s take these one at a time…shall we?  I know this is turning into a rather long message…but I believe it’s going to be pretty good.

Characteristic #1…Broken people are so aware of their need for a Savior that they work on themselves.

It’s hard to not point out the plank in someone else’s eye…isn’t it.  We get exposed to a little truth of the Word of God, and instead of using it to look internally, and apply it to our lives…we look externally to see who needs to apply it to their lives.

Broken people…and dare I say surrendered people don’t do that.  Why?  I can only speak for myself, and what I can tell you is that I know from where and from what God’s delivered me from…therefore I have no right to look at anyone else’s life with a critical or judgmental spirit.

I can admit that I have a struggle in areas where I have pet peeves when it comes to the body of Christ, and learning how to rebuke them in love and not out of frustration.  Jesus constantly rebuked people, but even when He did that He rebuked them out of a motive and heart of love…and that’s one of those things I’m seeking of the Lord these days…is to make sure that everything I do…whether it’s a rebuke or encouragement is to make sure my motive for doing so is always love…and His love.

Characteristic #2…Broken people lay down their rights.

This is the most difficult part of the surrendered life because we can find it so easy to lay our lives down, and then pick them back up again.  This is yet another area where I too need to grow up in, and realize that the best place for my life is to be laid down upon the altar and feet of Jesus.

No one…especially God…owes me anything.  Truth be told it’s the exact opposite.  I own God everything, and that means my entire life.  It’s hard to leave your entire life at the altar…and not pick it back up again.

The key part to the surrendered life is the surrender of self, but we tend to be so selfish…don’t we?  I’m speaking this to myself too.  In fact, if we’re honest…this is the main area all of us need to grow up in…and is also the one area where we aren’t going to master or get a 100% in…not to say it’s impossible…because with God all things are possible…but I believe this is one of those things I’m going to have to work out daily.

Characteristic #3…Broken people are willing to accept the consequences for sin.

There’s no finger-pointing when it comes to God.  That’s something that we ought to have learned from the first Adam.  Instead of taking responsibility for taking the bite from the forbidden fruit…he pointed his finger both at Eve…and also at God.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s exactly what Adam said when God confronted him about his sin:

And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. Genesis 3:12 (KJV)

What Adam did was dodge his responsibility for his sin and disobedience to God.  Not only did he point the finger at Eve, but he pointed the finger at God.  I don’t know if things would’ve ended differently if Adam would’ve owned up, been more broken, and instead of pointing the finger outward…pointed it at himself and said:  “I ate of the fruit that You said not to.  I knew better, but still chose to disobey Your Word.”

Listen…here’s the truth.  When we stand before God we’re going to give an account for our lives…no one else’s.  So, when we miss it while we’re here…it’s just good practice to admit it, confess it, and repent of it…Amen!?!

Is this okay?  Is this making sense?  Is anyone getting hit by these characteristics?  Am I the only one who reads these, and thinks that I can always stand to be more broken?

I’ve heard more stories than I care to relate to you about people who can’t or won’t take responsibility for what they’ve done. They play the blame game and run like crazy until they are far from the situation. If you’ve fallen into sin, own it. Even if you feel like you did something because of someone or because that someone didn’t meet your needs.

Newsflash: You sinned. You made the choice to sin. You need to make it right. No matter what anyone else did first. You are still responsible for you!

There’s the confirmation right there.  I promise you that I didn’t read this before I wrote what I just said about the final characteristic.  I’ve even been one of those who refused to take responsibility for some of the sins in my life.  That’s certainly changed now, but there was a time when I did my best to dodge the responsibility for my sin…and place it on someone else.

So…I don’t know about you, but to me this message has made me see that I can always stand to be more broken before God…and that there’s always more of myself that I need to lay down…anyone else get that feeling from today’s message?

“No matter what anyone else did first. You are still responsible for you!”…Amen!?!

Points for Pondering:

  • Do you find that you dodge responsibility for your actions?
  • Do you ever blame someone else for your sinful actions?

Be A Doer Not Just A Reader:

  • Spend some time with the Father today and ask Him to reveal to you why you take this path so often.

Conclusion & Prayer:

This is the kind of message that makes you think, and want to be better for the Lord.  I know that this message makes me realize that I can always find room to have more brokenness in my life and in my heart.  I’m reminded again of my pastor saying: Zeal without knowledge always leads to error.

I don’t want to be in error, and I don’t want there to be areas in my heart that can stand for more brokenness…but the simple truth is…there will always be areas in my heart that can be more broken and surrendered…and that’s the point of us being brought to this series about Living the Surrendered Life…because in so many ways I still don’t quite know what that is or looks like because I still have so many ways and areas that need to be surrendered.

Oh Lord…thank You for leading us to this series by Your Spirit.  Help us…Lord God…to become more broken and surrendered that we may be more useful to You…and above all…Lord God…help us to get to the place where all we do is out of a motive of love…Your love…in Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen