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-- © GodSpeak International 2007 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: John DeLaughter <john.godspeak@sbcglobal.net>
Editors: Teresa Seputis and Sue Spaulding

Prayer-School Course #38

Praying To Obtain God's Best

By John DeLaughter

Lesson 16

We started looking at brokenness in a previous lesson, and we will continue focusing on it in this lesson. We will look at:

1. The difference between losing faith in God verses brokenness.
2. The role of brokenness in God's plan.

Losing Faith In God vs. Brokenness

Losing faith in God is different from losing faith in oneself. Sometimes we don't doubt what God can do; we doubt whether God can do what He wants to do through us. Another word for losing faith in oneself is brokenness.

Doubt must be distinguished from brokenness: Doubt is a stopping place for God, whereas brokenness is a starting place.


"For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate...for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want... wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:15-24).

Have you ever stood with the Apostle Paul, and shaken your head over a sin you've committed? Hal Lindsey once penned that most Christians live in a cycle of guilt. We sin, then beg forgiveness from God according to the promise of 1 John 1:9, swearing to God that we'll never commit that sin again. Sooner or later, our efforts to turn over a new leaf fail, and we sin again. Satan derides us at our ineffectiveness, whispering, "How long do you think God will let you get away with that?" And the cycle continues.

It doesn't take long before a Christian loses faith in his or herself. Words that begin, "God has a destiny for you..." fall on deaf ears. We think, "How could the Lord ever use a person like me?" The result is that we lose faith in ourselves and become blind to the fact that God often used the greatest sinners in the Bible to accomplish great things for Him. Since we're all sinners (Romans 3:23), He's got nothing else to work with, no one else to work through.

We must be careful not to equate the memories of our sin with the actual sin. The enemy's lie is they are one in the same, when they are not. God has provided a provision for cleansing our sins (1 John 1:9). And beyond that, the Lord promises His helping hand to us when we fall: "The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand" (Psalms 37:23-24)

Teresa Seputis expanded on this point in an encouraging prophecy, briefly excerpted below. (The word was given on Nov 20, 2006 and was entitled "Struggles and Overcoming.")

"Dear child of Mine, don't allow yourself to feel overwhelmed with a sense of failure when an old issue suddenly raises its head in your life again. Yes, I know you thought that you had already gained the victory over it, and I know you are dismayed to see it rise to the surface again. But I say to you: I am not disappointed with you and I am not upset. I am at work in you to transform you and make you even more like My Own dear Son. I am changing you from deep within to more closely resemble My character and My nature; I want you to be more like Me..."

While our sin does cause us to lose faith in ourselves, that sense of loss is not God's last word concerning us. We may feel broken due to our sin, beyond the necessary repairs to be used of God. But, nothing is possible for God.

Brokenness And God's Plan

We often lose faith in ourselves by God's design.

Abraham and Sarah experienced brokenness when the couple passed the age of natural child-bearing. Moses experienced brokenness when he was called to liberate Israel from bondage past his prime. Joseph experienced brokenness when he remained in prison a full two years after he'd hoped that his interpreting the dream of a royal official would win him his freedom.

In each instance, and many others, God's design was for His servant to lose faith in themselves and their abilities. And it was at that place-- place of brokenness--that God could begin to bring His people into their promised and prayed for destinies.

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all" (Psalms 34:18-19).

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise" (Psalms 51:17).

"...He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).

"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself" (John 12:32).

I have included these verses to introduce brokenness. Truth be told, many of us have problems lifting Jesus up, because we're too busy raising up ourselves. There is a difference between selfish promotion and selfless promotion. The natural world and the Bible are loaded with witnesses to how God uses brokenness: A horse must be broken before a cowboy can ride it; an acorn must fall into the ground and die before it yields up a forest of oak trees; every mountain has its share of valleys, and even a high valley is still a valley.

Let's look at another example from Scripture. The Bible said of Moses: "(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth)" (Numbers 12:3). That didn't happen overnight. Moses failed miserably in his own attempt to deliver the Israelites from bondage, then spent the next forty years regretting his actions (Exodus 2:11-15). Out of that place of brokenness, God used Moses. Could God say the same of us? When people think of us, does the word "humble" come to mind?

In the same passage, Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses, arguing that God had spoken through them as well as Moses. Unlike Moses, neither sibling had experienced brokenness, so the slightest accomplishment became the grounds for foolish boasting and arguments. Miriam and Aaron mistook the product of Moses' brokenness as their own. In doing so, they wanted to be as great as Moses. As a result of their complaint, Miriam faced temporary leprosy, and Aaron had to watch his sister undergo that trial because of their joint foolishness.

Many of us are praying and waiting on God to do something big in our lives. We want more of Him. But where is He supposed to go in a life that's all wrapped up in itself? We must be emptied of ourselves before God finds more room for Himself; we must be emptied before we can be filled. God reserves the greatest victories for vessels that have known the greatest brokenness. That's the only way sometimes that the Lord will be able to move beyond our limitations, to do things that bigger than our abilities could ever accomplish. He must bring us to the point where, like the twenty-four elders in heaven, we are willing to give up our crowns to Him (Revelation 4:10). Many of us have problems surrendering up our crowns, as long as we feel they are our accomplishments.

We could be in for a long wait, if we do not understand and embrace brokenness. Brokenness is a bridge to receiving God's best.

-- © GodSpeak International 2007 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

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