I recently I heard a teaching by Dr. Tony Evans on the life of Jacob (renamed Israel) which gave me new insight on brokenness. One of my “takeaways” was Dr. Evans’ definition of brokenness , “being stripped of self-sufficiency.” Immediately, the “why” question cropped up. Why would God want to strip me (us) of the self-sufficiency that most of us have aspired to achieve since young adulthood?
As always, one question leads to another. lol And when contemplating the wisdom of God, questions inevitably become more introspective. So here are few queries I had for myself when observing the plight of Jacob, the trickster.
- Can I accept that some thing, some relationship, some habit, some personality trait, some goal that I have set up for myself may NOT fit God’s plan or timing for my life?
- And do I trust God enough NOT to fight to hold on to what He is trying to move or change?
- Can I accept that it is God’s Plan is to change me (us) into the image of His beloved Son, Jesus?
- Do I associate the words surrender and obedience with the negative traits like weakness and vulnerability?
These questions are personal to the reader but the last question has already been answered. Because Paul said, when I am weak, I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10) and we live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
There are times when God allows us to exercise our Faith by stretching to such extremes where it appears that we won’t survive. In those times we are often blind to the action of God until He chooses to reveal His work to us. In that gap called faith, we rely on the character and the sovereignty of our loving Father.
So what did Jacob do? He passionately pursued God and all that God had for him. Jacob said, I will not let go until you bless me Lord!
And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. __Genesis 32:24-29KJV
Like Jacob, to be useful to God, we must be broken. Our name is changed from trickster to prince; from independent to obedient, from me-centered to God-centered. God breaks us like the bread and pours us out like new wine to share us with the world.
To one on the Christian path, the question is : Will I allow God to break me?