Improve your sermon prep with our brand new study tools! Learn all about them here.
Text Illustrations
I read the story of a twenty-six year old school teacher who had never been married. She said that when she was a little girl her parents had divorced and her mother had gone to live in a far away state while she had stayed with her father who was a physician. She said, “I spent my whole life trying to please that man. No matter what I did it wasn’t good enough.” She said, “I’d come home from school and try to prepare a nice meal and he’d get home and find something wrong with it. I’d spend all day Saturday cleaning the house and he’d come home finding something wrong. I’ve spent my whole life trying to get a few crumbs of love and acceptance from his table.” Now, teaching school, but still unmarried she said, “I desperately want to be married and no one will marry me.’ Why not, she was asked? “When I start dating someone, I’m such a needy, grasping person that they can’t stand the intensity of the relationship. I just smother them and I just want and want and want until they just can’t satisfy me. She said, I even compromise myself in order to get my needs met. The leader of the group asked, “Have you given up all rights and surrendered yourself totally to the Lord, have you given up all rights to be loved by people? She said, “Why would God ask that of me?” She went into a corner of the room & started beating the walls with her fist saying, “why would God ask that of me, doesn’t He know that’s what I need more than anything else!” She struggled for a while, fighting a tremendous war with the Holy Spirit. Then she came and sat down saying, “You know, I have nothing to lose. This trying to get my needs met my way hasn’t worked. And she got on her knees, gave up all rights to be loved, trusting that Christ would meet her need for love and acceptance. A letter came to the leader a couple weeks later saying she was on the way home when God met her and He filled her with enough love for herself and enough to give away. In fact, she took her class of children out to the top of a hill and they slid down the hill on snow by the seat of her pants, laughing hysterically and the kids even came up to her at the bottom of the hill saying, “What’s wrong with you, we’ve never seen you this way before. She said I’ve never experienced such freedom. Well, when Christ went to the cross, the Lord had to give up all rights to be loved. And then of course, God highly exalted him. You see, brokenness comes before the exaltation.