Summary: This sermon is about realizing the real blessing of God, which is God’s unmerited grace in our lives.
"A Break and A Blessing: Part II" - Genesis 32:24-32
Pastor A. L. Torrence,
Cross of Life Lutheran Church
Last week, we learned that God had wrestled with brother Jacob all night long until the breaking of day. We learned that god had struggle with Jacob until a breaking had occurred in his life. It was a breaking of his will, a breaking of his pride, and a breaking of his selfishness. It wasn’t until Jacob was broken that he became blessed. And, I yet believe that until we are broken, we will not become truly blessed. Until the spirit of the living God has fallen fresh on us, breaking us, melting us, molding us, and filling us – we will not have truly experienced the showers of blessing from God. Until we have said, “Have thine own way Lord, Have thine own way, thou art the potter, I am the clay, mold me and make me, after thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still.” Until we have given up our own will for God’s will for our lives – we will continue experiencing a mediocre existence.
We must be broken. Oh we can come to Jesus as we are, but when he enters our hearts we become new creations, old things are passed away and behold all things – all things – all things –have become new. The old stuff has been broken away and the new stuff has been graphed into our lives. There is just no doubt about it – we must be broken. We must allow God to have his way in our lives. Like Abraham who endured the brokenness of sacrificing his son, Isaac, we to must be willing to sacrifice. Like the Hebrew children, who endured God breaking them while the wilderness, we too must allow God to shape us while undergoing the challenges of our community. Like the disciples who had to break away from homes and families and follow Jesus, we too must learn to trust that if we follow Christ, he will not only give us our daily bread but he will supply our every need. We must be broken.
We must present our bodies as living sacrifices holy and acceptable to God with is our spiritual worship. We must come as a sacrifice, which according to David, the sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart – we must be broken. Only then can our high priest present us faultless before the presence of God. Only then can we worship god in truth and in spirit. We must be broken.
And I am convinced that the reason many of us are hindered in worship and in our service for God is due to the fact that we have not allowed God break us. The reason many of us are still climbing the rough side of the mountain rather than saying to the mountain – move – and it moving - is because we have not been broken. There are just some things in us God wants to break away but we are struggling against him to hold on to. God wants to break down our social barriers but we are still holding on to our prejudices and stereotypes. He wants to tear down our political walls, but we are still grasping onto our personal agendas. He wants to break through our financial boundaries, but we are still clutching onto our wallets and pocket books. God wants to break us be we are like Paul -kicking against the pricks –struggling against God’s will- rather than striving in God’s will. And we must realize that until we end the struggle against God, then can we begin to strive with him. Then, we can begin to see his blessings in our lives. God wants to take us to a new level but we must be willing to break.
Think about it! How can God bless us with more members when we won’t talk and socialize with the ones with have? Why would God give more ministries to perform when we don’t faithfully support the ones we have? Why should God show up in our worship services when we can’t get on time to meet him? How can God give us more financial blessings when he can trust us to tithe with what we already have? That would be like giving a bank robber not only the cash out of the safe but the combination to the safe so that He could come back that steal again. Until we are willing to be broken, we will not and cannot receive the real blessings of God.
You see many of us are making the mistake that Jacob made in his life. We are associating that which we have acquired through scrimping and scrapping, lying and cheating, conning and scheming with the promised blessings from God. When we think of counting our blessings. We count the family that’s dysfunctional, the car that sometimes don’t work, the house with the balloon mortgage we can’t pay, and the job we can’t stand. For us, blessings tend to be weighed in our wealth, power, and influence. And the little we have, we are struggling so hard to keep regardless of how it may be holding us back from achieving our potential. Instead of holding to God’s unchanging hand, we are holding on to our talents, our time, and our tithes. But until like Jacob you put your relationship with god first before your family, friends, and possessions you will not be blessed.