Summary: The marriage is over, the job is lost, the investments are spent, the pregnancy has been terminated; we know that this is not what God wants for us; but, what has happened cannot be undone. - Now what?

19, February 2006

Dakota Community Church

In Broken Places


Life does not always turn out as we plan it.

Many things can go wrong and we can find ourselves in a place that is far from what we originally felt was the will of God for us.

- The plan that Jake and Chris and I had for this church plant is an example.

- In this room many marriages are an example.

We often talk about how we get off track or how to avoid getting off track, but:

This morning I want to talk about what to do when we are already off track.

What does God want us to do when we realize that we are away from the place we wanted to be?

1. Come to Him.

I don’t know why it is, most likely it is part of the deception, but when we get off track we tend to either blame God or think that he would never want us in the filthy mess we have become and so we avoid the only source of life we have.

Luke 15:17-21

"When he came to his senses, he said, ’How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father.

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

- When the hangover subsides, come to Him.

- When you’ve lost it at the kids again, come to Him.

- When you’ve visited that website again, come to Him.

- When the job falls through, come to Him

Matthew 11:28-30

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Listen to the words Jesus uses to describe himself and his approach to us when we are beaten down with the burdens of life:

- Gentle

- Humble in heart – find rest – easy – light.

That brings us to the next point. After you have come to Him and found rest:

2. Forgive yourself.

In the story of the prodigal he comes to himself. He has a moment of sudden realization.


Romans 8:1-2

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

1 John 3:21-22

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask; because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.

Psalm 103:12

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Roll John Eldredge clip. Here I showed a clip of the Epic DVD.


James Garfield was a lay preacher and principal of his denominational college. They say he was ambidextrous and could simultaneously write Greek, with one hand and Latin with the other.

In l880, he was elected president of the United States, but after only six months in office, he was shot in the back with a revolver. He never lost consciousness. At the hospital, the doctor probed the wound with his little finger to seek the bullet. He couldn’t find it, so he tried a silver-tipped probe. Still he couldn’t locate the bullet.

They took Garfield back to Washington, D.C. Despite the summer heat, they tried to keep him comfortable. He was growing very weak. Teams of doctors tried to locate the bullet, probing the wound over and over. In desperation they asked Alexander Graham Bell, who was working on a little device called the telephone, to see if he could locate the metal inside the president’s body. He came, he sought, and he too failed. The president hung on through July, through August, but in September he finally died-not from the wound, but from infection. The repeated probing, which the physicians thought would help the man, eventually, killed him. So it is with people who dwell too long on their sin and refuse to release it to God. - Roger Thompson

3. Live well.

Read Jeremiah 29:1-13

Jeremiah 29: 5-7

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