For those of you have read my last two posts "Lord, Search Me" and "Lord, Break Me," I hope you have been encouraged by and edified by them. Now it's time for the last installment in this three-part devotional series. This one is called "Lord, Send Me." After the Lord searches our hearts and breaks us down to purge out from us those toxic things that are hurting us, He sends us out to share with people whatever He wants us to share (a message centered around the Gospel) and to help people in practical ways to share His love. (Feel free to use this for a Bible study group or for your own personal devotional time.)
Think About It:
The histories of men and women who have responded to God’s call have one thing in common. They have all encountered a personal transforming vision of God. For some it was like Isaiah, Moses, or Paul, who were given literal visions of God. For others, it was a vision that was the result of spiritual insight and revelation of who God is through His Word and Spirit. We see this referred to in 2 Corinthians 3:18, where it declares we are those “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image.” Ephesians 1:17-18 and 3:18-19 refer to seeing God through revelation and spiritual understanding that is given by God deep within our spirit. May each one of us see, in Isaiah’s renewed call, our own call to be sent as a prophetic voice within our sphere of influence and beyond.
Name a place you would love to be sent to and a place you would never want to be sent to. Why?
Talk about the last time you felt compelled to do something out of the norm. How did you respond? Could it have been God sending you?
Read Jonah 1:1-3, Exodus 3:10, and Isaiah 6:1-8. At the present time, do you most identify with Jonah, Moses, or Isaiah? What might be keeping you from fully surrendering to God?
Just like brokenness, being sent is not a one-time experience. God may require it of us many times and in many different ways. To what or where are you being sent?
Why is it so important for us to genuinely identify with the sins of those we are trying to bring to repentance and faith in God?
If you are unable to abandon yourself to God’s call, what steps do you need to take to get past that?
Lord, Thank You for calling us to a life during which we are to be sent by You to do Your will. Your will is to ultimately see Your kingdom come in the Earth. You desire that people who have an understanding of Your amazing love for us are willing to go out and show people the power of a relationship with You. For us to help others to see humanity’s need for You daily, help us to first come to the end of ourselves. You have searched us and shown us our pride and sinful ways. You have broken us and are putting us back together the way You see fit. Now please give us a heart of compassion for a lost and dying world. Anoint us in a fresh way and allow each of us to say like Isaiah, “Here I am, send me.” Thank You for working through us and all around us to see the fulfillment of Your will, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” The secret of being blessed by God is to participate in His agenda for the world - to be a part of what he is accomplishing on earth. Instead of praying, “God bless what I want to do” pray “God help me to do what you’re blessing!” Each morning pray “Father, I know you’re going to doing some amazing things in the world today, and I’d like the privilege of being included in some of them.”
Fulfilling the mission you were made for will require you to abandon your agenda and adjust to Gods agenda.
Read the following scriptures about people who surrendered to God leading and call.
Matthew 28:16-20, Luke 1:35-38, Hebrews 11:8-12, Romans 10:13-15
What will be your first step of obedience to His call this week?
If you read my last post that served as a devotional, then you know that I said I'll be doing a few of these devotionals over a couple days' time. My last entry was about the Lord searching our hearts daily. This devotional is about the importance of the Lord breaking us from time to time. Once the Lord has searched our hearts and reveals to us the areas of our lives that need to be worked on, and once we submit ourselves to Him, He takes us through a breaking process during which He purges out of us those things that are hindering our growth and development in Him. Moreover, it's not just God breaking us, but it's also us learning how to pour out our lives in such a way that it resembles one pouring out everything from a vessel. We learn what it means to live broken lives. It's not that we are to be messed up people, obviously, but we are to live sacrificial lives for the sake of being a blessing to people whom God places in our lives. (Feel free to use this for a Bible study group or for your own personal devotional time.)
Think About It:
We all have at least one thing in our lives that God wants out of our lives. At the same time, we all need at least one thing that God is trying to put in our lives. Through a breaking process, God reveals Himself to us in such a way that we realize that the thing(s) we thought we needed are actually holding us back from truly connecting with God on a deeper level. Moreover, during that same process, God shows us what we truly need, and we begin to understand how gaining what we lacked can help us to draw near to God. The true test in a time of breaking is what hard decisions we must make in order to please God. If you are worried about how your life will be after you are broken, be encouraged. God has a way of working through broken things in miraculous ways. God uses ordinary, broken people every day to spread the Gospel and to do other great things that bring Him glory. God wants to use people who are passionate about allowing God to work in them so that He can work through them.
What is something you hate to see get poured out or wasted?
Read Mark 14:3-5, 22-25. What point do you think Mark was trying to make by putting the stories of the woman and of the Passover next to each other?
Are you trying to stay strong in an area of weakness or hold on to something you need to pour out? What’s keeping you from giving it all to God?
Read Psalm 119:67, 71, and 75. How is affliction beneficial to us?
What is one area in your life that God is breaking down? What is one area in which you need to ask Him to begin tearing walls down?
Describe what a broken and poured out life could look like.
How has God used broken areas from your past to help others?
Lord, thank You for revealing Yourself to us each day. Thank You for giving us the courage to pray a dangerous prayer like “search me.” Now please give us the courage to pray this, “Lord, break me.” Forgive us for holding on to the things we need to pour out or let go of. Help us to surrender all to You. Break us. Break our hearts for what breaks Yours. Then break us, build us up again, and cause us to run after You like never before. You are the Potter, and we are the clay. Break us, shape us, and mold us however You wish. Thank You, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Consider something in your life that needs to be poured out to God. Empty every last drop of what needs to be poured out for God and leave it there at His feet this week. Start each day by seeking God first and as you seek Him for direction, ask Him to give you opportunities to rely on His strength alone. It might not be easy, but remember, it will be worth it.
(Some of the preceding questions and statements have been taken from www.life.church.)
Over the next couple of days, I'll be sharing some devotional type of material my wife and I put together some time ago that I hope will be a source of encouragement and perhaps even a challenge to many people. This first one is about how we need to invite the Lord Jesus in to search our hearts, not just in big moments in our lives, but every day, so we can stay on track with regard to where He wants us to be so we can please Him. (Feel free to use this in a Bible study group or for your own personal devotional time.)
Think About It:
The greatest encouragement for the believer in Christ Jesus is to enter into the presence of an all-seeing, all-knowing God who knows us intimately. Because we have been justified by grace though faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ, and the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we can stand in His light and be examined by His holy presence. We can allow Him to examine our thoughts, attitudes and heart's desires and then "bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). Let’s have a willingness to put away anything which is grievous to God and to His Spirit and be directed by the Word of God in our daily living.
What difference do you see between what you feel when you are hiding something versus when you can openly share things about yourself?
Read Jeremiah 17:10. What does this show you about your relationship with God?
Read Psalm 139:23. David used the word “search” meaning to explore, dig, probe, examine, and investigate. From this Scripture we know that God will show us our hearts, our fears, and our sins.
How might how often we pray and/or the kinds of prayers we pray reveal the state of our spiritual health?
Have you ever been afraid to pray bold prayers? How might your life be different if you begin to pray with increased boldness?
Lord thank You that You are the God of truth. Thank you that Your Word "is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart," according to Hebrews 4:12. We know that nothing is hidden from You, especially not our hearts. Forgive us if we have tried to hide from You in any way. Give us the courage to come to You with humility and honesty with regards to the condition of our hearts. Transform our hearts so they are receptive to what You want to do in us to transform our very lives. Thank You, in Jesus Name, Amen.
Psalm 139:23: Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Why is it important to pray this scripture? Because our hearts and lives quickly get cluttered up with dirt, dust and rubbish. It is so easy for us to let wrong things in and to harbor them. It is easy for us to become slack and careless and spiritually insensitive. It is easy to become guilty of wrong attitudes towards others, to become prayerless, to become careless about the desperate need of men and women around us who are without God and without hope for this life and for the life to come. It is easy to become formal in our worship; to become lukewarm in our love for the Lord Jesus. These are the reasons why we should pray David’s prayer, that God will reveal to us our sin and our failure and that He will be unsparing and faithful in doing so.
As God reveals things to you, do the following:
You will benefit from this spiritual heart examination. God will show you your heart, what you fear, where you have fallen short and missed the mark, and how to operate in the power to live victoriously.
I just want to encourage and inspire as many people as I can for Jesus Christ.