- - Thursday, February 8, 2024

Whether it’s children twerking on TikTok as adults applaud (it’s not cool; it’s sick and perverted), drag queens reading at libraries, pedophiles being protected, enemies entering our borders, musicians worshiping Satan while millions applaud — or an array of other disasters — what’s it going to take to break us?

If you truly care for America, it’s time to look in the mirror and own it. At this stage of spiritual cancer, the only remedy is deep repentance and brokenness over sin.

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Personally, I’m still holding on to God’s words here: “Return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing…” (Joel 2:13-14).

A Proud Church is Not a Powerful Church

In these dire times, why do many Christians reflect the heart of the Laodecians rather than the power of the upper room? We have loud music but little worship, programs but no power, and big voices but little truth.

Where are the weepers and the worshippers like the Prophets who cried out to “return to the Lord,” and pleaded with the people to “walk humbly with your God”? Where are those who follow in the footsteps of Isaiah, who said, “I am undone,” or David, who thanked God for breaking the pride out of him?

Those are the voices God hears. He is no respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of principles, and the principle of brokenness is profound.

We are Going Nowhere Fast

It’s extremely hard watching our nation crumble from within, but do we honestly think that God is pleased with arrogant memes, angry tweets, or bombastic tirades? I can assure you that He is not … something needs to change. We are going nowhere fast.

If we don’t have love and humility, we have nothing (cf. 1 Corinthians 13). Boldness without humility will get us nowhere as our nation continues to spiral out of control.

As Victor Davis Hansen wisely said: “Our descent is self-induced; it is not a symptom of a foreign attack or subterfuge. Our erosion is not the result of poverty and want, but of leisure and excess.”

In the same way that Israel grew fat with food and “abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior” (Deuteronomy 32:15), America is making the same mistake. Our pride has made us fat and full of ourselves. This is why fasting is critical: it starves the flesh in order to be filled with the Spirit. (If you need help in this area, my fasting books are available as free downloads here.)

Repentance, Not Remington

“When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted desires … when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us,” said Oswald Chambers.

I believe that this is EXACTLY what God is doing today. Salvation is not coming on Air Force One. God is trying to wake us up so we draw closer to Him. When we are desperate, God finally has our attention.

Most don’t seek the Lord until there is pressure: “Only when our hand is forced do we yield — when our back is to the wall and our fleshly attempts at deliverance are all washed away,” according to Michael Catt. But surprisingly, our nation’s crisis is not driving us to our knees but to the gun store. We’re not using heavenly ammunition (2 Corinthians 10:4), but trusting in Smith & Wesson.

The Blessing of Brokenness

I’ll never forget the day I read the following quote by A.W. Tozer over two decades ago: “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.”

I was going through a very difficult season and I soon realized that God was breaking me down to build me up. I was at a turning point: I could become bitter and resentful or humble myself and grow from the experience.

And this is where the majority of Christians find themselves today: Instead of getting better, we become bitter. Instead of humbling ourselves, we become more arrogant. Instead of emptying ourselves to be filled with the Spirit, we are full of pride and selfish ambition. THIS MUST CHANGE!

The Shepherd of the Shattered

But be encouraged, broken crowns still color. God is the Shepherd of the shattered and the rebuilder of the broken. God breaks us to rebuild us but we must humble ourselves so the Potter can shape the clay, or an eleven day journey through the wilderness may take us forty years (cf. Joshua 5:6).

We must let our pain crucify our pride. He rebuilds the broken, elevates the humble, and restores the wounded. We can rebuild the breach and strengthen what remains but we must pray this today: “O God, take me, break me, and make me.”

The clock is ticking — being broken by God is our only hope!

This article was taken from the sermon, “God Breaks You to Make You”, watch it here for more on this very important topic.

Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, just North of Los Angeles. Shane’s sermons, articles, books, and radio program can all be found at shaneidleman.com or wcfav.org. He is the author of “Feasting & Fasting,” “If My People, Desperate for More of God,” and “Help! I’m Addicted.” Follow him on Facebook at: facebook.com/confusedchurch. You can also follow Pastor Shane on Instagram @shaneidleman and Twitter (X) @IdlemanShane

 

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