Message From Matt | July 6, 2018

Staying Broken!
I did something this week that I’ve been needing to do for quite a long time…I cleaned and organized my garage!  I don’t mean that I just swept the floor and moved a few things around; no, I tossed out things that I didn’t want, then straightened, swept, and reorganized everything else.  After the job was done, I was hot and dirty, but I was happy!  In fact, I walked into the garage several times afterwards not to get something but just so I could look and admire how nice and neat the garage was!  It felt good to have everything in its place and to walk around the cars and not have bikes to dodge or basketballs to trip over.  On top of that, the floor was clean and the walls were organized with everything  in its proper place!  It’s amazing how a clean and organized garage can make me happy!  
It was in that moment of happiness that the thought came to me, “This looks good now, but the challenge will be to keep it looking this good!”  
That really is the challenge!  The sad truth is that deep cleaning and reorganizing the garage is something that I do at least once a year.  Although I enjoy the times when it’s clean, it can easily become dirty, dusty and disorganized and before I know it, the garage can be “out of control”…again!  I again asked myself, “Why don’t I just keep it clean and organized all the time”???

I think that this same thought can apply to many things in our lives.  Whether it’s our diet, our exercise program, or how we manage our money, I think that many of us can start off well but eventually stop having the same intensity and drive to keep it going.  Maybe that’s just life!  Maybe, it’s just a normal thing that we all go through due to our lack of perfection!  Or maybe we need to focus on being more disciplined in our lives to keep doing the things that we should do!

When it comes to brokenness I think that we can have similar struggles.  There are times in our lives that God can show us things that need to be broken in us and we respond to Him with complete surrender.  When those times do happen, the “sweetness” of the presence of God is so good!  God’s mercy and grace is realized more and our level of peace goes up!  When this happens, it feels great, but if we are not careful, this same sweetness can slip away and when that happens we ask ourselves, “ Why can’t I keep this going?

Actually, we can!  How?

I think the secret to success is not a secret at all…it’s staying close to God!  

Look at what David wrote in  Psalm 34:18“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”   James states in James 4:8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.  Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Our daily duty is to stay close to God!  We are not supposed to be double minded and have one foot in the world and one foot on God’s side.  We are supposed to be completely on His side and by His side.  He is constant and does not change.  When we feel like we are apart from Him it is because we change.  Because we stop coming close to Him.  We stop doing the things that helped us stay broken before!  
What about you?  Are you coming closer to God today or are you going farther away from Him?  If you are going farther away, then do some spiritual garage cleaning!  Throw out the junk that doesn’t need to be in there and put things in their right place.  God is here for you!  He is the one that said “…I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”(Joshua 1:5)  We are the ones that move away from Him!  If you want the sweetness of His presence and peace that a surrendered life brings, then always stay close to God.  Spend time with Him each day in prayer and reading the Word!  Ask God to show you what needs to be cleaned up in you and reorganized!  Ask Him what needs to be thrown out!  He will show you and you will be better for it!  

Let’s be broken to us and filled with Him…always!

When God takes us through a period of brokenness, it is never a fun feeling but it has great results.