A Beautiful Mess

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-- These, O God, You will not despise.”

Psalm 51:17  


Have you ever seen those ‘before and after’ pictures of someone who has gone through a transformation? Some are not even recognizable due to the extreme change they have undergone. It seems the worse off a person is, the more likely they are a candidate for whatever the offer is regarding the transformation. No weight loss company uses a person who lost a whopping 3 pounds in a year for an advertisement campaign.

Broken, weak, and seemingly undesirable people make for the best transformations in the kingdom of God. What is true in the world of advertising is equally true within the Christian life as well. 1 Corinthians 1:27-31 puts it like this, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption-- that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD." The focus of the worlds idea of transformation is individual accomplishment where as the focus of biblical transformation is the Lord and His glory.

God majors in transformation and is seeking people to change from the inside out. The world focuses on external’s thinking if you change the outside of a person they will feel better on the inside. At best this provides temporal satisfaction. The transformation God seeks is one that focuses entirely on the inside so that it is clear our value isn’t in the external and the temporal but in the internal and eternal.
It was Charles Spurgeon who once said, “God can use inferior persons for grand purposes. He has often done so. Go into his armory and see how he has worked by flies and lice, by worms and caterpillars, by frogs and serpents. His greatest victories were won by a hammer and a tent pin, by an ox goad, by the jawbone of an ass, by a sling and a stone, and such like. His greatest prophets at the first tried to excuse themselves on the ground of unfitness.”

When Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven..” He wasn’t saying shine the light on yourself but rather allow the light to shine forth from within yourself so people can see that it was God who made the good works possible. And here is the beautiful catch. The more broken you are the more light you shine forth. The world reflects an external light source, a beauty that is temporal at best where as the light that Jesus speaks of originates from God and comes from within and shines forth through all the areas of our lives where we are weak, broken, humble and still open.  

Remember the story of Gideon in Judges 7 when God whittled down the Israel army to just 300 men to go up against a countless number of Midianites and the Amalekites in battle. There is no way 300 men could physically match up with an army of thousands and yet that’s exactly the battle plan God called for so that there would be no way the men of Israel could take credit for the victory the Lord was going to provide Gideon. To top it off the victory was won when the enemy saw the lights of the torches in the broken vessels shinning forth in the darkness. Not knowing that each man in the Lord’s army had a torch in hand, the Midianites and Amalekites mistook one man for a legion of warriors and due to their occult beliefs and practices and the mistrust they had of their fellow man they turned their swords on one another, devouring one another. Yes, loved one, the battle isn’t to the strongest, the battle is the Lord’s.

You were chosen by God loved. Not because of your external beauty, nor because of your intellectual prowess. You were chosen by God so that in your brokenness, and in all the area’s of your weakness God could show His strength. The transformation that takes place in each of us happens as we cease to trust ourselves and instead firmly place our faith, hope and trust in God. As we learn to do that the world takes notice that our strength isn’t our own but comes from God. The more flawed we are, the weaker we appear and the more broken we become only serve to make us more useful to God as the apostle Paul would come to know when he declared the words of God, “And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." And then went on to declare with joy, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).    

If you are in Christ today you have the joy of proclaiming you are a glorious mess!  Isn’t that what the apostle Paul was proclaiming in 2 Corinthians 4:7 when he penned the words, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” Clay pots, broken cisterns that may leak but are made full all because of the presence of God. Don’t focus on your flaws and limitations today, loved one. Instead, celebrate what God can do in and through you because of His awesome power. Remember, You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! Yes, you are a mess but what a beautiful mess!  


 
“And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10


I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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