My crushing came between 2007 and 2010 when I lost everyone and everything I held dear to me in this world. I lost the woman I cared about, my four dogs, a 5,000 square foot house on a lake, my Mercedes Benz and a million dollars worth of belongings. I was left without a place to live and had to beg friends and relatives to stay with them until I could get back on my feet. They were my "Book of Job" years. God took those three years to mold me and shape me and sculpt me in order to bring me closer to Him. During those three years I read the Bible cover to cover ten times in order to try to understand what God was doing in my life, and why. I prayed many times every day. My dependence on God was absolute and complete. Before my Book of Job years I was a luke-warm Christian in name only. After my Book of Job years I was a Baptized, fully devoted, immersed student learning at the feet of Moody Bible Institute professors with a real saving relationship with Jesus. Since then, just as in the book of Job, God has restored to me plenty....he anointest my head with oil...my cup overfloweth.
When did your crushing happen? If you haven't been crushed or wounded yet; if you haven't experienced complete and utter dependence on God, then chances are good that God is not yet ready for you to be used by Him mightily for the sake of His Kingdom. Every great Pastor, Theologian, Saint and Apostle I know who has been used by God was wounded or crushed greatly before being used mightily by God. When was your crushing? How did you respond? Did you understand at the time what was going on? Do you understand now? Do you realize that the Potter "God" has to take the clay and heat it in the oven at a very high temperature before he removes it, molds it and shapes it into the shape of Pot or Utensil he desires to see? Do you realize that the crushing and the heating at high temperature is required in order to bring about the desired dependence, humility, submission and death of ego which God desires in us? "But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand." Isaiah 64:8
Want to know more about God the Potter? Watch the video at the end of this message.
Beloved, if you are being crushed or heated in the furnace right now, remember these words of Peter and James:
"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:6-7
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." 1 James 2-4
"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12