Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Breaking Point

Last week at this time I was basking in the presence of God with my sistas... listening to Deanna pour her heart out concerning "wrecks," "A Series of Unfortunate Events" based on Ezekiel. The following day I did a workshop on transition and that night I preached on "The Breaking Point." Well, little did I know that a week later I would be encountering a "wreck," an unfortunate event right at my own breaking point. Honestly, I am swirling from the irony and know more than ever that God has it all under control.

So, I have decided to post a partial transcript on my message from Unstoppable here today. Mostly because I need the reminder of how to be propelled in my brokenness and not paralyzed or dying in the process. I trust it will also minister to you...

The Breaking Point

A few months ago I began to hear the Lord speak to me about Unstoppable. Of course I listened, took note and continued to seek Him for direction. As the conference came closer and closer, I began to sense an extreme urgency. I have learned that whenever that happens, God is trying to get my undivided attention. So, I begin to press in.

As I sought the Lord, I heard Him say, “Tara, there are women who will be at Unstoppable who are currently at their breaking point. They are at a crossroads that could potentially paralyze them. My heart is that they not be broken and crippled by what they have been facing but that they be propelled through it by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Tonight, we are going to take a candid look at the lives of three women who made entirely different choices. One of them ended up paralyzed, another, propelled and the last one lost the most… all of them at the breaking point.

I am a HUGE believer in destiny. God has a strategic plan for each and every one of us. I know this and believe it with every fiber of my being. However, there are still times in every one of our lives when circumstances, situations, people well intentioned… or not will force us to the very place where we have no idea whether or not we can go on.

I am going to begin reading in 2 Samuel, chapter 13:1-20… I am reading from The Message translation… (I won't post because of space... so turn there and read...)

Many of you know WHO you are, like Tamar, you KNOW who your daddy is- but more than that you can also identify with the shame, pain, fear, rejection and betrayal Tamar experienced. People who promised they’d never leave, they left, promises made become promises broken, and the days and nights you prayed, labored, laid awake and poured into people are thrown at your feet in a heap. It leaves you feeling used, violated, just like Tamar.

Yet look at what she did, after Amnon raped her, he told her to go away, yet we’re talking about a woman here. She’s thinking, “Oh my goodness, he’s just going to use me up and throw me out? Oh no, he can’t do that to me” She began to tell him how she felt, begging, pleading… and he had her PHYSICALLY removed. They put her out and BOLTED the door. I can just see her, as she’s being drug out, yelling and screaming, then the door is shut and locked as she is lying on the ground sobbing, no dignity left, beating on the door, “Amnon, you can’t do this to me! Amnon! Amnon, don’t leave me like this!” Tamar deserved better treatment as an Israelite. Tamar deserved better treatment as a relative. Tamar deserved better treatment as a sister. Tamar deserved better treatment as a princess. Despite all this, Amnon spitefully treats Tamar as this woman.

Then after being rejected again by being ignored, Tamar broke. She ripped her gown off, her gown signifying her identity, her status and she heaped ashes upon her head symbolizing the shame of hat she had just encountered. She covered her head and headed home where she ran into her brother Absalom who knew exactly what had occurred as we see in verse 20…


Absalom tried to comfort Tamar by saying that she “should not take it to heart”. These are hollow words indeed, for she has been violated by her brother, and the cultural context of that time dictated that her future was irreparably altered. I know Absalom meant well, but come on! That’s like putting a bandaid on a broken arm! This woman was SO burdened by what she was carrying that she stripped herself of her identity. She was broken, distraught, and now wore her shame upon her head. Her brother knew by looking at her- and yet helped her cover it as did her father, at the time anyway. What gets me about the LACK of what David and Absalom did is just that- they didn’t do ANYTHING… by doing this they let Tamar continue to be broken, paralyzed by the violation committed against her by someone who supposedly loved her no less! They could have helped silence her scream, “Don’t leave me like this! Absalom! Amnon! Daddy! God! Somebody help me!”

I wonder how many of you in this room have had those closest to you ignore the cry of your pain.
Unfortunately, that is Tamar’s story. Her hopes for children and her own home were shattered. At that point, the point I call the “breaking point,” Tamar was faced with a decision.

Verse 20 says she lived in Absalom’s house a desolate woman. However, her cry, her scream is still living. Can you hear it? Perhaps it is YOUR cry tonight. The circumstances, pain and violations committed against you have you at the breaking point that threatens to paralyze you and keep you locked up.

As you examine yourself tonight, are there circumstances, secrets, deep areas in your life threatening to paralyze as you face the breaking point tonight? (Someone holding their head in their hands saying, “I just want to get through this weekend, go home and quit… it is just too much to bear…)

Before you give in, remember, what you have gone through doesn’t have to paralyze you… it can propel you… if you don’t give up… God desires to turn your setback into a comeback! The pain you are feeling is pain with a purpose. He isn’t ignoring your pain, He hasn’t forgotten you, He desires to turn your pain into power!

I told you we would explore three women… I just gave you one scenario, what paralysis will bring you, now let’s look at a woman who used the adversity she faced to propel her…

Turn to Luke, chapter 7. Beginning in verse 36… (READ THROUGH VERSE 50)

Mary was known as a sinner. When she walked into the room her every move, past, present and future was discussed among whispers. Have you ever walked into a room like that? If that isn’t a breaking point, goodness! Tell me what is!

Mary was tired of living with the pain, she was desperate to move forward. So she found the most valued thing she owned, it represented her past, present and future. And it cost her something… a decision to face her accusers, confront her past, challenge religion and hope for a future. I can just see her standing at the threshold of the door, gathering the courage to go in. But that was not her breaking point.

Her breaking point was in the "breaking of her box." That was HER box. She didn't keep hers at home and run into Neimen Marcus for a knock off that would serve the purpose. No, she took what was most precious to her, what had cost her so much, her security, what meant everything in the world to her and she broke it open and poured it out. As we all know, Mary’s box held a costly perfume, BUT what she did with it represented much more than what it contained. Mary did not just open her box and pour out a measure of what it held. Instead she broke it open. A broken vessel can no longer retain its contents. It is powerless to withhold; therefore, it freely spills out all that is within it. This is the purpose of the breaking. It is not so God can take pleasure in our pain. No! The pain is part of the process when face the breaking point, but it is not the purpose. The goal is the fragrance, the sweet aroma that fills the air...and the nostrils of God. As she poured the oil from the box, a beautiful fragrance filled the room. It changed the atmosphere.

Being at the feet of Jesus, of your Daddy God changes things. It looks religion in the face and dares it to judge. It will change rules, regulations and laws for your behalf.

I just love the fact that she broke HER box. In her own way, she said the same thing Tamar said… “Jesus, don’t leave me like this! Help me!” Her actions relinquished any control she had. You see, if she had just opened the box and poured a measure that she thought was sufficient she could also put the top back on. But, in the breaking of the box, there is a reckless abandonment that cried, "It is all yours Jesus. I'm giving it all to you. I am breaking my box open as a sacrifice to you. Take it all! My pain, my fear, regret; take my future, my potential and my promise… take it all…"

When this time of worship occurs at the Breaking Point, something happens. Our heart's cry deviates from, "What about what happened to me?" to "How I can use what has happened to me for You Lord? Here is what I have. I break it open before You. It's no use to me unless it is mixed with Your presence."

You see ladies, we need to stop asking God, “Why did this happen to me?” and begin asking God, “Why did I overcome it?” See, I am not big on surviving anymore, I don’t want to be a survivor, I want to be an overcomer! The word survive means, to remain alive or in existence… well that can mean you are barely hanging on through life support… BUT the word overcome means to conquer, to gain mastery over or win. Just because you went through it does not mean you are defined by it!

When they come and say, “Whew, they barely made it through that church split, but they survived…” Something ought to rise up in you say, “Oh no… we didn’t survive anything… we OVERCAME!” We conquered the enemy at the breaking point! We won!

There is a choice tonight for those of you who find yourselves at the “breaking point.” There are some of you who just don’t think it is worth it anymore and you are tempted to hold on to whatever it is you have locked up in your box. For some of you it is pain, fear of being rejected again, or a shameful past that is threatening to paralyze you. For others, it is brokenness, failed dreams, or unfulfilled dreams. Remember Tamar? Absalom’s house became her alabaster box. It held the potential, pain, promise, and shame of this woman. When she failed to “break out the box” she remained a victim, she remained a person of untapped potential. These things were as costly as the oil in Mary’s box. If broken up and given to God, her future would have been much different.

Or will you be like Mary tonight, will your cry at the breaking point propel you though it by the power of the Holy Spirit. You may still have to deal with stuff, because you can do everything right and still have people do you wrong or circumstances knock you off your feet! Being wounded is a temporary event but healing is a process. Just because you’ve been treated badly doesn’t mean you have to curl up and die! Psalm 23 tells us that He is the restorer of our soul!

Mary was ridiculed as she broke open her box and with that decision, her life and the atmosphere she was in was completely changed! Think about it… are you willing to break that box tonight?

There are Tamar’s in this room tonight… desperately wanting to be like Mary. They are screaming, some are whispering for lack of strength, “Don’t leave me like this… Somebody help me…”

Tonight we all have a choice to break open our box like Mary or remained locked up like Tamar… but there are some of you even beyond that point… there is more woman I want to present to you tonight… please turn to Judges 19, we’ll begin with verse 22 and read through verse 27.

“And her hand was on the door and she was laying on the threshold.” She went through abuse all night, suffered the pain and the sacrifice and after they let her go she crawled through the pain and the difficulty of what she just endured and she got to the door and died.
There are many in this room today that the process has been so painful and abusive that now that an effective door is open in front of you, you just don’t have the strength to push through.

The Lord has spoken to me and said, “Tell them not to extend all they have to get to this point only to die on the threshold. You have been through too much.”

Don’t let the pain of the process cause you to quit and forfeit your destiny. I know it has been a long painful night but morning is on the way and if you can press through the night your new day is about to begin. Don’t die on the threshold, don’t die at your breaking point…

The Lord hears your cries tonight… he sees your struggle to be like Mary, not one of us wants to be paralyzed, or die on the threshold… but the pain is sometimes so hard to bear alone… some days are down right miracles that we ever got through them… tonight, this altar represents the breaking point… whatever yours may be…

At the breaking point, hold on… at the breaking point… don’t paralyze your potential by shutting down… at the breaking point, lay it all down… every bit of pain, every broken promise, every disappointment, and give them to the Father… it is at the breaking point…

• My ENEMIES will become my TEACHERS
• My MISTAKES will become my WISDOM

And as it says in the Message translation in Job 8:7, “Even though you're not much right now, you'll end up better than ever."

The BEST IS yet to come!


Anonymous said...

Simply awesome. Thank you for sharing this with us!

Sherri Walker-McCann said...

Still praying for you Girl!! God always has a plan. It is like what Brett said last night while we were praying for you and Craig and the girls...."none of this is a surprise to God"..He always..ALWAYS has a plan. I am praying now that you will find that open door!
I certainly do not want to minimize all that you must be feeling-I can imagine that you must be devestated-but try to remember that something GOOD is about to happen!

Melissa said...

Girl ~ this message hs been one of the most life changing messages I have heard. I have reread it over and over again. The night you preached it....WOW! I honestly can say it changed my life! I was ready to quit, ready to stop, ready to turn my back on ministry and just go through the motions...actually I was going through the motions. I truely believe that this message was for me...only me...ok so it was for a lot of us women that night :)
Since that night, that weekend, the excitement, the energy, the drive and hunger for ministry is so strong. God has definately rekindled the fire! Thank you for listening to the Holy Spirit!
BTW I posted this blog on my site tonight. I didn't think you would mind...???... Love ya and still praying.