February 2018 Newsletter
Brokenness: The Sacrifices of God
Brokenness by way of sacrifice
Brokenness is one of the greatest augmenters of the spiritual life. It is the kindling of God, it is the oil to his fire. Our brokenness creates a combustible environment for the Spirit of God. Jesus made a radical claim when he claimed that God desired mercy, not sacrifice.
“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Matthew 9:13
In the Old Testament, the KJV often translates the mercy of God as the loving-kindness of God. The problem with brokenness is we constantly turn back to offering sacrifices rather than choosing mercy and loving-kindness. Sacrifice has the tendency to make us feel valued, worthwhile, and honorable. If I can sacrifice it means I have something to bring to the table. But God does not desire your sacrifice, he desires your heart.
“A broken heart…you will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
Offering sacrifices is our attempt to placate God by our actions, when He all along is calling us to simply offer our broken selves to him. Sacrifice never has to deal with the heart, it skirts around our internal world. In offering sacrifices I can keep the interaction with God on an external level, the familiar and comfortable level. A broken heart is something wild and uncontrollable. It can fall apart without proper care, it can disappoint, it can be devalued, and it can die. Our sacrifices are our efforts to maintain control of our brokenness, when all along God desires to touch a much deeper place than we are comfortable with.
But when we offer our brokenness to him, just as we are, that is something he can work with. A sacrifice means I can determine the requirements and the playing field. The problem with that is that I am only ever as good as what I can offer. If I can move past my need to placate God with my sacrifices I open a world of unlimited potential because it is His Spirit, not my talents that activate my life.
The word for despise in Psalm 51:17 means a house that has been plundered and has no value. Our external sacrifices (more vigorous worship, greater tithes, more acts of service, harder and more effective work life, more time spent with family, longer times in prayer, and any number of things can be an external sacrifice) are our attempts to add value to ourselves.
The underlying fact is that we are a house plundered with nothing of value, but God does not turn us away in the midst of that. The implication of this Psalm is that God most probably despises the external sacrifice and not our broken, worthless heart.
So what happens when we offer the acceptable sacrifices of God (our broken, contrite hearts)?
In the Old Testament, when Solomon finishes praying at the dedication the temple, an incredible thing happens:
“When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord ’s house.” 2 Chronicles 7:1-2
The acceptable sacrifice sparked the combustion of God. He ignited the sacrifice. When God ignites something it is obvious. When he is a part of what you are doing his fire consumes what you offer. When the sacrifice offered is a broken and humble heart and God ignites what is offered, everyone around is impacted. And then, when the fire of God consumes a humble and broken heart, the vessel is filled with his glory. This infilling is incredibly effective because the broken heart doesn't look to gain anything from God, you are merely astonished that God has chosen you.
Brokenness is incendiary. It has the potential to light you on fire for God. When you come to grips with the depths of who you are and offer those difficult dark places to God he ignites you for him.
This is the place we feel we are, offering our hearts to him and asking him to ignite the plans he has given us. It is an exhilarating time, it is a scary time, and it is a wild time. We have been steadily working on bringing together exactly what the next season of ministry will look like. In addition to working with various churches and organizations in the Maritimes, we have been working with some ministry associates on the west coast to setup a way to support us that is tax receiptable.
While you can presently donate to us through the website (www.joshuahoffert.com), those donations are not tax deductible (though they are appreciated). If you require a tax receipt and would like to support us either as a one time donation or in an ongoing capacity, please set aside the funds and a method of tax deductible donations should be available shortly.
New Online Store
I recently launched an online resource store on the website. Feel free to browse to the shop and check out the current mp3 offerings. Here is a discount code for 10% off, thank you for supporting us everyone!
CODE: 10percentsupporters *Expired
Some points to consider for prayer:
That the plans will come together to setup tax receiptable donations with our ministry partners on the west coast, this is one of our next big steps
That all the paperwork we are currently working through for registering a non-profit organization will be properly and precisely filled out and communicated
Rest for Erin – she is 6 months pregnant and I am just beginning a travel season between now and the birth of baby #3 in May
That the prophetic equipping we are set to launch with the local church here in Summerside is successful
Erin, the kids and I have been fighting a cold for the better part of the past month. Your prayers for our health are coveted.
For ongoing financial provision
Please continue supporting us prayerfully.
To support us financially, see the link below.
Joshua and Erin Hoffert
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