Today’s reading – Luke 10:17-20, 2 Corinthians 4:7-11
Transformation Circumstance – I am at rock bottom
Today we look at the fourth circumstance of transformation almost all of us experience. Have you been there? That moment when you realize it has all fallen apart? You feel like there is absolutely no hope at all and there is nowhere to go but up. One of my mentors used to tell me, “you are either about ready to go into a difficult time, in a difficult time, or just coming out of one.” Where are you? This post today is for all of you who find yourselves sitting on the floor isolated, alone, head in your hands feeling like there is no way out and no way forward.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed but not driven to despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Take heart! The hardest part about being at rock bottom is not knowing when it is going to end. When we face the bottom we ask ourselves, does anyone care and when will this end? I have the answer to the first question, but the answer to the second question is one that is a mystery and therein lies the challenge of life. The answer to the first question is an identity question. Often when we hit rock bottom, we forget our identity and can’t recall who we are.
Identity is a powerful thing. At it’s core it defines our character and marks our soul like no other. One time when Jesus was speaking with his disciples he gave them a powerful reminder about their identity. He told them they had authority. So many times when we lose the job, run out of money, our relationship ends in shambles, or our addiction gets the best of us, we lose ourselves. What we lost was our identity. Maybe you are reading this and you have forgotten who you are. Remember no matter what you go through you are a child of the living God, He didn’t make a mistake with you and deliverance is on the way. But first you have to get into your head that you aren’t abandoned, alone, and outcasted… You – Belong.
So let me give you these 4 reminders of who you are, even if you are at rock bottom, struck down but not destroyed.
1. You Are More Than a Conqueror – It mat not feel like it, but you are, scripture says it and it’s true. (Romans 8:38-39)
2. You Are Chosen – God isn’t into randomness. He deliberately put you on this earth for a purpose and he has one for you. No one said it would be easy to walk this life but he has chosen you. (Ephesians 1:5a)
3. You Are His Son / Daughter – This means you are a part of the family of God, and this means you need a church family. If you don’t have one, you need to make it a priority. Find a church that reminds you of who you are in Christ by allowing you to serve it with your whole life. (Ephesians 1:5b)
4. Nothing Can Stop Us – Even though the world may come against you, you have a heavenly father who loves you and is for you. When Jesus hit rock bottom, he knew his father would raise him up to a greater mission of ministry. You have the same heavenly father as Jesus does. Depend on his strong hands. (Romans 8:31)
“Behold I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”
One more thing, if you have recently come through a rock bottom experience, now is the time to throw a big party and celebrate the faithfulness of God!
(Tomorrow I am taking the day off from writing and will be back with you Sunday for day 7)
The 40 Day Fasting Explanation
A season of fasting and prayer – Over the next 40 days leading up to our 9th anniversary, our church family will be in a season of fasting and prayer. I invite you to come along with us and ask God for a transformation by the renewal of our minds.
A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church
1. An Everyday Habit in the Word – Each day I will be sending out a short devotional based on some selected readings. This begins through a simple prayer of asking God to renew us.
2. Continual Fasting – A 40 Day Prayer and Fasting Guide for 217church
God has blessed us through incredibly unique circumstances over the last nine years as 217church. We have baptized over 275 people and been given the unique calling to have a church planting and multiplication vision. The past 18 months of ministry have led the pastors and elders to call us as a congregation to a season of prayer and fasting. We want to use this time to understand the depth of God’s heart for us and the next steps he is calling us to. I trust your heart will be open and God will bring us to a deeper understanding of what it means to “rebuild lives one person at a time.”
We believe God wants us to fast over a period of 40 days. As a reminder, what you choose to fast is between you and Jesus. But you may want to include some natural encouragement and accountability over this 40 day period. This may mean you are doing one of the following as an example:
- Skipping a meal or a whole day of meals.
- Eliminating something like sugar, coffee, or meat to remind you of your total dependence on God.
- Encouraging one another in the church family as you pray together and sacrifice your physical sustenance for spiritual direction and focus.
What will God do? I am looking forward to see his direction.
Renewal is on the way – Join me along this process
Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ. 217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ. Visit www.217church.com for more information, or watch a weekend message here.