“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.” ~ Acts 20:7-12
Father in Jesus name I ask that You speak to my heart. Make this relevant to what I am going through. Make this revelatory about what You desire to say to me and show me those things. Hinder distractions and advance Your plan in my life because of this. Holy Spirit enlighten my eyes and cause my ears to hear and understand what You are doing. Lord, work a work in me because of this in Jesus name! AMEN!
Have you ever felt like you have been around the things of God and the Word of God but it just wasn’t working out right with you? You’ve tried to apply certain scriptures, but it wouldn’t stick, it just couldn’t stay in your life long enough to become a part of your life? These moments hit Christians often, sometimes we get very low afterwards, and we don’t feel like we should or how we used to feel. Some people call it “brokenness.”
In this text we see Paul being as passionate as ever preaching the Gospel long enough for a young boy to fall out of a window and die, that’s a sermon! You know you’re in the Spirit when the only time you stop speaking is when you have to run downstairs to raise someone from the dead that died during your sermon. Paul preaches powerfully enough for people to receive and another to receive a problem. Isn’t that like life? We struggle through getting some of the Gospel in our lives and then some it feels like the only way possible for the other stuff to take root is for us to die. We say “God, I’ll NEVER be able to apply that! Love and forgive people? Are you crazy!?” Interestingly, that’s what Jesus Christ told us before in the Gospel of Matthew, He said: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25) It’s strange, it’s so easy to apply certain scriptures, especially the ones we all love to quote “I can do all things,” “God will supply my needs,” “Gods going to bless me with an abundant life” these are scriptures we love to quote, but when it comes to forsaking things, leaving things, walking away from things and stopping things from taking place in your life, we struggle! That’s normal though, but just like this young man in the window, we can receive some, but not all until something inside of us dies. We are faced daily with tons of information, we have the capability to read the Word of God and learn about it. We can take time at a lunch break, take time when the baby is sleeping, take time when the test is done and before it to both pray and study the Bible, but we still struggle. So many of our prayers as Christians are “God, I just can’t stop this at all!” It’s a struggle, but something has to die. That’s what we call brokenness. There are many aspects of brokenness, but I will focus on the three important factors and purposes of it.
1) The life of Christ to be active in you and others – When faced with this dilemma, Paul the Apostle quickly runs back to what he knew in times past. As we search through the Bible we can find something very similar to this taking place in two different Old Testament passages. The Prophet Elijah went to a widow woman’s house by Gods command to not only be helped, but to help her and her son died. The Prophet Elijah went and stretched his body over the child three times and the child came back to life. [1 Kings 17:20] The Prophet Elisha, who took the place of Elijah, was also face to face with a dilemma that was similar to his mentor. [2 Kings 4:34] A woman’s child died and Elisha was called by the woman to do something about it, the Prophet represented the Word of God and the Bible has a solution to all of life’s problems. Perhaps Paul when he saw this taking place was a bit perplexed, not knowing immediately what to do, but inwardly, he probably remembered these scriptures. Paul was trained heavily in the Old Testament scriptures as a boy and a young man so he without a doubt knew these two stories. It’s always important to go back to what you know; when things happen that you don’t understand. What do you know about God? What is your past history with God? Has God freed you from sin before? If He has why would He not be able to now? We have to keep a steady focus on the past of God when we are faced with life’s trials and circumstances.
2) Obedience to Gods plan – Paul ran down the stairs to get to this boy and said something relatively odd; the Bible tells us that this boy was dead. Dead. No coming back dead, but Paul said not to worry that everything would be fine. This is also reminiscent of a story in the Bible, this time not by an Old Testament Prophet but a New Testament Savior. Jairus was a man that had a sick daughter and he went to Jesus for the answer, however in the middle of getting an answer from Jesus a bad report came back, people told him not to bother Jesus anymore, his beloved daughter already died. Jesus however, knowing and caring for the children and his followers children knew something that the man didn’t. The Bible says that when Jesus came to the place where she was He said “don’t worry, she’s just sleeping.” (Mark 5:39) This is the same thing Paul did. Paul was walking in obedience to what Jesus already did. Many times our brokenness and problems in life come to stir us to repent of sin and be actively involved in pursuing Gods plan for our lives and not our own. We look to God bitter and filled with anger because the child hasn’t been born yet, or the woman hasn’t come or the new job offer hasn’t come, but God sees things in our character that if they aren’t dealt with first, not only will it persist, but He will decrease more and more in our lives. God sees everything about us and knows all sides of us. He knows why we do what we do when we try to cover it up. God sees the hidden sins in our heart, the reasons why we act the way we do in front of certain people and even why we want what we want. The truth is, problems often arise in our life and walk with God to stir us to check our path and wonder “am I going the way God wants me to go?” “Am I doing what I know is right or just what I feel comfortable with agreeing to do?” Brokenness drives us to obedience to Gods plan and purpose for our lives. He knows best, but He also knows, sometimes it’s only when things are withheld and when blessings are put on hold that we will place our ear to the heart of God. Sometimes you have to obey even when you don’t have a full understanding of “why.”
3) Service to others - Gazing at this text we see Old Testament reminiscence and New Testament relevance, but we also see this young man becoming an agent for service. The Bible tells us that when these people saw this young man alive they were comforted abundantly. They began to know that God not only talked the talk, but He walked the walk. God was practicing what He preached. God’s Word became real to them because of the death of a person. As you look at your dead situations, understand that Gods plan can become real to a person because of your newfound devotion to God. Those dead avenues, relationships, habits, etc. etc. can be used for the glory of God when we finally let go. However, unfortunately most of the time we have to endure hell on earth to yield these sins/ideas/philosophies to God. However, once we do, we are sifted for service. God begins to prune us, shape us, mold us and break us with the healing and loving hand of a master potter. His purpose is your service. You are so valuable to God and others that only you can reach certain people for Christ, so why stay in sin? Your lifestyle in Christ is completely incomparable to the many demonic influences in someone’s life. One godly influence in a person’s life trumps thousands of Satan’s devices and distractions that come towards someone. One godly influence can transform a child’s heart, turning them from drug addiction to the work and Word of God. Your life counts! God is using you to stir someone to repent from their sins, turn from unbelief, and draw closer to Jesus Christ through prayer, studying the Bible and serving. God’s plan is active when we are broken. When we look at our sins and say “I’d rather have God” that’s when God is at work the most in our life, but it seems that when that happens we look like we are in a desert. Thanks be to God that no matter where we are, water can appear, God has your provision in the desert moments of life. Look at your life, at the moment, can you see a sin that God has pinpointed in your life, you know it’s there, you’ve tried to cover it up, you’ve tried to justify it by saying “in my flesh dwells no good thing” but it’s time to take away the justification and rationalization. Tell God about it; tell God you don’t want it. Ask God to take it away and He will do that, but you have to let Him. I must warn you, the longer you hold on to it, the more pressure and stress will invade your life from all sides. God loves you so much that He will often allow adversity in your life to straighten out your life and in order for you to grow closer in your walk with Him.
Thoroughly examining this passage can bring comfort, laughter, sorrow but most importantly encouragement. When you look at your sins, look at them through the eyes of divinity. Yes, it seems impossible to stop drinking, I know. Yes, it seems impossible to stop lusting for women, yes I know. Yes, it seems impossible for God to be able to stop something you’ve done since birth or high school. You can’t look with these natural eyes. Jesus Christ died for your sins and He rose again to begin to work in you through the Holy Spirit to take away those sins. Sin separates us from God and when that part of us dies we are brought back to life by the power of God. What’s stopping you from confessing to God that it is sin? What’s stopping you from admitting that you need help and want it? Just tell God the “God-honest” truth. Try God and see if He won’t bless you with freedom. Allow the loving hands of correction to take place in your life; don’t resist His Spirit any longer. If you feel Him tugging at your heart, just cry to Him about it and then and only then you can get set free in His time table. God is for you! God Bless you!
Father in Jesus name I ask You to take this thing out of my heart. Replace it with Your love, care and joy. Lord, take away this sin that is hindering my fullest potential in Christ. Lord, show me how to let it go, how to love again, how to remove this thing from my computer. Teach me Your ways God, so I can help another person based on what You are doing. Give me the boldness to tell someone about this deliverance You are doing right now and please prepare their hearts now ahead of time to receive it and I thank You because without Your Son Jesus’ Christ’s death I wouldn’t be free, but now I am. The power of sin in my life is completely broken by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit empower me to do what God has designed and desired for me to do. I ask this because of You and for You. May my life be one of service, surrender and solitude in Jesus name! AMEN!