1 Kings 20:23-29 “And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. 24 And do this thing, Take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their rooms: 25 And number thee an army, like the army that thou hast lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot: and we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. And he hearkened unto their voice, and did so. 26 And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Benhadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel. 27 And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country. 28 And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord. 29 And they pitched one over against the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day.”
The Syrian king said, ‘their gods are gods of the hills.’ God heard this and gave the Israelites victory to show He was God over everything—no limits. The Syrians took it for granted that Israel had a god. In those times, they had high respect for God or gods during battle.
The stuff that gets whispered in your ear in the valley can be faulty.
Their first mistake was saying, ‘the gods’ making a plural. There is only ONE God. The Syrians thought that their god had territory and the Israelites’ gods had territory. In the Syrians’ territory, other gods should lose.
God is not just God of the Christians. He is God everywhere.
Their second mistake was believing He’s a local God. It’s the ‘you have your God and I’ve got mine.’ ‘It won’t work for me.’ This belief sees God as very small. God is God of every creature. He has no limits.
Their third mistake was believing God was a God of a certain region. They might have gotten that idea from Psalm 121:1 and other verses. Yet, God is not confined. Of course, He can come down to the valleys. Of course, He knows what’s going on in the valleys. The enemy will lie and say, ‘He can’t come down.’ God heard that and got angry. He wanted the people to know He is the Lord.
Rom 1 tells us if we’re not careful, we can become darkened by foolish thoughts.
Rom 1:21-22 “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,”
There is no contest between God and Satan. Even Satan belongs to God.
God is God of the valley.
He is not just God of the high and holy, lofty place of the hill. He’s also God of the valley.
The valley, spiritually speaking, is the absence of the communion of us with God. When Peter, James, and John were up on the mountain with Jesus, the other disciples were trying to deal with a demon possessed boy.
We see ourselves as lowly and having to deal with the devil and these high and holy people are somehow above us without problems. The truth is, broken can become better by God. God can work with broken people and show His power and glory.
We see broken things as having no value. What good is it? We’ll throw it away.
Psalm 31:12 “I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.”
We have made a list of how broken we are and all our failures and fall to the belief that God has no use for us. If we just climb, we’ll get to the top of the mountain, and get to God and get His approval and feel good about ourselves and receive a reward. We feel that that person deserves the reward. God ought to bless that person, he deserves it.
What about those whose strength is gone? Or those who’ve tried and fallen again and again? Or those who’ve made mistakes? Does God have time for them? Can God even find you? And if He did, wouldn’t He want someone better? Wouldn’t He rather throw you out?
Regardless of where you are in life or all the mistakes you’ve made, He’s the God of the broken places. With Him, broken is better. God is attracted to brokenness. He doesn’t desire to meet you on the mountaintop. He desires to meet you in the valley.
Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
Loneliness strikes many hearts in our world today. People are facing despair. Why? You’re too busy resolving the issues of your broken life. If you’ve reached the point of despair, God has come for you, come to you. He’s reaching for you right now.
Psalm 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”
Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,”
It doesn’t say that He sent me to heal the righteous who are brokenhearted.
You are spirit and flesh. The heart gets broken and your soul is a mess and your emotions are a mess and you can’t seem to get joy. Sometimes, your spirit gets so broken, you’ve lost hope.
What causes your spirit to break? Stress. Prayers that are unanswered. Messed up relationships.
Ezekiel 11:19 “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:”
God said He would put a new spirit within YOU. He went to the valley of dead man’s bones and brought life. He is there.
Never in history has there been such a time of brokenness.
Your body is sometimes broken. As you get older, your body sometimes aches and gets sick. You might feel like you can’t give God the kind of praise He deserves.
Physical sicknesses are mixing with emotional illnesses. 30% of the world’s population suffer from some kind of emotional disorder.
People feel like they’re losing their usefulness to their families.
Even people who are losing their physical health or emotional health, God will go there too.
Isaiah 53:3-5 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
They tortured Jesus. They broke His body (not His bones).
Why is broken better? Why do that for us? The physical world is only a type of the spiritual world. When you want to go up, you must go down. When you want things to get better, you must be broken. It’s the only way to bring life.
Only through Jesus' death is healing and life brought.
John 12:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
You’ve got to die. You’ve got to be broken. If you don’t want to fall and be broken, you’ll be alone. If you want to be better, you must be broken. Don’t go to the mountain. Abide in the valley. God will meet you there.
Song of Solomon 2:1 “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”
Look, it’s not just one valley, it’s ‘valleys’ plural. On the mountain, there is no vegetation. You have to fast up there. On the mountain, you can’t live.
There are hundreds of Scriptures that say God is a healer.
God is an emotional sickness God. He will heal cancer. He will raise the dead. Even when you health is broken, body, spirit, soul, God will heal you.
Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
Brokenness brings breakthroughs.
Brokenness in prayer and worship will bring a breakthrough. Jesus was broken and salvation was made.
Salvation comes to you through your own brokenness. A place of brokenness is necessary for repentance. Other dimensions in God can only be found through brokenness. God can flow freely in your life through brokenness.
God wants to work in those broken places. Some things won’t come out until they’re broken. Not just poison comes out through fire. God wants you in the valley. He will meet you there.
The fastest way up to the top of the mountain is to get to the nearest valley and be broken. God will raise you up. He will take you and teleport you immediately into His presence.
James 4:6-10 “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
There is a secret there in the brokenness. If you humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, He will take you to the mountain.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!