Lucia's Blog: THE BEAUTY OF OUR BROKENNESS
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Monday, October 20, 2014

THE BEAUTY OF OUR BROKENNESS

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."  
Matthew 5:3-4


Breaking a bone is not nearly as life changing as breaking one's own spirit or being broken before a righteous and Holy God. I invite you to think with me about the beauty of brokenness in Christ Jesus.

Lately since my accident, I have been thinking a lot about my physical brokenness as well as the concept of spiritual brokenness: the remedy, the recovery process and the hope of restoration and healing.  This led me to write the following regarding our spiritual brokenness and the healing and restoration of our souls.  It is painful and slow, but with the right attitude of heart, we can become more than conquerors with God's help

It is vital when we submit to God, that we repent, completely surrender and realize our true brokenness.  Lack of submission to God robs us of our intimate fellowship with God and His power through the Gospel to touch our lives.  Our Lord Jesus demands loyalty to Him.  We cannot be loyal to two masters.  When we refuse to surrender our wills to God, along with our lives and our wants, we are walking in willful disobedience.  By NOT submitting to the King of kings and Lord of lords, we are automatically submitting to the prince of darkness, Satan, and his kingdom.  My question to you is:  who are you going to surrender to, God or Satan?

Lack of surrender to God is merely the result of selfishness on our part.  This selfishness robs us of the intimate fellowship we could have with the Father and the Son.  It also robs us of the power of the Gospel to touch our lives.

Why is it so difficult for man to submit to God?  First, it is because he becomes obsessed with controlling his own life.  In an attempt to do this he also manipulates the lives of others.  Second, because he loves sin and himself more than anything else.  Lastly, he fails to submit to God because he has not been completely broken.  He does this because he struggles to comprehend the spiritual condition of his soul and the need for healing.

What does it mean to be broken?  It means that our pride and self-sufficiency must be broken and so our love for sin must also be broken, along with the flesh and its desires.  All of our self must be broken.   Our love for material riches, pleasures and possessions must also be broken.  Indeed everything that is not of Christ and His righteousness must be broken.  This is the only way Jesus can dwell in us and we in Him.

Brokenness is not always a weakness as so many say.  It is coming to the end of one's life.  Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."  Matthew 5:3-4.  It is through our brokenness of spirit that we comprehend our real spiritual condition, the condition of our soul.  We embrace the need for a Savior to rescue us from the weight of sin.  We also comprehend that we need the Great Physician to heal us of our sickness of the heart called sin.  It is here that we, as human beings, are aware that we deserve God's Judgment for sin and our only hope is found in Jesus, in His mercy.  This is where life for the broken sinner begins.  The broken man is then quick to repent.  He does not try to hide his sins under the carpet.  He does not ignore or forget with wasted excuses.  He is conscious that this is his time to heal all things.  He rushes into the presence of His Creator crying out for mercy, saying, “I have sinned and need God's mercy.”

Humility is the result of brokenness.  Until our selfish and carnal pride is entirely broken, we are not going to humble ourselves before the mighty throne of God.  Brokenness and humility are the results of a deep consciousness of our guilt before God; seeing and accepting the remedy offered by the Savior who offers to redeem us; then becoming dependent upon our Lord and Savior.  Those who are in an intimate relationship or fellowship with God have grown in brokenness and humility throughout their walk with Him.  "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8.

Humility and brokenness are inseparably interwoven so as to bring us to surrender, repentance and victory.  We must practice these things throughout our lives.  The one who is broken before God can walk free from sin.  The greater the yearning for God, the faster a man will seek forgiveness and God's grace to overcome sin and remain faithfully in fellowship with God.  King David repented of his sin with Bathsheba, his adultery, when his pride and self-will was finally broken.  Then in his sorrow he declared, "Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.  Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge... Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Make me to hear joy and gladness, let the bones which You have broken rejoice.  Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me... For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise..."   Psalm 51.

When he confronted the ugliness of the sin that he had committed in the presence of a Holy God, David realized that he had to lay aside all pride and rebellion.  It was his feelings of guilt and repentance, which brought David back into a relationship with His God.  Guilt is of no value if there is no hope for mercy, God's grace.  However, it is guilt because of sin that produces hopelessness toward self.  It can be extremely profitable when one realizes that there is no hope without divine mercy.  This divine mercy is evidently seen in the face of Jesus our Lord.  The divine plan of salvation is based on a Fatherly God who desires to save the hopeless and helpless.  God our Father so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son on the cross, and that is precisely why we can find the remedy for our hopelessness and helplessness.

In 2 Corinthians 7:-8-9  Paul stated, "For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it—for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while—  I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us."  Paul declared that he did not regret hurting the church by preaching to them repentance, even though it broke his heart.  Though the message brought guilt because of sin and the church was broken, they turned from their sin drawing closer to the Lord.  It was God's will for them to become broken toward their sin, through the knowledge of His Word.  This sound knowledge of sin produced in them godly sorrow that moved them to a deeper surrender to their Father in heaven.

My question is, what is godly sorrow?  It is the fruit of God's everlasting mercy that is vital to our salvation and regeneration, the renewing of our soul.  Godly sorrow cannot be produced through needless human therapy, human theology or self-help principles.  It is through the Word of God, His Truth, that God calls men to find the remedy for their sinful way of living.  It is through His Word that He makes man's heart return to Him.  As Paul declared, "For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death."  II Cor. 7:10

On the other hand, worldly sorrow is a cruel thing.  It is guilt without any hope.  One can have sincere remorse for offending God as well as others, but not to the point of repenting and changing his life completely.  Such a person is only sorry because he got caught in sin.  True repentance cannot take place on anyone who is unwilling to repent and turn from his sins and completely surrender to the will of God.  So I ask you, can the sinner's prayer for forgiveness save a man if he is not willing to repent of his sins, be renewed, and be transformed by the everlasting TRUTH?  It is impossible for worldly sorrow to produce genuine repentance that transforms and regenerates the character or heart of man.  If man is not willing to surrender, from his heart, completely to the Lord; surrender his entire life and being to Christ, he is wasting his time because worldly sorrow can only produce death which is eternal death, spiritual death, relational and emotional death.  It renders man hopeless because he is Christ-less.

For a person to come to know godly sorrow, he must humbly see himself as totally lost: lost because of sin and undone without God in his life.  He must feel sick because of sin in his life to seek the Great Physician who offers the remedy that can heal him.  This attitude is vital for one to receive pardon.  He must be aware of his spiritual poverty and bankruptcy.  He must be aware of his slavery to sin before he can find the only hope that is found in Jesus for the restoration and refreshing of his soul.  He must be thirsty for righteousness and willing to take up Christ's sweet and easy yoke.  He must feel cast down because of his unrighteousness before he will look for a Savior to redeem him.  This is godly sorrow that zeros in on the root of the problem called sin.  Through this godly sorrow, man regenerates a righteous and zealous character rather than just being sorrowful for the consequences of sin.

Godly sorrow produces action.  Notice how Paul described the Corinthians, "For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter."  II Cor. 7:11.  He had rebuked them for their sinful practices and exhorted them to rid themselves of these sinful practices.  In other words, he led them to die to sin.  Notice the words he used above: earnestness, vindication, indignation, fear, longing, zeal, and avenging.  All of these actions follow when a person wants to correct the wrongs he has committed.  He longs to see his character transformed or regenerated no matter the cost. Indignation and vindication are not acts of violence against someone.  They are acts of mercy against sin and the source of the sinful practices.  Let us not become indifferent and be crushed.  Let us have a fervent desire to walk upright with God until the end of our life.

How can brokenness bring revival or bring life?  In Matthew 3:2 we read, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."  John the Baptist prepared the WAY.  Which WAY?  "REPENT."  John knew well that he was not worthy to untie Jesus' shoes because he knew the meaning of being broken and surrendering to the will of God.  He just humbly and boldly prepared the WAY for the coming of the Messiah.  His authority as a prophet was enhanced by his own brokenness and surrender to God.

John's message back then will accomplish the same thing today; that man might receive salvation and be transformed.

It is the conviction and awareness of sin that produces brokenness in us when godly sorrow is present also.  It is brokenness over sin that brings on repentance which in turn will yield the gift of salvation. This is how God heals and brings to life individuals, families and nations.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14 we read of the promise for revival, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."  The revival of a people requires brokenness. This promise contains four conditions for the people of God to fulfill and three responses from the Lord.

"If My People"

Notice that revival is dependent upon the people of God, those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, not the world.  It is our duty as Christians to revive the dead because of sin into newness of life.  Bring them back from death to being alive in Christ.

1.   Humility is vital because brokenness and humility are inseparable.   In James 4:6 and I Peter 5:5 we read that God resists and opposes the proud.  Satan is cunning and wily.  He knows the damage that pride can cause of one's life.  That is why it is so important to understand, that it is through brokenness and humility that we are going to find freedom from the destructiveness of our pride.  Pride destroys our souls.

God can dwell only with those who are lowly, humble and are contrite, broken in heart.  "For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite."    Isaiah 57:15

Pride is repulsive to a Holy God who walked the earth as the meek and lowly Jesus.  It is pride that stops men from repenting and surrendering their lives to Jesus in complete obedience to their Creator. The truth is that our Lord Jesus will not come in mercy to the arrogant.  Pride and self-will are the fruits of the flesh causing rebellion that damns the unsaved to hell and renders Christians ineffective when it comes to God's purposes.  Only the broken and the humble will know the Lord; will diligently seek Him and will know His reviving power.


2.    Prayer is vital to the revival of our souls.   Without it, there can be no awakening to flow out of brokenness.  Hearts that burn for their SAVIOR do not recite cold and formal prayers.  We cannot live in the flesh and pray to God fervently in spirit.  Pride has no place in genuine prayers to God because God resists the prayers of the proud.  Let us take this seriously!
When we finally grasp and understand the depth of our neediness, and of those around us, we will passionately petition our God to pour out His mercy upon us.  It is only then that we will understand the Truth that the world because of its darkness is at war with our Creator.  Broken saints, Christians, will know that they are not helpless, but they have an Almighty God who will transform their lives through His eternal Word.  There is power in the Word to accomplish wonders in the hearts of men.  Broken saints know that great transformation is possible through devotion to prayer and the guidance of God’s Word.

3.    We must seek His Face to be revived.  Prayer and seeking God's face are two distinctly different things.  A Christian may pray and never know what it means to seek God's face.  Seeking His face comes out of a heart that is burning with a desire to know the Lord and His intimate fellowship with us.  The heart is intensely hungering after the Lord and not just His blessings.  David wrote, "My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God."  Psalm 84:2.

Prayer is vital for a Christian's survival and maturity.  But seeking God's face is the ultimate prize. Christians who have been broken of their selfish and self-centered lives become Christians who passionately desire to pursue this greatest of treasures.  They are driven to know their Savior.  This is far better than seeking to gain greater Bible knowledge; it is a quest for God Himself and no one else: a quest that causes us to become more like Him.

Those who diligently seek God's face, love our Lord and Savior more than they love themselves, their family, their friends or material riches.  Their desire is to know Christ and imitate Him.  They have tasted His glory and refuse to return to the mediocrity of nominal Christianity or the vanity of worldly pursuits.  They have determined to crucify self every day of their lives and let Christ live in them. They are dead to sin but alive to the Spirit of Christ.  They cry out, "Show me your glory."  Ex. 33:18.  This is the heart of revival.

Pride can never be found in true repentance where there is no humility to clothe man.  A proud man is wasting his time in prayer.  Those who are redeemed understand the concept of speaking face to face with Jesus.  They know that seeking God's face is an everlasting journey.  This is what we were created for, to glorify God.

"Turn"

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, we read that the final condition for revival is to “turn” from our wicked ways. To turn from our wicked ways is precisely what is called repentance.  No man will turn from his sin unless he has first humbled himself before the throne of God.  Likewise, a man will not humble himself before God unless he has been broken unless he has been brought to the end of his self-life.

One of the problems the Scribes and Pharisees had was that they would not turn from their wicked ways because they would not first surrender and humble themselves before God.  They focused more on being righteous in the eyes of men, rather than having the right relationship with God.  Because they failed to repent, they neglected to take advantage of the fellowship that God was offering to them through reconciliation in Jesus.

The only way the heart of man is going to turn from wicked ways to our Lord is to have a passionate love for Him and His righteousness.  The only plan of victory we have depends on prayer and seeking God's face continually, walking in righteousness with Him.  It is in seeking God's face wholeheartedly and turning from our sins, that we may draw nearer to Him.  God is going to hear our prayers when they are offered out of our brokenness.  Only such a prayer can move God to forgive our sins.

God has promised that He will heal the land.  God saves a land by the preaching of the  Gospel of salvation to all men.  This is how God saves men.  It is the only WAY that Jesus is going to heal the sin-sick soul that is dying.  It sets the heart ablaze with a new love:  love for Him and His kingdom of righteousness.  He heals broken men by transforming them.  He heals nations; all through the power of His Gospel.  The Gospel is the power of God to change the hearts of men returning them to their Creator.

A land that has broken the covenant with God cannot be healed.  Sadly, we cannot change the world unless we use the power that there is in the Gospel, the Truth, the Word of God.  Remember that Jesus is standing outside, knocking at our door, calling all men to wholeheartedly return to Him fulfilling  their covenant vows, Rev. 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me."  We must meet the conditions of revival which are found in the plan of salvation for God to dwell in us and we in Him.

The prize that we are yearning to win is our Lord Jesus and the revelation of His glory among all men.  Nothing on earth can compare to the boundless riches of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ, "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord."  Acts 3:19.  He cannot resist those who humbly and honestly seek Him and admit to desperately needing Him.

The only way that we are going to know the beauty of Christ in our brokenness is by surrendering all to Him; all our will, all of the self.  Refreshing or revival flows out of broken and surrendered lives. Repentance is an act of submission, but we must become living sacrifices to receive the gift of salvation.  Holiness is the result of Christians yielding to the sanctifying Word of God.  Only those surrendered saints will be able to rescue a lost and perishing world.

May we all bring our broken lives to God.  The following song well expresses the blessings of brokenness.

Luci

Bring Christ Your Broken Life 

Bring Christ your broken life, 
So marred by sin. 
He will create anew, 
Make whole again. 
Your empty wasted years 
He will restore, 
And your iniquities, 
Remember no more 

Bring Him your every care 
if great or small 
whatever troubles you 
oh, bring it all 
Bring him the haunting fears 
the nameless dread 
thy heart he will relieve 
and lift up thy head 

Bring Him your weariness 
receive his rest 
Weep out your blinding tears 
upon his breast 
His love is wonderful 
his power is great 
and none that trust in him shall be desolate 

Blest Saviour of us all 
almighty friend! 
His presence shall be ours 
unto the end 
without him, life would be 
how dark how drear 
but with him morning breaks 

and Heaven is near!