The Value of a Broken Heart
Pastor Arn Buck
Heart Song Worship Center
Although the following passage was giving specifically to the Jewish captives in Babylon, I believe that it is reflection of God's heart for each of us. It is consistent with His nature as shown in both the Old and New Testaments. God's intent for us is re-enforced by Romans 8:28.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Romans 8:28 (NLT) And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Most of us have heard at least one story of someone rich and successful who desired the same success for their son. They had ample resources to make their dream possible. They sent him to the finest of schools. They had all the contacts and the influence to get him started on the path to success. Yet he continually resisted their help. He would try to do well in school. He hung out with the wrong crowd and developed dependencies on drugs and alcohol. His selfishness and desire for independence ruined his life and broke his parent's heart.
I wonder how often we do this with God? Except for Jesus no one has completely grasped God's vision for them and taken advantage of all that He provides for our success. How often do we search out all the scriptures that shows us the potential that we have in God? How often do we dream about really being what He wants us to be? How often do we struggle in prayer seeking that next step closer to Him? Do we desire to be like Jesus, as a young boy desires to be like their baseball hero or a young girl desires to be like the pop star she idolizes. In light of that how often do we dream about fulfilling our own dreams and desires? How often do we break his heart as he sees us falling short of what we could be? Do we fail to dream because we believe it to be impossible? Didn't Jesus come as an example to show us what is possible?
Brokenness - A starting Point
If we want to be all that God planned for us, we have to make certain the we are not like the selfish and rebellious son that was previously described. We have to be brought to a point where our will and our desires get out of God's way. Martin Luther once said, God creates out of nothing. Therefore until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him." We become nothing through the process of brokenness. Brokenness opens the door for us to become God's handiwork. Like a wild horse we become one that can be ridden. Our desire for independence is replaced with dependence on God.
Psalms 51:17 (NLT) The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Isaiah 57:15 (NLT) The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: "I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.
The Hebrew word for brokenness implies a crushing into fine powder. It portrays the complete destruction of our rebellious spirit.
In brokenness God shows us or reminds us of His role relative to our role. We are reminded that He is above us. He is our source of strength. He is our glorious and benevolent Lord and Master. We are reminded that it is a good thing that He is the one in control and not us. He only has the power to be the solution to all are problems. This brings us to a point where we willingly surrender our will to His.
When we are broken God does not violate our free will. He uses a often desperate situation to get our attention. It gives Him an opportunity to see Him with greater clarity and with a greater sense of reality than we normally do. He uses brokenness to reveal our self deception to us. God used the prophet Nathan to show David that He had not forgotten or overlooked the sin the David committed with Bathsheba. David had conveniently changed God's nature and character in His own mind.
Godly desires we might have are not necessarily His will.
We desperately need God's truth to help us with self-deception. Especially here and now. I am amazed at the convoluted logic that I have recently seen very intelligent men use to reject spiritual truth. I have seen men with advanced theological degrees reflect spiritual truth with their shield of self-deception that has been refined to an art-form. Such self-deception is our enemy in this area.
He uses brokenness to replace our independence with dependence on Him. He uses it to show our self deception to us.
Broken From Our Well-Intentioned Efforts
Many years ago my wife had an encounter with God in the form of a vision. He meet her at a point of exhaustion and discouragement.
"One Sunday morning before church service in 1988, I went to the prayer room to pray. That particular week I had been going through some difficulty that had worn me down so much emotionally and spiritually that I felt defeated. Leaning against the wall behind me, my body slid down to the floor in a heap like a rag doll. In all honesty I really cannot remember what the problem was that caused this reaction. What happened next was so gloriously overwhelming that everything else became totally insignificant.
I fell under the power of the Spirit and saw myself dressed as a soldier laying face up on a battlefield. I had dropped my sword during combat so I kept stretching my arm out to reach it. No matter how much effort I made, it remained out of reach. The intensity of the battle continued to rage around me as I lay there defenselessly. Exasperated and desperate, I cried out to the Lord several times, "I want my sword! Lord, I need my sword!"
Suddenly I heard God's voice say two words: "I AM." When He spoke those two little words, His Hebrew names that I had studied from the Bible flashed before my eyes as bright as a blinking neon sign. Jehovah Nissi! El Elyon! El Shaddai! Jehovah M'Kaddesh! Jehovah Sabaoth! Jehovah Jireh! El Hai! Jehovah Elohay! At the very same instant that He said, "I AM," the Lord caused my sword to leap into my hand. The anointing power of the Holy Spirit surged up my arm from the sword. The magnitude of His presence was stronger than I had ever sensed before in my life. My thought was, "Wow, this is probably how Moses felt at the burning bush!" Moses was a changed man after his encounter with God. Because of my encounter with the Lord of Glory, my faith soared to a new level. Now I know beyond all doubt that God is real. I know that God is indeed "a very present help in the time of trouble." (Psalm 46:1)
Although on that day my problem seemed as huge as a mountain, in just a mere microsecond God flattened that mountain with His presence. So it did not matter it happened. The Lord is God and He is awesome. That is what matters! The presence of God was what I needed that day. Truly it is what everyone needs. If God is for us, who can be against us? If we have God, we have all the answers to our prayers because His divine power is constantly magnanimous. As the Lord said to Abraham, "I am your very great reward!"
Since that day my faith in His existence has been unshakable. The lesson He taught me that day has always stayed with me. My prayer is that everyone would have life changing encounters with the Lord of Glory during their pilgrimage toward God."
Submission Motivated By Love
Brokenness brings us to a point where we are submissive to God. But often we find ourselves struggling again. As the Apostle Paul says in Romans 7:19, "I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway." How do we sustain a genuine heart of submission that keeps us on the path God has for us? If brokenness opens the door for us to become God's handiwork. The door is held open by our love for Him. Jesus said in John 14:15, "If you love me, obey my commandments." He expounds upon this further in the same chapter.
John 14:21 (NLT) Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them."
The sacrifice of obedience is a tangible demonstration of love. In love we refrain from pleasing ourselves in order to bring pleasure to the object of our love. Why is a diamond ring so special to a woman? She knows that a diamond is expensive. Receiving one means that its giver purchased it using money that could have used for their own pleasure. Instead they used that money to bring pleasure to the receiver. Once more the ring is a lasting miniature monument commemorating that sacrifice.
In true love we take pleasure in pleasing the one we love. In our love relationship with God we must remember that He is the initiator of our loving relationship. John 4:19 states, "We love because he first loved us." This is saying that our love to Him is in response to the great love that God freely and consistently showers down upon us.
1 John 4:16 (NLT) We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
Jesus' obedience, as our example was motivated by love.
John 14:30-31 (NLT) I don't have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me, but I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father.
Idealistically after being broken God's hand would remain on the rudder of our lives. In reality during our lifetime we will take it from Him again and again. We must never take control for too long. We should welcome His dealings with us as a sign of His love.
God has great plans for each one of us. We must dream and that dream must be the vision of what God has planned for us. We must let the Holy Spirit show us the the reality of the dream. Our inheritance in Him is great. Let us not forsake this inheritance as Esau did. Let us wrestle with God as Jacob did and let Him deal with us until we obtain His blessing.
Ephesians 1:3 (NLT) All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.
I am not here to condemn or judge. I am in the same boat as the rest of us. You don't see me given sight to the blind or raising the dead. I am here to get us to consider the possibilities. What if we became more of what God want us to be? If we did, how affective would the church be, as the Body of Christ? How much better would the world be because of us?