Brokenness – Part 1

Brokenness in the life of the believer is an essential element in the development of a heart towards God and others. Often, only after pain, anguish, or loss do we come to understand and embrace what it means to be broken.

Psalm 51 tells us much about the difficulty that rebellion and sin cause to our inner man. It reminds us in less than endearing ways that we have become liars and frauds by pushing an agenda not sired by the heart of God. We must be careful of every path we take, every agenda we follow, and all advice that is given. Otherwise, we find ourselves distant from His will, continuing this path until we have drifted away from the very will of God.

“Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” – Psalm 51:7 (NLT)

The seventh verse implores God to wash, purge, and restore us to a state held before our rebellion. The writer is pleading to have the forfeited pleasures of intimacy and closeness with God restored. Without a doubt, it was sin that robbed the Psalmist of his vital connection. His request to be purged was ceremonial. However, the disposition of the writer is that he is genuinely disturbed by the lack of a productive relationship with our God.

How wonderful it is to discover the lack whenever it exists. The bible speaks of dead works. I wish that everyone would have their conscience cleaned and cleared of the guilt of dead works and the stain it leaves. I look forward to my sin damaged conscious being acquitted by the higher court of God’s holiness. I learned to my own understanding and went in the wrong direction. Everything I did on that journey resulted in dead works. We were convinced that we had a good plan and an astounding idea, but it did not originate through prayer, for we simply figured it out.

The Psalmist’s penitent heart can’t be mistaken. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

How shall we describe this new attitude with the sensitivity of the spirit as it’s the main concern? It is like the bible states “brokenness”. It is the result of work done on and in the heart. It is humiliation and a broken-heartedness not related to the despair of life. It is a heart pliable to the Word of God. It is a state of being broken from yourself, your pride, and your sin. There is no notion of arrogance for the heart is subdued and brought into obedience through humility.

As we read we discover that the sacrifices that God accepts are this very state of brokenness (Psalm 51:17). It can never be self-imposed, but it can be maintained through steadfastness in prayer. The very notion of protracted corporate prayer is a turn off to our flesh. However, the discipline of prayer is not optional in the life of the believer.

Unfortunately, much ministry is attempted without that constant state of brokenness. To pray with the body of believers until there is a blending of heart and spirit is a must. Anything else would simply be carnal activity.

There was a time in the life of a man I know, that he became pleased and overwhelmed with very little. What was so noteworthy is that in his past he had many possessions, and accomplishments. Yet this man became so contented with so little. He experienced the grace of brokenness and was no longer driven by things but only moved by the urging of the spirit. What about you. Do you practice brokenness?