Brokenness, The Heart God Revives
Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Brokenness is not a feeling or an emotion. Rather, it requires a choice, an act of the will. Further, this choice is not primarily a onetime experience, though there may be profound and life-changing spiritual turning points in our lives. True brokenness is an ongoing, constant way of life. True brokenness is a lifestyle--a moment-by-moment lifestyle of agreeing with God about the true condition of my heart and life-not as everyone else thinks it is but as He knows it to be.
“Brokenness is the shattering of my self-will—the absolute surrender of my will to the will of God. It is saying, ‘Yes, Lord!’—no resistance—no chafing, no stubbornness—simply submitting myself to His direction and will in my life.
“Contrite is one word that is used in the Old Testament to speak of brokenness. That word suggests something that is crushed into small particles or ground into powder, as a rock is pulverized. What is it that God wants to pulverize in us? It is not our spirit He wants to break, nor is it our essential personhood. He wants to break our self-will.
“When we speak of a horse being ‘broken’, we don’t mean that someone physically breaks its legs; we mean that the horse’s will has been broken—that it is now compliant and submissive to the wishes of its rider. In the same sense, true brokenness is the breaking of my self-will, so that the life and spirit of the Lord Jesus may be released through me. It is my humble and obedient response to the conviction of God’s Word and His Holy Spirit.
“Brokenness is the stripping of self-reliance and independence from God. The broken person has no confidence in his own righteousness or his own works, but he is cast in total dependence upon the grace of God working in and through him.
“Brokenness is the softening of the soil of my heart—it is the breaking up of any clods of resistance that could keep the seed from penetrating and taking root. I believe one of the reasons many pastors faithfully preach the Word week after week and see so little fruit in the lives of their listeners is that the soil in many of our hearts has become so hard and fallow that the seed cannot penetrate. Believers with broken, contrite hearts are receptive and responsive to the Word.
“As wax or clay must be soft and pliable in order to be molded by the artist’s hand, so the broken, contrite heart is easily molded by the hand of God and does not harden itself against the circumstances God chooses to mold it in.”
“You and I will never meet God in revival until we first meet Him in brokenness. Our families will never be whole until husbands and wives, moms and dads, and young people have been broken. Our churches will never be the vibrant witness God intended them to be in the world until their members-pastors and laypeople alike-have experienced true brokenness.”
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