Mysterious indeed is God’s dealings with man. He is more than willing to work in and through any individual. However the procedure and its pathways are not often comprehensible to you and me. One of the facets of His working in us is the way God breaks us before He ever begins to build and use us.
David repeatedly speaks of the need of a broken heart. More than our religious rituals and other spiritual activities He is looking for a humble heart. Not only will He look at them compassionately, He is also nearer to them. Psa. 34: 18; 51: 17; Joel 2:13. They will experience divine fellowship and healing touch in special way. Psa 147: 3; Isa 57: 15; 66: 2. The Lord can not be close to a stiff-necked, stubborn individual who is proud, arrogant and unyielding. He can not help them in any manner.
Though such a broken heart and contrite spirit is basic requirement to forgiveness and renewal etc, sinful man finds it very hard to come down and rend his heart before an all-knowing God. To succeed and stay smart he would take any course. One who finds fault with others always yet never notice the ugly state of self. This is the natural characteristic of fallen man. .
That’s why God in His sovereign plan and wisdom begins to break us. Praise God, even if it takes time, He does complete His work. Like clay in the hands of potter, though marred in the process, He crushes and reforms us to a suitable vessel. Cf. Jere 18: 4
We have plenty of examples for such work of God. The Lord had to touch the socket of Jacob’s hip to break him. There we see him acknowledging his true state and yielding to the Lord. That was the beginning of a new dawn in his life. Gen. 32: 24 – 31. It took 40 years to mould Moses to such a stage where He will confess, “Who am I?” Exo 3:11. So with David, Isaiah, Peter, Paul and many other saints in the past, in a wonderful and inexplicable way God dealt with them. As a result with broken heart and contrite spirit we see them fall prostrate before the Almighty, submitting to His will.
Brethren, till such surrender to the Lord in all humility will not take place, He can not make use of us, nor can He pour His choicest blessings in to our life. As Paul acknowledges, it is when we are weak we become strong. 2Cori 12: 10. The word of God categorically says, when we lose we gain, life comes out of death, the humbled are being exalted and the way up is downward! God is against the proud and gives grace to the humble. Cf. Jam 4:6
Sad, in our pride and unbending attitude we waste our time and usefulness. In fact we are simply despising the longsuffering of God. Rom 2: 4, 5. Yet God is still working on us. The more we refuse to be broken, not only it takes more time; it will become more painful too. So, beloved child of God, the best thing is to surrender to God’s will and be humble.
Allow the Lord to fulfil His plan in us. Stop questioning His wisdom; accept all that He allows in us. The complicated situations, the difficult people, the unfavourable circumstances and the unexpected events etc are all well-planned and permitted by our Master who plans the best for us.
Broken for us
Remember, our Lord Jesus Christ had to go through such severe hardships. He was bruised, chastened and beaten. Not to mould Him as in our case but to be our propitiation. The perfect God who took the form of man, taking our place He satisfied the demands of God’s justice. As a result we can have forgiveness and access to His presence. Cf. Isa 53: 5; Rom 3: 24 – 26. It is on this basis God is willing to work in us, yet our personal conviction, confession and commitment is imperative. Unless we yield, tearing down the façade created by our self-righteousness and supercilious sacred services, God cannot begin his good work. Cf. Jn 16: 8
Brokenness and humility has to be the mark of a Christian, not adamant and haughty attitude. To claim to be born of God and being nil of this basic quality is a contradiction. Let us examine our heart and plead with the Lord to break us indeed. If going through such experiences praise God for it and continue to be humble. As we are being broken and humbly fall at His feet, God will be pleased, stay near to us, heal our heart and strengthen us.
Fire & Prayer
After William Carey was well established in his pioneer missionary work in India, his supporters in England sent a printer to assist him. Soon the two men were turning out portions of the Bible for distribution. Carey had spent many years learning the language so that he could produce the scriptures in the local dialect. He had also prepared dictionaries and grammars for the use of his successors.
One day while Carey was away, a fire broke out and completely destroyed the building, the presses, many Bibles, and the precious manuscripts, dictionaries, and grammars. When he returned and was told of the tragic loss, he showed no sign of despair or impatience. Instead, he knelt and thanked God that he still had the strength to do the work over again. He started immediately, not wasting a moment in self-pity. Before his death, he had duplicated and even improved on his earlier achievements.