Beautifully Broken – Part 1 in a series: Broken, Submitted and Set Apart
by Lisa Hall, international prayer coordinator for TWR Women of Hope
“Before God can use you, he has to break you. Every great movement of God is preceded by a season of humility and repentance. A time of tearing down walls. Of getting honest with God and others about your true spiritual condition. It may be hard. It may hurt. But in the end, God will use your brokenness to restore your ‘first love’ for Jesus, rekindle your spiritual life, reconcile your relationships, and repair your life.” (Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Brokenness)
Are you longing for revival in your life? Do you desire to be set free from sinful patterns that defeat you and instead to walk with God in an intimate and life-giving way? Many of us long for this, but how do we get there? God wants this for us as well and proclaims,
“‘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’” (Isa. 57:15b).
Brokenness is not an emotion but a surrendering of our will. It is an ongoing decision to die to our self-will and embrace his will and ways and to choose dependence on God rather than our own self-reliance. When we respond with sincere repentance to the Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin, God softens our hearts so that we can both receive and respond to God. It opens the pathway of the flow of his presence and power in our lives. Brokenness is the means to put to death our pride and the controlling of our fleshly desires.
Several months ago, I found myself needing to confess and repent of a sin that I had committed. Honestly, in my mind it was something quite small. But I knew that I still needed to confess it to God and ask forgiveness. However, I was not prepared for God’s response.
As I asked him to cleanse me of my sin, God flashed a scene in my mind. I was standing there in front of him with Jesus at his side. When I asked to be cleansed of my sin, he turned around and put his hand on Jesus’ body. When he removed it, I could see it was covered in Christ’s blood. God then reached over and touched me with it. I looked up at Jesus’ face and felt his loving but very sad eyes upon me.
It completely undid me. I had not realized how offensive my sin is to God, how it affects our relationship and what it cost Jesus. I was forced at that moment to confront the way I view my sin, and I began to question: Do I cherish my relationship with God to the point that I will do anything to not violate it? Do I fully understand what my sin cost Jesus? Am I taking my sin seriously or just casually asking forgiveness and then moving on with my life? Do I see the effects of my sin and what it is doing to my relationship with God and with others?
I’ve come to the heavy realization that I violate relationship when I sin. In other words, I break trust with the Lord when I sin. I have broken that vow of holiness when I sin and am no longer set apart for God; I have instead embraced another god, perhaps myself or my flesh.
But God was so good in not leaving me in despair. In his mercy, he showed me that the solution to my giving in to sin lies in my abiding in God and he in me. When I am fully surrendered to God and broken in humility before him, when I choose to love him more than anything else, he can give me his power to say no to temptation and choose his way of escape. He can give me the discernment to think through the consequences of my actions. When I choose holiness so that I am set apart for him, he can give me the will to do what is right.
My heart was crushed when I understood my sin as God sees it. But it also opened my eyes to the immensity of God’s love and grace in a way I had not previously understood. I’m learning that being in a state of brokenness is the best place to be before God. Will you join me there?