Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Contrite Spirit, Broken Heart

Scripture:  Psalm 51 v 17: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."

When we first come to God full of sin, misery and hurt, He searches our heart to see if we really want the life He is offering or are just looking for a quick fix pain-killer that offloads guilt in a temporary fashion to go and sin again. 

But if we were to approach God through our brokenness and offer Him the shattered fragments of our lives lived without Jesus as our Saviour and Redeemer, for Him to shape into a person who truly loves Him, how acceptable that would be.

Brokenness was much written about by Watchman Nee, a true martyr of our faith at the hands of Chinese communism in the 1950's. How our hard unyielding stubborn souls needed to be broken so the pure essence of our spirit could flow forth and minister the grace of Jesus to others.

He likened it to the woman who anointed Jesus' feet in  Luke 7 v 36-50. She broke open an alabaster or marble box filled with a precious perfumed ointment and poured it over His feet and washed his feet in her tears drying them with her hair. She was a terrible sinner but through this outpouring of her heart and soul, which was highlighted by the breaking of the alabaster box, Jesus told her that her sins were forgiven.

Jesus also criticised the Pharisee, whose house He was in, for objecting to Him allowing a sinful woman to touch Him. Even though the Pharisee only thought it was wrong, Jesus discerned what was in his mind and heart.

He contrasted the humilty of this woman's brokenness with the Pharisees hard unbroken heart. You cannot feign brokenness. It is a condition that brings you to the Cross of Jesus and keeps you in His love forever. You will sacrifice every worldly pleasure to remain at His feet within His intimate circle. You will do anything to please Him and receive His blessing.

Brokenness is not something to run and hide from. It is what we all need - to lose our pride, and arrogant independence which walls us into our own selfish world. Once that hardness is broken we can touch the heart of people in need, knowing their pain as if it were our own.

This is necessary for true intercessory prayer. Jesus is our High Priest and Intercessor. An intercessor is one who takes the place of another; who stands in the gap between God and man. The gap is created by sinful behaviour and prayer is needed to bring the wayward one back to the Father.

If we are unbroken it is like a horse that is unbroken. You can't do anything with that horse until it submits to a saddle and bridle. Like us. We need to yield to Jesus so He can bring us into line with God's will for us. 

So if you have been through some shattering experiences it could be the hand of the Lord and not a satanic attack. Remember Jeremiah 18 v 1-12 the story of the potter and his wheel.  V 4: "And the vessel he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it."

Note that the marred vessel of clay had to be smashed and remoulded into a new vessel. The clay had no say in what it would become. This is what Jesus needs from all of us. Stop telling Him what you want to be. He has much greater ideas for you than that!

Prayer: Heavenly Father I yield myself to Your perfect will for my life. Let me not be stubborn and hard in self will, unbelief and disobedience but rather soft and pliable in Your hands. In Jesus' name. Amen.