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by Tam Henry George
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Psalms 51:17

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:
a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise

Leading Questions:

What does it mean to be broken?
Who is a broken man or woman?
How do we know when we are broken?
What are the signposts of brokenness?
Does God break us?
How does God respond to a broken heart?

Guiding Scriptures: Psalms 38: 1-22; Psalms 51:17; Psalms 34:18; Psalms 44:19; Jer 4:3; Hosea 10:12.

In our daily quest to please the Lord, we should understand this; we have to be broken before we can be what God wants us to be. We have to be broken up before God in order to receive grace to do what The Father wants us to do. A broken heart is a heart ready to please the Lord.

But to be broken, there needs to be a kind of ‘falling’, our humanity, personality, nature, character, identity and person has to give way to God’s divine attributes (characteristics, traits and power), to God’s divinity (God’s way of behaving, standpoint, approach to things and issues, manner, thoughts and feelings, mind-set, opinion). We cannot put something that is whole ‘together again’, we can only put something that is broken together. When we fall, then we break. Then He, God, gathers the pieces together and moulds us again, putting the pieces (our thoughts, character, and plans through His word) where He wants them to be. This He will continue to do until we are like Him in thought, character, mind-set, purpose, feelings and approach to things and issues.

In our ‘falling’ we don’t fall to the ground. God forbid! We fall into His everlasting arms!

‘The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are
the everlasting arms: Deu 33:27.

That is why

‘…a just man falleth seven times, and riseth
up again:’ Prov 24:16.

He falls into the arms of His Father. He falls into the arms of His father and he’s broken.

‘And whosoever shall fall on this stone
shall be broken:’ Matt 21:44.

The ‘breaking’ is a continuous process that will take time and come in different forms as we open ourselves to the Lord..

1. When we sin: When we sin we fall. It takes a heart broken by sorrow caused by sin to turn to God for forgiveness (2 Cor 7:10-12). If we are not sorry for those actions that contravene the word of God, then we are hardened. Our heart is not yet broken (Prov 15:13). Brokenness is the realization that we need forgiveness, we need grace to help us turn away from sin. This sought of brokenness comes about because we realize that we have hurt our Father who loves us. And a broken heart He will not reject. Ps 51:17.

2. Challenges: When we are helpless and cannot with our strength or skill help ourselves or do anything to remedy or deal with a bad situation, it takes a broken heart to turn to God in such times of helplessness. Ps 31:12, Ps 69:20. It could be an illness, lack, confusion, need for direction. It takes a broken heart to yield to God and turn to Him for help. When you can’t see anything but tears. When the pain in your heart can’t be quenched and you cry and groan all day. When all your friends turn their backs on you and cut off entirely from you, when all you can see is God, then the heart has been broken and ready to be healed. God comes in and picks up the broken parts and puts them together again. He moulds you again. He begins a work that wouldn’t have been possible if you hadn’t found yourself in that situation that led to your brokenness. Grief is one thing that breaks one. You can’t do anything about it, you can’t heal it, it takes God to heal you. Jer 23:9.

3. Weakness: A habit, a fault, a tendency to repeat what we know is wrong. When we reach a point in our lives when we can’t handle it anymore, we know this must stop but we lack the strength to say No, and fall before Him in tears and utter helplessness, recognizing our frailty, our humanity and reach out to His divinity; He then takes over the battle for control.

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay,
and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
Isaiah 64:8

And as the Potter looks into our broken heart, He moulds and He releases grace to enable us take charge of our lives again.

4. When God Breaks Us: God has a purpose for your life as an individual, but for us be effective in that purpose, the Potter has to break us and mould us Rom 9:2. He has to prepare us to achieve that dream of the Spirit. If we refuse to be broken, we cannot be yielded. We have to be broken before we can surrender to God. When the fallow ground is broken then it is ready to receive rain for growth and increase.

For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem,
Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
Jer 4:3

God works with a broken life. A broken life is a fertile land. Job didn’t know what God was working out in His life, but at the end, his end was better than his beginning and his life was a testimony to his friends Job 16:12, Job 17:11. David knew what it was to be broken by God, no wonder he was a man after God’s heart Ps 44:19. Jeremiah saw that the potter could work except he moulds the clay, breaks it, and moulds it until he is satisfied with the outcome Jer 18:1-6.

God’s response to a broken heart:

1. He heals and binds – Ps 147:3, Ezekiel 34:16, Isaiah 61:1

2. He moulds – Jer 18:1-6

It’s time we head in the direction of the potter’s house. It's about time we go and pay the Potter a visit that will change our character, vision, purpose, conduct, our way of thinking, our approach to things, especially the things of God and our thoughts and feelings. But only visit if you desire a change, if you know you don’t mind being broken! If you are sure you are ready to surrender your humanity to His divinity.

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