Brokenness in the Christian experience can refer to bad and harmful brokenness, but more often it refers to a necessary state of dependence upon the Lord. This is a very good type of brokenness.
In her book The Broken Way Ann Voskamp testifies about the benefits of becoming openly broken together—of being transparent with each other about our brokenness and our weaknesses. She says there’s winsomeness when we are vulnerable together. Another woman who is from a long line of farmers was conversing with Ann and proclaimed how she clearly comprehends this brokenness as being like a seed.
In John 12:24 Jesus teaches the following.
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat fall to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies it produces many seeds.”
When we can allow ourselves to become openly vulnerable with each other, the seed hull breaks open to germinate in the nutrient rich soil of God’s word as it is discussed in a group setting such as a bible study.
“A yielded life, surrendered to God yields the most.”—Ann Voskamp
If we hope to be glorified we must be crucified with Christ and die to the old self-life, as Paul so succinctly expounds.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
This is in perfect union with Jesus words in Luke 9:23 “…Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves…”
As excruciating as death sounds to human sensitivities, it is required. It is the secret to receiving great spiritual power for renewal and transformation, which, every soul of great faith has received from God’s Holy Spirit imparting the new life within.
This brokenness or death to the old self is clearly counter cultural. The world’s way is to avoid suffering, pain and brokenness. Here again, we see the upside down ways of God’s wisdom compared to the world’s perspective and beliefs.
How do I live my life surrendered to God, dead to self and alive in Christ? It is by my willingness to be broken by God. It is humbly accepting that I do not know, and God does know, so I must surrender my mind to Him. The world itself is broken, and yet, God is able to break the brokenness of the world and create a new wholeness, a new life which produces more of the same.
When a seed or kernel is planted in the ground it must break open, and then the embryo breaks through the earth to rise up and become a stalk of wheat with a full head of kernels. Because the seed yields to brokenness, the seed eventually produces many more seeds.
And so in our lives, as we prayerfully learn from the scriptures, humbly yielding every thought and each area of our lives to Christ, He brings to life in us ten times more than we have surrendered.
“…We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5b
If we could only see with His eyes how puny and haggardly the things our old lives cling to actually are, we’d drop them like glowing embers. During this maturing process, God does give us sight—light to see how destructive those things of the old life really are. We begin to lucidly perceive things from a spiritual perspective, and then wonder how we could have been so blinded by our old fleshly desires.
The Spirit will tell us to let go of that putrid practice, that immature way of thinking, that old disparaging habit, our pride. He will say, “Here, take these diamonds and emeralds instead.” Because, what God gives in return is worth exceedingly more than what we must surrender to Him. We could compare allowing ourselves to be broken with scrapping an old jalopy and exchanging it for a shiny new Rolls Royce. And to giving up a position as the janitor of a company in order to become the CEO of that company. And with trading the strength of a deathly sick Pee Wee for the strength of Sampson. And to trading ignorance for wisdom, knowledge and discernment. And to handing over our ticket to the lake of fire in exchange for a ticket to paradise. But without allowing ourselves to be broken and remade, we will not receive any of the good things God has to give us. We must become Broken Vessels.
Broken Vessels By Hillsong
If we hope to truly live we must put our old sinful nature to death, while nurturing the new life we have in Christ. We do so through prayerful study of God’s word, fellowship with Godly people, removing worldly stimulus, and all the rest of what the Spirit of God leads us to do. See you up yonder!
For more on Brokeness in relation to the Christian experience see this post and others from the site I received the opening image from: Sovereign Grace