When this area in my life first began popping up awhile back, I wrote a poem. Little did I know
that this would last longer than the few minutes it took to scribble out the thoughts I’d
been having in poetry form. Instead, I am finding that that one poem was simply the
gateway to leading me to another path in my life. The path is not an easy one; in fact, I
have heard of it as being one of the most difficult trails to blaze in a Christian’s life. This
path is The Path of Brokenness. Suppose I share the poem that started the domino effect?
I Was Broken Once
Yes, once upon a time,
I was a broken person.
And once upon a time,
I was the moldable one.
But then one day I changed
When I picked up just one piece,
And after that one part
Work on ‘ME’ just wouldn’t cease.
It happened bit by bit,
Much more than I was aware,
For in picking pieces up
I rebuilt my own will there.
I built up MY desires
Left God’s will in my dust.
I raised up MY own way,
And God’s I wouldn’t trust.
I pieced my own ideals
And left the Lord’s behind.
Leaving God’s plans for me
My own I worked to refine.
Having now myself in place
Where God alone should be,
I looked around only to find
A hard and stiff-necked me.
I’ve gathered all my pieces
I’ve made ME big and bold.
Yes, I’ve rebuilt, shaped myself,
Yet now in worldly mold.
Now a “finished” vessel
I look back and I see
That since I’ve done all the building
God really can’t use ‘ME’.
Yes, I was broken once,
But I’m not anymore
Now I need those pieces back
Like I had had before.
So, Father, take me, break me,
Make me moldable once more
Then build me up in Your plan
For what use You have in store.
May 12, 2014
God had been using different things in my life, different situations, different
struggles, different teaching sessions, to show me how I was just so hard-hearted. When
I wrote this poem I was only just beginning to see that I needed to be broken. I knew
something needed to change, that something needed to be different. I struggled for a
long time not knowing what it was. I was trying to do everything right, but everything I
was trying to do was so hard and I would struggle and struggle in so many areas. Many
things, by God’s grace alone, have changed in the past couple of months and it has been
quite a journey so far, but I know that it has only just begun. Even though I see the path
that I must take, I have not arrived at the end of it. Forgive me for my lengthy account of
things I have found on my way. The first thing that really began this journey was the first
chapter of a book by Roy Hession entitled “The Calvary Road”, whom I shall quote.
God has been showing me that first of all, to live for Him I must be broken. Not
only must I be broken, but I must be in a perpetual state of brokenness. I cannot live
but Christ must live in and through me. If I desire Christ to really live in me, I must be
“The Lord Jesus cannot live in us fully and reveal Himself through us until the proud
self within us is broken. This simply means that the hard unyielding self, which justifies
itself, wants its own way, stands up for its rights, and seeks its own glory, at last bows its
head to God’s will, admits its wrong, gives up its own way to Jesus, surrenders its rights
and discards its own glory – that the Lord Jesus might have all and be all. In other words,
it is dying to self and self-attitudes.” (Roy Hession)
If I am to be broken, I must give up all my rights to Him. Every single one. I
cannot allow what I believe my rights to be to have dominance over my relationship
with Christ. If I do, I am not living for Christ; I am only His fair-weather friend that
will do what He asks of me if it corresponds with my rights and what I want to do.
As a Christian, I should have no right to dictate me. I do have that right because God
allows me to have it, but when I became a Christian, I gave my life to Him.
Life = Everything.
I gave Him my rights then, but did I let Him keep them? Do I allow Him
those rights now? Again, as a Christian, I have no right to dictate me; BUT - Christ has
every right!!! Am I giving it to Him daily and allowing Him to enforce that right?
I really struggled (and still struggle) with living in victory every day. I become
discouraged rather easily and trudge through many days saying “God, why can’t I win?
Why did I fall again?!” The thing is, I can’t win when I’m trying in my own strength.
And when I fall, chances are I was standing on my own to begin with. In order to live in
daily victory, I must live in daily brokenness. And, actually, God doesn’t even want me to
live daily for Him; He wants me to die daily for Him. (Philippians 1:21) For me to try to
live every day for Christ gives the sense that I am doing it all. However, if I die every day
for Him, I no longer have anything to do with the way that I live – or rather, the way God
lives through me. And in order for Him to live through me, I must lay down ‘me’ and
die so He is exalted above myself and my desires. In order for Him to flow through me, I
must be broken so Jesus Christ covers every shard of my being.
"And as we look honestly at our Christian lives, we can see how much of this
self there is in each of us. It is so often self who tries to live the Christian life
(the mere fact that we use the word “try” indicates that it is self who has the
responsibility). It is self, too, who is often doing Christian work. It is always
self who gets irritable and envious and resentful and critical and worried. It is
self who is hard and unyielding in its attitudes to others. It is self who is shy
and self-conscious and reserved. No wonder we need breaking. As long as self
is in control, God can do little with us, for the fruit of the Spirit (enumerated in
Galatians 5) with which God longs to fill us is the complete antitheses of the hard,
unbroken spirit within us and presupposes that self has been crucified." (Roy Hession)
Only when I am broken can God move and work in my life to His fullest extent, for there is nothing standing in His way. When I am broken, God’s word will be allowed to direct me without my finding some reason or someone else who says I don’t have to. It too will have preeminence over my life. Nothing is resisting, nothing creates a wall between me and my Savior. Of course, on the way to brokenness there is always the temptation to think that if I give up everything, then God will ask me to do things – crazy things. Things that might hurt me. Things that require a lot. And I’m right. God will ask me to do things like that. But God will never do two things: 1) He will never ask me for
something I cannot give (whether of myself or through Him); 2) He will never take advantage of me. When I break my heart at His feet He doesn’t see it as something to play with. He takes it seriously. (Psalm 51:17) Even more seriously than I do. When I give Him my dreams and my desires He knows what it cost me and He will treasure my broken pieces, not just throw them away or throw them in this direction or that. He sees them as a precious treasure and He values them too much to just throw around. I know that whatever He sends my way, He has carefully considered every aspect. Two things He will always do: 1) He will always be patient when I’m having a hard time with what
He asks of me; 2) He will always give me enough grace and strength to cover what He asks of me.
And just as a side note...
Sometimes we think that with God’s blessings and gifts, the talents He has given, comes the right to use them as we choose, to be who we want to be. Not so. He gave them to us with a purpose other than our glory. Perhaps we may say “God use me and my gifts” but unless we are broken, God can’t really use us to our - His full extent and intent. When we begin our paths without seeking His will, why do we demand that He rain His blessings down on what He didn’t ask us to do? Why do we expect Him to cause our willful way to blossom from His pleasure?
None of the heroes in the Bible chose who they would become according to their
gifts and talents that God had given them, but God gave them gifts and talents according
to His will for them. David didn’t become the king’s musician because he set that goal
and said “I want to play for the king when I grow up”, but he ended up having his talents
used in that way because he allowed God to use him in whichever way He chose. Esther
did not necessarily have dreams of becoming the queen because of her beauty that God
gave, but God used her beauty to make her queen and to fulfill His purpose of her place,
enabling her to save her people. The list goes on. God doesn’t call us to be anything but
broken and surrendered vessels in His hands and sometimes He uses the gifts and talents
He gave us to equip us for His will for us. We cannot take what God has given and run
with them to fulfill our dreams. Rather we must give them back to God and ask Him to
show us His dream for us and what He had in mind when He gave us what we have. And
that is one of the hardest lessons I have to learn.
Brokenness is a long journey, I understand, and it takes a lot of surrender. And
sometimes this road is traveled many times over a lifetime. I have only just begun and I
know that there is a lot in store for me, a lot for me to learn yet. I am still so stubborn and
wanting my own way, my own rights. I want to stand up for me rather than allow God to
use situations to break me and make me moldable. Before I take my leave, may I
challenge you to ask yourself some questions?
~Are you broken? Does God seem far away? Allow your heart to be broken and He will be
near to you. (Psalm 34:18)
~Do you hold your life with open hands? Have you given every desire over to Him
who gave everything for you? Is there anything you hold onto tightly? Let it go. Let
everything go. God will not despise your sacrifice.
~Do you live or die daily? God will honor your attempts to be a living sacrifice, even if
you fail often. When you strive to give to God every day, you can expect Him to bless
everyday. Maybe not in the way you think, but He will and in a way that He knows is
best for you.
Please – search your hearts and ask God to search for any stubborn streak in
your will. It will cause a spiritual growth stunt and it will hurt you. He wants to bless
unimaginably, but He cannot if we insist on living even just one small part of our lives
for us rather than Him. Even He will do nothing if the heart’s not willing. God will not
force us to break. We must allow ourselves to be broken.