Brokenness is the Beginning of Personal Revival (Chapter One)
“My way or the highway” is what I say to myself since I do not have the audacity to say these stubborn words to God. My fallen nature wants to be first, go first, and to be thought of as first. My selfishness is my biggest problem: I want it my way. Everyone should center their lives around my needs and desires. What I want, what I need, and what I like: all my demands should be everyone’s concern. However, Christ died to change my motivation from self-centeredness to Christ-centeredness. Christ changed my heart and made me a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised (2 Cor 5:14-15 ESV).
After my conversion, when I yielded my life to Christ at the foot of the Cross, the Holy Spirit changed my motivation. When my Lord Jesus Christ became God incarnate in human flesh (Phil. 2:3-11): my Lord became a servant, my Lord laid down his rights, my Lord did not retaliate, my Lord became my substitute, and my Lord took my punishment (Mark 10:45). Christ lives in me, therefore, he will live the same selfless life in me that he lived on earth (Col. 1:27). Christ has conquered the root of my selfishness, but self-centeredness can still pervade avenues of my thinking and control areas of my heart. Sanctification, Christian growth, is the Holy Spirit working through people, circumstances, and the Word to address the selfishness still resident in my life. Therefore, the Lord sovereignly puts me in places of weakness that I would depend solely on him (Heb. 12:5-11).
By nature we are so strong, so able to think and plan and do, and God must bring us to the place of weakness, the place where we cannot think or plan or do apart from him.
[Watchman Nee, Changed Into His Likeness (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1987), 128.]
The Lord works in my heart making it pliable and open to his will. Brokenness is a heart yielded to God; ready and willing to obey the Holy Spirit whenever and wherever He directs. When I yield my heart’s desires to him, a sweetness of the Holy Spirit begins to pervade my life.
The breaking of the alabaster box and the anointing of the Lord filled the house with the odor, with the sweetest odor (John 12:1-8). Everyone could smell it. Whenever you meet someone who has really suffered; been limited, gone through things for the Lord, willing to be imprisoned by the Lord, just being satisfied with Him and nothing else, immediately you scent the fragrance. There is a savor of the Lord. Something has been crushed, something has been broken, and there is a resulting odor of sweetness.
[Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life (Fort Washington, Penn.: CLC, 1985), 281.]
If I want an anointed ministry, then saying “yes” to the Resident Boss, the Holy Spirit, is a requirement.
Emptiness, yieldedness, brokenness-these are the conditions of the Spirit’s outflow. Such was the path taken by the Prince of Life to set free the flood-tide of Pentecost.
[Lilias Trotter cited in They Knew Their God, Vol. 1 by E. Harvey and L. Hey (Shoals, Ind.: Kingsley Press, 1974). ]
In chapter one of The Calvary Road, Hession calls on us to yield everything to Christ:
If, however, we are to come into this right relationship with Him, the first thing we learn is that our wills must be broken to His will. To be broken is the beginning of Revival. It is painful, humiliating, but it is the only way. It is being “Not I, but Christ” (Gal 2:20), and a “C” is a bent “I.” The Lord Jesus cannot live in us fully and reveal Himself through 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, The Calvary Road (Fort Washington, Penn,: Christian Literature Crusade, 1950), 21.]
The path to joy, fulfillment, and freedom in Christ is brokenness.
And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it (Matt. 10:38-39).
Lord, we pray, change our hearts and transform our lives that we might reflect the selflessness of our Lord Jesus Christ.