The Apostle Paul writes, “we have this treasure in earthen vessels” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Earthen vessels (clay pots) are useful but not very durable. They will not last forever, but suffer decay and are subject to elements of this world. The Scriptures also teaches us that the “greater one” lives in us. This is not just a theological concept or a war chant when we are assailed by the enemy, but a reality to those who understand the revelation of the Indwelling Presence of God. The release of this “treasure” can only occur as we decrease in our own estimation of our personal abilities. Brokenness is the process by which we become less, so He may live more fully in and through us.
In this state of brokenness, we loose sight of ourselves. The flesh, our cosmetic beau- ty, our personal accomplishments are nothing in view of Jesus the Christ. As Followers of Jesus, we have incorrectly thought that the issues of life bring spiritual brokenness, perhaps in one sense it does. But the brokenness which Heaven recognizes only comes as a result of seeing ourselves in light of who He is. We may have been broken by life, but that is not the brokenness which we should relish, but rather the brokenness that occurs as we pursue His Life.
The brokenness which is irresistible to God is always based upon a revelation. In the case of fallen King David, for instance, when He saw His grievous sin juxtaposed to the mercy of God, he exclaimed, “a Broken Spirit and con- trite heart thou will not despised (Psalm 51:17). Strangely, even our attempts at showing God our humility and how sorry we are fail miserably in the Presence of His Excellent Greatness. His Grace, which is amazing melts the most proud of heart.
Brokenness, true personal brokenness causes a feeling of sorrow for the sins and ignorance of others. We are not broken, as God would have it, until our heart breaks over what breaks God’s heart. Brokenness leaves no room for gossip or holding grudges. A broken person is one who yields more to the ways of God, the will of God, the heart of God and the Word of God. They sense when they are off and it hurts them, because they want nothing to come between their relationship with God.
What Brokenness is Not
Brokenness is not an inferiority complex masquerading as humility or piety. It is not walking around penniless or bowed over staring at the ground. Brokenness is not lamenting over all the ills which have befallen you. Brokenness is not constantly reliving the regret and shame of your past sins. The truth, sin is the manifestation of a lack of brokenness. A person who lives with the revelation of His mercy and grace yields more fluidly to the Word of God. Sin, especially sins of commission become less frequent, for a genuine fear of God abides within the person who is broken. If Brokenness were a result of experiencing the “rain in life”, then most of the world would be broken. Brokenness is a condition for which you don’t want to recover. For it is in this state of brokenness which allows for His Glory to be revealed in and through us.
In the Gospel according to Mark 6:41, Jesus “blessed and broke the loaves.” It was only after the blessing and breaking of the bread that Jesus begins, through the distribution channel of His disciples, to feed the multitude. Our brokenness enables us to be “more” for the needs of the people. The blessing, which means to eulogize someone or something, is not cancelled or lessened because of the breaking. On the contrary, the breaking releases the manifestation of the blessing.
The Purpose of Brokenness
The full potential of the bread could not be realized until after the breaking occurred. Just like the five loaves of bread, our full potential cannot be enjoyed until we also are broken! We must cease to exist in our present, self-made, self- absorbed state and submit to the process of breaking. It was not the five loaves that fed the multitude, but rather it was the “broken pieces of bread.” Did you ever wonder why Jesus broke the bread and not the fish? My guess is that anything man-made must be broken by the Master. God made the fish, man made the bread. Without a personal brokenness, the miracle ability of God housed within us cannot be released to help others. Truly this is the heart of the message, it is in the coming to the end of our self, that His life begins.