Psalm 51:16-17 (MSG)
Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.
I am broken today. Just when I think I have it all together, it seems like the Lord undoes it all again. I can hardly keep up with the moving and changing in our life. Some things make perfect sense lining up with the Word of God clearly. Others seem to be in some kind of holding pattern like a continuously spinning cursor. Is this normal? To continuously feel broken and undone? The more I think I know the Way, Truth and Life – the more I find that I have to learn about the Author and Finisher of Faith. It is a constant process.
I have read Psalm 51 over and over again. I have memorized the verses in other versions until I read it in the Message Bible today. “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” God desires a broken spirit. He wants a broken and repentant heart. Brokenness is violent. It is painful. Why would God in His Infinite Love have such a desire of us? Why ask for a sacrifice? Why would He want this of us if He loves us so much? Two issues are addressed as I understand it. The first being pride. We can use our own self-control and clean up into nice looking Christians who are nothing more than arrogant pretenders. Without true submission to the Power of God, we will never experience more than a few goosebumps and good times thanks to better choices. It is in the total sacrifice of self that we develop the strength of character that comes from true faith and confident hope. Anyone care to fall flat on your face? Yeah, me either. The other issue is our hard hearts that want love but are too tainted by sin and calloused by distrust to let anyone in. “Heart-shattered lives ready for love” is the requirement to receive the height, depth, width, length and full capacity of the Love that God is trying to give us. It requires reshaping and remolding along with the removal of sin to make room for it. Who will put their hand up first to volunteer to be heartbroken? Yep, not me. Today I want once again embrace the process by which the overflow of God’s Amazing Love overtakes me. But I am hesitant, do I really want to live broke?
Many nights, my girls will play music while they are in the shower. Once inside the tile concert hall, they will sign along. When it is worship music, I tune in quickly as it blesses my heart to hear them sing to the Lord. However, certain songs stir within me. Do they know what they are asking when they sing songs like “Oceans”? “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders… Let me walk upon the waters… Wherever You would call me… Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander… And my faith will be made … stronger in the presence of my Savior…” We sing worship songs with catchy lyrics and great music but are we listening to what we are saying and asking of the Lord when we sing them? Do you understand that to ask God to lead you where trust is without borders is asking for trouble? Trust means the great unknown. It is a place of total humility when you can’t do it anymore and must totally rely and depend on the Lord to do it all. Don’t get me wrong. I want my children to love God and seek the Lord with all their heart. I just know what is required and sometimes it hurts. It is not always fun as our heart is broken over and over to receive more and more of His Love.
I Peter 1:13-16 (MSG)
So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”
God said, “I am holy; you be holy.” Holiness is a cleaning of the vessel for His Use. It is to submit our life to His Service not out of obligation because that would mean that there is something we could do to pay God back for all that He has done for us. I am a Child of God. I want to live as a Child of God and receive the benefits of my position which is eternal life. To think that God’s Grace is so that I can live however I want and have different outcomes is ridiculous. God’s Grace is meant to take our broken and sin-ridden life and allow us the opportunity to avoid the repayment of sin but to repent and turn back with no tolls.
During our vacation, we paid tolls to go back and forth into the city. On our last day, we were going to Boston to sightsee and then attend a game at Fenway Park. A couple from the church graciously offered us their EZ-Pass to use. This little pre-paid device allows you to skip right through the tolls without paying cash. They had already paid for our entry so we could just breeze right through. This is what Jesus did for us. We gain access into the Presence of God but do not have to pay the toll of sin. Now that doesn’t mean that we do not have to still deal with traffic, wait during rush hour, or follow the traffic laws. When they offered it to us, we had to accept it. Humility. Once they gave it to us, we had to use it. Obedience. God tells us to be holy because He is holy. This is not accomplished any other way than by faith and hope which grows in our broken spirit and heart. We must give up our way to accept his way which is and always will be to follow Jesus straight into the Presence of God.
People don’t have a problem coming to Jesus. They struggle with following Him. The sacrifice of self is far too great for some. Sadly those will not make it into the Kingdom. We have to do it God’s Way to get there. We must follow Jesus with trust that has no borders. Our faith must be made stronger in the Presence of our Savior.
Psalm 118:26-28 (NLT)
Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God, shining upon us. Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar. You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you!
Every single day I will experience brokenness if I am following Jesus. I will have a broken spirit and broken heart. To not bend to His Will, His Way and His Word is rebellion. The cords that bind me to the altar are made of faith and confident hope that allow me to continuously lay my life down knowing that I will be broken to be healed. I will be broken to be restored. I must be broken to become holy. This is a hard pill to swallow in a world where even the church shuns the concept of self-sacrifice. It is not for everyone. But it is definitely for me, I have felt the pain of brokenness but it gives way to discovering the joy of salvation as God works every detail of my life for good (Romans 8:28) and perfects my way. (Psalm 138:8) It is in the constant state of undoing that humbles me. It is all the times when my heart is broken that I can see just how hard it had become. God is close to the brokenhearted. I want Him to be with me all the time. If that means living broke, then that is the life for me.
I Corinthians 15:42-44 (MSG)
This image of planting a dead seed and raising a live plant is a mere sketch at best, but perhaps it will help in approaching the mystery of the resurrection body—but only if you keep in mind that when we’re raised, we’re raised for good, alive forever! The corpse that’s planted is no beauty, but when it’s raised, it’s glorious. Put in the ground weak, it comes up powerful. The seed sown is natural; the seed grown is supernatural—same seed, same body, but what a difference from when it goes down in physical mortality to when it is raised up in spiritual immortality!