"A Broken And Contrite Heart"       

Psalm 51:17


     Brokenness, humility and contrition of heart are essential to usefulness in the kingdom of God. Only broken hearts know God and walk with God. "If you want to see the height of the hill of God's love you must go down into the valley of humility" (Rowland Hill). Brokenness, contrition, humility is nothing but a just estimate of ourselves. It is neither more nor less than an honest, heartfelt sense of our utter nothingness. Humility and contrition are the knees of the soul. Christ will never take us into his arms until we lay ourselves at his feet, as David did in this psalm, broken with a sense of personal sinfulness.

     Pray for a broken, contrite heart. God uses broken things (Acts 27:44). Brokenness is the beginning of the life of faith. Brokenness is the root of all true revival in the soul. It is painful. Our flesh opposes it. But we must be broken. We will never break ourselves. We must be broken by grace. Our wills must be broken to God's will.

     Brokenness is dying to self. It is the response of the renewed heart to Holy Spirit conviction (Zech. 12:10). Because conviction is continual, brokenness is continual.

     Brokenness is the spirit of Christ. Christ, who is God, took upon himself the form of a servant. He willingly gave up everything for us! As a servant he had no rights of his own, no home of his own, no possessions of his own. He did not have so much as an hour to call his own. When he was reviled, he reviled not again, but committed himself to God. He went willingly, but with broken heart, to Calvary, where he was made to be sin for us.

     Brokenness can be found only at the foot of the cross.

"Lord, bend this proud and stiffnecked I,


Help me to bow the head and die,


Beholding Him on Calvary


Who bowed His head and died for me!"


     Brokenness means having no plans, no time, no possessions, no money, no life of my own. It is to be crucified with Christ. It is a constant yielding of ourselves to God. We must seek it; but only God can give it. If we are his, he will. He receives none but those whom he breaks.



Don Fortner