The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise (Psalm 51:17, ESV).
Before a horse can be useful to its owner, it has to be broken. An unbroken stallion is proud and strong. It will paw and snort and let no one ride it. But then a bit goes in its mouth, a saddle goes on its back, and someone climbs up and hangs on. The stallion immediately starts to buck, because it doesn’t want to be broken—but eventually it stops fighting and surrenders to the will of its master.
Sometimes we have that same stubborn, rebellious, self-sufficient spirit within us, and God often breaks those attitudes because they keep us from experiencing true intimacy with Him.
“God's love is not a pampering love; it's a perfecting love.”
Have you ever been broken? Brokenness is empty-handedness before God. It makes no demands. It is falling into the embrace of your loving Father and finding Him to be enough. It says not only “God, I need You,” but “God, You are all I need.”
What are some of the things God breaks? Here are some of the big ones:
Stubbornness. “I am going to do this my way.” If you are one of God’s children, that attitude is on its way out. You can fight with Him for a long time if you want, but your stubbornness will eventually be broken.
Pride. “I know better; I am better.” God hates pride in the hearts of His children. He hates it in my heart; He hates it in yours. People who have been greatly used by God have come to grips with the need to dispense with all pride and to humble themselves.
Willfulness. “You can’t make me! You can’t tell me! I’ll do what I want, when I want.” That’s willfulness, and it is also on its way out. God will use whatever He has to use to remove it from your heart and life.
Independence. “I can make it without You.” Nothing will inhibit your intimacy with the Father like an attitude of self-sufficiency. Recognize your weakness and rely on His strength.
God will use broken health, careers, dreams, relationships, promises, and hearts to rid our lives of the things that hinder intimacy with Him. Some say a loving God wouldn’t allow pain, but God’s love is not a pampering love; it’s a perfecting love. God is producing something in us—the likeness of His Son—and He is going to do whatever it takes to make that happen. You might want to get off the program, but any other path will lead you to a place you don’t want to be.
You will never experience true intimacy with God until you are able to come before Him in genuine humility, utterly desperate for Him. You need to be broken.
Lord, I confess that I am naturally proud, stubborn, willful, and prone to believe I’m self-sufficient. I confess that I resist the thought of being broken, but I believe that, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Please help me to let go and allow You to have Your way in my life. Thank You that the more I surrender to You, the more intimacy I can have with You. God, you are all I need. In Jesus’ name, amen.