“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Ps. 51:17
Brokenness: The Heart God Revives
by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
- Proud people focus on the failures of others.
Broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need.
- Proud people have a critical, fault-finding spirit; they look at everyone else’s faults with a microscope but their own with a telescope.
Broken people are compassionate; they can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven.
- Proud people are self-righteous; they look down on others.
Broken people esteem all others better than themselves.
- Proud people have an independent, self-sufficient spirit.
Broken people have a dependent spirit; they recognize their need for others.
- Proud people have to prove that they are right.
Broken people are willing to yield the right to be right.
- Proud people claim rights; they have a demanding spirit.
Broken people yield their rights; they have a meek spirit.
- Proud people are self-protective of their time, their rights, and their reputation.
Broken people are self-denying.
- Proud people desire to be served.
Broken people are motivated to serve others.
- Proud people desire to be a success.
Broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make others a success.
- Proud people desire self-advancement.
Broken people desire to promote others.
- Proud people have a drive to be recognized and appreciated.
Broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness; they are thrilled that God would use them at all.
- Proud people are wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked.
Broken people are eager for others to get the credit; they rejoice when others are lifted up.
- Proud people have a subconscious feeling, “This ministry/church is privileged to have me and my gifts”; they think of what they can do for God.
Broken people’s heart attitude is, “I don’t deserve to have a part in any ministry”; they know that they have nothing to offer God except the life of Jesus flowing through their broken lives.
- Proud people feel confident in how much they know.
Broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn.
- Proud people are self-conscious.
Broken people are not concerned with self at all.
- Proud people keep others at arms’ length.
Broken people are willing to risk getting close to others and to take risks of loving intimately.
- Proud people are quick to blame others.
Broken people accept personal responsibility and can see where they are wrong in a situation.
- Proud people are unapproachable or defensive when criticized.
Broken people receive criticism with a humble, open spirit.
- Proud people are concerned with being respectable, with what others think; they work to protect their own image and reputation.
Broken people are concerned with being real; what matters to them is not what others think but what God knows; they are willing to die to their own reputation.
- Proud people find it difficult to share their spiritual need with others.
Broken people are willing to be open and transparent with others as God directs.
- Proud people want to be sure that no one finds out when they have sinned; their instinct is to cover up.
Broken people, once broken, don’t care who knows or who finds out; they are willing to be exposed because they have nothing to lose.
- Proud people have a hard time saying, “I was wrong; will you please forgive me?”
Broken people are quick to admit failure and to seek forgiveness when necessary.
- Proud people tend to deal in generalities when confessing sin.
Broken people are able to acknowledge specifics when confessing their sin.
- Proud people are concerned about the consequences of their sin.
Broken people are grieved over the cause, the root of their sin.
- Proud people are remorseful over their sin, sorry that they got found out or caught.
Broken people are truly, genuinely repentant over their sin, evidenced in the fact that they forsake that sin.
- Proud people wait for the other to come and ask forgiveness when there is a misunderstanding or conflict in a relationship.
Broken people take the initiative to be reconciled when there is misunderstanding or conflict in relationships; they race to the cross; they see if they can get there first, no matter how wrong the other may have been.
- Proud people compare themselves with others and feel worthy of honor.
Broken people compare themselves to the holiness of God and feel a desperate need for His mercy.
- Proud people are blind to their true heart condition.
Broken people walk in the light.
- Proud people don’t think they have anything to repent of.
Broken people realize they have need of a continual heart attitude of repentance.
- Proud people don’t think they need revival, but they are sure that everyone else does.
Broken people continually sense their need for a fresh encounter with God and for a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit.
Brokenness: The Heart God Revives, Part 1
Series: Brokenness: The Heart God Revives
Monday, July 22 2002
Leslie Basham: We often think that when something’s broken we can’t use it anymore. That’s not how God looks at us. In fact, He won’t use us until we are broken. Here’s Nancy DeMoss.
Nancy DeMoss: “Blessed,” happy, to be envied “are those who mourn: for they,” those who mourn over their sin, those who grieve over that which grieves the heart of God, “they will experience the comfort that only God can give” (Matthew 5:4 paraphrased). We hear those verses and think of many others like them in the Scripture. What is the kind of heart that God revives? The heart that God revives is the broken, the contrite, the humble heart.
Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss for Monday, July 22. When something’s broken, you either fix it or throw it away. But as we approach God, we don’t need to fix ourselves. We need to come to Him just as we are, broken and needy, to let His power be seen in us. Today, Nancy will help us understand what it means to approach God with a broken spirit. To introduce today’s message, we have a special guest in the studio. Here’s Bob Lepine from FamilyLife Today.
Bob Lepine: I know it’s a little unusual to hear a man’s voice at the beginning of Revive Our Hearts, but I am thrilled to have the opportunity today to introduce a message that I first heard a number of years ago. In fact, it was the first time I ever heard Nancy Leigh DeMoss speak. This message entitled, “What Kind of Heart Does God Revive?” was presented at the Campus Crusade for Christ staff training in the summer of 1995.
Nancypowerfully dealt with themes of humility and brokenness. And following her message, hundreds of people responded. There was confession of sin, repentance and forgiveness extended. This is a powerful, dynamic message. Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
Nancy DeMoss: What kind of heart does God revive? And what does it take in my heart to experience ongoing, continual revival? Listen if you would to these scriptures. Then I think the answer will be plain. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabited eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isaiah 57:15)
“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) “You do not take delight in sacrifice or I would bring it. You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, oh God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:16,17) And then the Lord said, “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2)
Then we hear the words of the Lord Jesus. “Blessed,” to be envied, happy “are those who are poor in spirit:” those who are bankrupt, those who are poverty stricken, those who are destitute, those who have no resources of their own, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “And blessed,” happy, to be envied “are those who mourn: for they,” those who mourn over their sin, those who grieve over that which grieves the heart of God, “they will experience the comfort that only God can give.”
If we hear those verses and think of many others like them in the Scripture, what is the kind of heart that God revives? The heart that God revives is the broken, the contrite, the humble heart. We tend to think of revival as primarily a time of joy and blessing and fullness and abundance and excitement and enthusiasm and wonder and overflowing abundance. And so at the right time, it will be.
But the ways of God are that the way up is down. And we’re reminded by one of the leaders of the revival inBorneoin 1973 that revivals do not begin happily with everyone having a good time. They start with a broken and a contrite heart. You see, we will never meet God in revival, until we have first met Him in brokenness.
The epistle of James reminds us. He calls us to “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” But there is a process. First, “Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness.” (James 4:8-9) First, humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and then He will lift you up.
Now there are some who don’t care much for the thought of brokenness. And I think that’s perhaps because we have some misconceptions about what brokenness really is. You see, our idea of brokenness and God’s idea of brokenness may be two different things. We tend to think of brokenness, for example, as being sad and gloomy and downcast—never smiling, never laughing. Or as being morbidly introspective, always trying to dig up some new sin to confess. Some have the image of brokenness as a sort of a false humility, where we are continually putting ourselves down.
For some, the word brokenness conjures up images of deeply emotional experiences and shedding of many tears. But I want to say this morning that there may be many tears without brokenness, as there may be in some cases genuine brokenness apart from the shedding of tears. There are those who equate brokenness with deeply hurtful circumstances in their lives. But I would say again, that it is possible to have experienced deep hurts and tragedies and yet never to have experienced genuine brokenness.
You see, brokenness is not a feeling. It is not an emotion. It is a choice that I make. It is an act of my will. And brokenness is not primarily a one-time experience or a crisis experience in my life, though there may be those.
Brokenness is rather a continuous on-going lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle of agreeing with God about the true condition of my heart and my life as He alone can see it. It’s a life style of unconditional, absolute surrender of my will to God. Even as the horse that has been broken. It’s surrendered and sensitive to the direction and the wishes of its rider. It’s a life style of saying, “Yes, Lord, not my will, but yours be done.”
Brokenness is the shattering of my self-will so that the life, the spirit, the fragrance, the life of Jesus may be released through me. Brokenness is the lifestyle of responding in humility and obedience to the conviction of God’s Spirit and the conviction of His Word. And as His conviction is continuous, so my brokenness must be continual.
Brokenness is a lifestyle that takes me in two directions. It’s a lifestyle vertically of living, so to speak, with the roof off in my relationship toward God, as I walk in the light in transparent honesty and humility before Him. But it’s a lifestyle that requires also that I live with the walls down, in my relationships toward others.
There are some wonderful illustrations in the Scripture of broken people. And frequently those illustrations are set in contrast to the lives of those who were not broken. Think for example of two Old Testament kings who sat on the same throne. One committed egregious sins against the heart of God. He committed adultery. He lied; committed murder to cover up his sin and then lived for an extended period of time in covering up his treacherous, traitorous sin against God and against His nation. And yet in the Scripture, we’re told that King David was a man after God’s own heart.
Then we think of the king who preceded him. King Saul’s sin, by comparison, as we would measure it, does not begin to be as great as that of King David. All that Saul was guilty of, from the seeing of the eye, was incomplete obedience. And yet, in response to his sin, he lost his kingdom. His family was destroyed and he came under the wrath and the judgment of God.
Why the difference? Both men were confronted by prophets over their sin. And both men said verbally, “I have sinned.” But you see, when King Saul confessed his sin, his confession was in the context of blaming the people, defending himself, giving and making excuses, rationalizing, justifying himself. And he revealed the true condition of his heart when in the same breath of saying, “I have sinned,” he also said, “Please don’t tell the people.”
He covered up, whereas King David, when confronted with his sin, fell on his face before God in confession. And the evidence of that contrite and broken heart was that he penned for all the world to see those Psalms of contrition that we have in our Scriptures today. You see, a broken person doesn’t care who knows. God was not as concerned about the nature of the sin itself as He was about the heart attitude and response of these men when confronted with their sin.
Leslie Basham: I think that many of us have been confronted with our sins today. We need to respond with a spirit of brokenness. We’ve been listening to a part of a message given by Nancy DeMoss at a Campus Crusade for Christ staff conference in 1994. We’ll be hearing this message all this week. I hope you’ll call us to get a copy on cassette. This is the type of message that we need to return to, over and over, and make sure we’re cultivating a lifestyle of brokenness.
You can order the cassette from our resource center for a suggested donation of $5. You can also get a copy of Nancy’s new book called Brokenness, the Heart God Revives. It’s available for a $10 suggested donation. And when you order the tape and book together, you can get a discount. For more information, call us at 1-800-569-5959 or order on-line at ReviveOurHearts.com. When you contact us, we hope you’ll consider giving to the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. We’re passionate about sharing the kind of challenging, yet hopeful message that you’ve heard today.
If you share our burden to reach women with the truth of God’s Word, please pray for this program. And would you help us continue by providing a financial contribution? You can send your donation to Revive Our Hearts. Thank you for your support of Revive Our Hearts. Well, tomorrow, we hope you can be back. Nancy will show us how Jesus responded to proud people and to broken people. We hope you can be here for Revive Our Hearts.
Copyright © 2001 – 2009 Revive Our Hearts
Brokenness: The Heart God Revives, Part 2
Series: Brokenness: The Heart God Revives
Tuesday, July 23 2002
Leslie Basham: Jesus ate and spent time with sinners, but His harshest words were aimed at the religious leaders of His day. Why is that?
You’re listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss for Tuesday, July 23.
If you were alive when Jesus walked this earth, do you think you would be among the poor, sick and needy people that Jesus ministered to the most? Or would you be among the religious people that Jesus rebuked? Today, we’ll hear about the difference between two kinds of people that Jesus encountered. To introduce today’s message we have a special guest. Here’s Bob Lepine, co-host of FamilyLife Today.
Bob Lepine: In the summer of 1995, I had the opportunity to be present along with thousands of other staff members of Campus Crusade for Christ. Together, we heard Nancy Leigh DeMoss speak on the subject of brokenness. The title of her message that day was “What Kind of Heart Does God Revive?” And with biblical precision, she took us to the heart of the issue and asked us to examine our own hearts to see whether we are proud people or broken people.
Yesterday, we heard Part One of that compelling message. I know that if you had a chance to listen, you were personally challenged by whatNancyhad to share. Let’s listen again today to Part Two of Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s message, “What Kind of Heart Does God Revive?”
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: The Gospel of Luke gives us three wonderful illustrations of the contrast between a broken person and a proud, unbroken person. Do you remember the parable that Jesus told? And the Scripture tells us that He told this parable to those who were confident of their own righteousness and looking down on everyone else. He told of two men who came into the temple to pray.
Remember this in Luke 18. The one was a Pharisee. As he stood to pray, the Scripture says he prayed to himself. And his prayer consisted of looking around at all the adulterers and the thieves and the murderers that he knew and then at this lowly tax collector by his side and saying, “Oh God, I thank You that I compare favorably to all these other sinners that I know.”
And there by his side was a lowly, despised tax collector that could not even lift his eyes to heaven. But in the presence of the holiness of God, he smote his breast and said, “Oh, God, the only thing I can ask You for is to have mercy, for I’m a sinner.” He refused to justify himself, rather he justified God.
Luke 7, we read the story of Jesus being invited for dinner at the home of Simon the Pharisee. The Scripture tells us that there was a woman who had lived a sinful lifestyle in that town. Apparently it was widely known. And when she heard that Jesus had come to the home of Simon the Pharisee for dinner, she came into that home, presumably uninvited, bearing with her an alabaster jar of perfume. She went immediately to the feet of Jesus as He lay there reclining at dinner.
The Scripture says that she stood behind Him, at His feet. You’ll notice that everything this sinner woman did was at the feet of Jesus. She stood behind Him at his feet weeping—a picture, I believe, of the brokenness and the repentance of her heart, before she even came into that place. And then as her tears begin to fall on the feet of Jesus, she lowered herself to wipe the tears off His feet with her hair—I believe a picture of the forgiveness that she had experienced as Jesus had wiped her sinful heart clean.
And then, in the freedom of her heart, regardless of anyone else around her—what they thought—she kneeled further to kiss the feet of Jesus, to worship Him, to love Him and then took the alabaster jar and poured the perfumed ointment on the feet of Jesus. And she cast herself, in a broken, contrite spirit before Him.
Now, Simon the Pharisee, is a picture to us of a proud, unbroken man who was incensed by all of this and said within himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who was touching him and what kind of woman she is, that she is a sinner.” Well, not only did Jesus know what kind of woman she was, but Jesus also knew what kind of sinner he was.
And so Jesus spoke, as you remember, and said, “Simon, I’ve something to tell you.”
“Tell me teacher,” he said.
And Jesus, you remember told the story of two men who owed a moneylender amounts of money. One owed an extravagant amount and the other just a paltry amount, but neither had anything to pay. So the moneylender forgave them both their debts. And Jesus said to Simon, “Now which of them will love this man more?” Simon said, “The one, I suppose, who had the bigger debt canceled.”
Jesus said, “You understand that correctly. But there is something that you haven’t understood about me.” He turned to the woman, and He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, just a common courtesy. But she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. Simon, you didn’t give me a kiss, a handshake of greeting. But this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore I tell you, her sin, her many sins have been forgiven, for she loved much.”
Do you suppose that Simon had less to be forgiven than did this woman of the street? I think not. They were both sinners. The only difference was that she knew she was.
One more illustration in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 15: Jesus gave three parables, and we’re told in the first verse who was in His audience. There were two groups of people in that audience. There were the publicans and sinners, the tax collectors and sinners. And we’re told they came to hear Jesus. They eagerly hung on His every word. They needed Him and they knew they needed Him.
Then there was another group over on the sidelines, the Pharisees and the Scribes, the teachers of the Law, and they were doing their typical ordinary thing. They were muttering and murmuring and criticizing. “Can you believe this man welcomed sinners and eats with them?”
But Jesus told three parables, speaking to the two segments of His audience. And I would say in this audience today, every one of us in our hearts falls into one of these two categories. He spoke first of the lost sheep and then of the lost coin and then of the lost son. He told of the two brothers and how the younger of them had a proud, rebellious, stubborn, wayward heart. He took his share of the inheritance and went off into a far land where he wasted it all in riotous living.
But after he had spent everything, he began to be in need. It’s often our need that leads us to the pathway of brokenness and repentance. And, finally, having no more resources of his own, having tried everything possible to make a living himself, now destitute and poverty-stricken, the Scripture says that this young man became broken.
And in his brokenness, it says he came to his senses, he came to himself, he became honest and acknowledged his true condition. He said, “I will arise. I will go to my father.” This is a step of repentance, turning from going my own way and going in the way to the father. And then he determined to make appropriate confession. “I will say to my father, ‘I have sinned against heaven and I have sinned against you.’” Then he determined to say to his father, though his father never gave him the chance to say the words, “I am not worthy to be your son. Just let me be one of your hired servants.”
And you know how the father welcomed his son, embraced him. The father-heart of God reaches out to, longs for, welcomes and embraces broken-hearted sinners. “Put the best cloak on him, the sandals, the ring, let’s have a party, let’s celebrate.”
I think, however, we’re not as familiar with the latter half of this story. There was another brother, the elder brother. The scripture tells us in the 25th verse of Luke 15 that the older son, meanwhile, was out in the field. He was the good boy. He was out there doing what he was supposed to do, being faithful, working hard—he had never been wayward. He had never been rebellious, outwardly. He was faithful and hard-working.
Here is this faithful, hard-working son out in the field; and he comes near the house and he hears music and dancing. And rather than going to the source to find out what’s really happening, he goes to a servant and says, “What’s happening?” The servant tells him the facts but not the truth. And proud unbroken people don’t want the truth. The servant said, “Your rotten brother came home and your father’s got a party going for him.”
He didn’t say, “Your brother, do you remember how he left so high and mighty and haughty? He’s come back but he’s not the same person. He’s broken. He’s humble. He’s repentant. He hadn’t had a good meal for ages. He’s at the end of everything, but his heart is broken. And your father’s forgiven him. And it’s time to celebrate.”
The elder brother heard that the younger brother had come home. And he couldn’t rejoice in the boys’ return. The father, hearing of the anger of the elder brother, left the party. And I’m told that in a Jewish family that when the father left that the party had to stop while the father went out to deal with the proud, unbroken elder brother. And isn’t that like so many of our ministries and churches and fellowships today? There’s no celebration going on, no joy, because we’re having to deal with all the proud, unbroken, angry, resentful “with God” people.
Leslie Basham: Perhaps you’ve always seen yourself as a good person and have never come face to face with your sin. Nancy DeMoss has challenged us to get real with our need for God and come to Him with a broken heart. She will be right back to pray with us.
Nancyhas a real passion for this topic and has just written a book called, Brokenness, the Heart God Revives. This book will help you evaluate whether you’re relying on your own strength or trusting entirely on God. You can get a copy of Brokenness, the Heart God Revives for a suggested donation of $10, when you call us at 1-800-569-5959.
We also have this week’s message on cassette and you can get both the book and the tape packaged together for a discounted price. When you order or make a donation of any size, we’ll send you a bookmark as our way of saying thanks. It’s based on Nancy’s new book and you can see what it looks like by visiting ReviveOurHearts.com. You can also make a donation on our Web site or mail your letter to Revive Our Hearts.
We hope you can be back tomorrow.Nancywill list the differences between proud people and broken people. See where you fit in on the list. Now, to pray with us, here’sNancy.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Father, thank You for giving us in Your Word such clear, practical examples of what it means to be a person with a broken and humble heart. And if we’ve looked at these illustrations from Your Word, we confess, I confess, that so often my heart is more like those proud, stubborn, self-righteous Pharisees than like the broken-hearted, humble person. Lord, we recognize that far more damage has been done to the cause of Christ and in our churches by proud, unbroken men and women than has ever been done by sinners outside the church. So, Lord, would You grant us the heart of repentance and true brokenness.
I just tell You, Lord, that I want to have the heart of that sinner woman in Luke, chapter 7 and the heart of that Prodigal Son that comes back repentant and broken and humble before You. Oh, Lord, grant us the freedom of love and of worship and of expression of our adoration towards You. It comes out of hearts that know how much we’ve been forgiven. Lord, we ask that You would, by Your spirit, do that work of grace in our hearts. Do it in my heart, Lord. I pray for that heart of brokenness, the heart that You revive. For Jesus’ sake, I pray it. Amen.
Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.
Copyright © 2001 – 2009 Revive Our Hearts
Brokenness: The Heart God Revives, Part 3
Series: Brokenness: The Heart God Revives
Wednesday, July 24 2002
Leslie Basham: Pride is one sin that is especially dangerous. Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Proud people are remorseful over their sins, sorry that they got found out or caught; but broken people are truly, genuinely repentant over their sin, which is evident in the fact that they forsake their sin.
Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, July 24.
This week,Nancyhas been contrasting proud people with broken people. She has pointed to biblical examples of brokenness: King David, the tax collector, the sinful woman Jesus encountered and the prodigal son in Jesus’ parable. She has also pointed out the pride in King Saul, the Pharisees and the older brother in the story of the prodigal son. Let’s joinNancyas she continues this message on brokenness. She begins with a caution.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: The higher up we go, in terms of influence and leadership and responsibility and faithfulness of service, the easier it is to become proud and blinded to the real condition of our hearts. We become self-deceived to think that we don’t need to be broken; and it becomes more difficult for us to be broken, for after all, we have more to live for in terms of our reputation.
Well, as we think about these different comparisons, let me ask, “Which ones do you identify with?” Do you find yourself identifying with proud King Saul, with the Pharisees, with the elder brother? Do you find yourself identifying with adulterous David, the broken, sinful tax collector, the sinful woman and the prodigal son? You say, “Well, I don’t think of myself as those people.” You see, in each of these comparisons, both parties have sinned. The only difference was in their response to that sin—whether they were proud and unbroken or humbled and broken before God, aware of their sin.
You see, God is more offended, I believe, by the arched back, the stiff neck, the haughty eyes than He is by the sodomite, the prostitute, the adulterer, the murderer or the abortionist. Because frequently those who are so wrapped up in sins of the flesh know that they are sinful. But those of us, who are the elder brothers, the respectable leaders, the Pharisees, the ones who have it all together so often find it difficult to acknowledge the real need of our heart.
In recent weeks, I’ve found God searching my own heart. I’ve gone before Him many times and said, “O God, show me what it means to be a broken person, to live a lifestyle of brokenness. And what are some of the characteristics, the evidences of a proud, unbroken spirit?”
Let me just share with you some that have come to my own heart as I’ve waited on the Lord. Proud people focus on the failures of others. But broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need. Proud people are self-righteous. They have a critical fault-finding spirit. They look at everyone else’s faults with a microscope, but their own with a telescope. And they look down on others.
But broken people are compassionate. They can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven. They think the best of others, and they see all others as better than themselves. Proud people have an independent, self-sufficient spirit. But broken people have a dependent spirit and recognize their need for others.
Proud people have to prove that they are right. But broken people are willing to yield the right to be right. Proud people claim rights and have a demanding spirit, but broken people yield their rights and have a meek spirit. Proud people are self-protective of their time, their rights and their reputation. But broken people are self-denying. Proud people desire to be served, but broken people are motivated to serve others.
Proud people desire to be a success, but broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make others the success. Proud people desire self-advancement, but broken people desire to promote others. Proud people have a drive to be recognized, to be appreciated. They’re wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked. But broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness. They are thrilled that God would use them at all in any ministry. They are eager for others to get the credit and they rejoice when others are lifted up.
Proud people feel confident in how much they know, but broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn. Proud people are self-conscious. But broken people are not concerned with self at all. Proud people keep others at arms-length, but broken people are willing to risk getting close to others and to take the risk of loving intimately.
Proud people are quick to blame others, but broken people accept personal responsibility and can see where they were wrong in the situation. Proud people are unapproachable, but broken people are easy to be entreated. Proud people are defensive when criticized, but broken people receive criticism with a humble, open spirit.
Proud people are concerned with being respectable. They’re concerned with what others think and they’re working to protect their own image and reputation. But broken people are concerned with being real, what they care about and what matters to them is not what others think but what God knows. And they’re willing to die to their own reputation.
Proud people find it difficult to share their spiritual needs with others, but broken people are willing to be open and transparent with others as God directs. Proud people, when they have sinned want to be sure that no one finds out. Their instinct is to cover up; but broken people, once they’ve been broken, they don’t care who knows, who finds out. They are willing to be exposed because they have nothing to lose.
Proud people have a hard time saying, “I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?” But broken people are quick to admit their failure and to seek forgiveness when necessary. When confessing their sins, proud people tend to deal in generalities; but broken people are able to deal under the conviction of God’s spirit to acknowledge specifics.
Proud people are concerned about the consequences of their sin, but broken people are grieved over the cause, the root of their sin. Proud people are remorseful over their sin, sorry that they got found out or caught; but broken people are truly genuinely repentant over their sin, which is evident in the fact that they forsake that sin.
When there is a misunderstanding or a conflict in relationship, proud people wait for the other to come and ask forgiveness. But broken people take the initiative to be reconciled. They race to the Cross. They see if they can get there first. No matter how wrong the other may have been, proud people compare themselves with others and feel worthy of honor. But broken people compare themselves to the holiness of God and feel a desperate need for His mercy.
Proud people are blind to their real heart condition, but broken people walk in the light. Proud people don’t think they have anything to repent of, but broken people realize that they have need of a continual heart attitude of repentance.
The proud, unbroken people don’t think they need revival; but they’re sure that everyone else does. Whereas, humble broken people continually sense their need for a fresh encounter with God, for a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit.
Now why would, with that long list, why would anyone want to be broken, anymore than we would want to sign up for suffering or surgery? Well, we learn from the Scripture that brokenness brings blessedness. Brokenness brings blessedness. Jesus said, “Blessed are the broken ones, those who are poor in spirit.” God draws near to the broken. He lifts up those who are humbled.
We’re told that God stiff-arms the proud. He resists them. He keeps them at a distance. But He comes close to…even as the father of that prodigal son drew that repentant, broken son to his chest and embraced him. We find that our Heavenly Father draws near to the heart of those who are broken.
Do you want to get close to God? God draws near to the place of brokenness.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: What you’ve been listening to is a recording of the very first time that I ever shared this message on brokenness. At that time, the list that we just heard of the contrast between humble and broken people; well, it wasn’t even in my typed-up notes yet. It was in a hand-written form on a yellow legal piece of paper that I had been writing right up to the time that I was to deliver that message.
In the years since, I’ve given this message on brokenness many times. And I have to tell you that each time I read that list, each time I share that contrast between the qualities and the characteristics of a broken person versus a proud person, well, God speaks to my own heart in a fresh way.
And I find myself, even as I’m speaking, under conviction about the evidences, the characteristics of pride in my own heart—the pride that causes me to put up walls, to be quick to see the faults of others rather than my own, the pride that causes me to be so dogmatic and sure of myself and to come across in ways that can be really hurtful and damaging in relationships.
As I read that list, just a few moments ago, I wonder where you would say God found you? Did God find you having a broken, contrite heart? Or would you have to say as I’ve had to say, even listening to this tape again, “There are so many evidences of pride still there in my heart.”
You know, the first step to dealing with this issue of pride is to get honest, to acknowledge to God what He already knows—to step out into the light and to say, “Lord, I do have a proud, unbroken heart.” And as you get honest with God, as you confess to Him the pride and arrogance of your heart, you will find that God begins to replace that heart with the Spirit of His Son, Jesus, a spirit of humility and meekness and brokenness. And as you do, you’ll find that God will come and meet with you, drawing you close to Himself and revive your heart.
Leslie Basham: Thanks, Nancy. We hope that you review the list that Nancy DeMoss was just talking about. You can find it on our Web site, ReviveOurHearts.com . You can also find the information in Nancy’s new book, Brokenness, The Heart God Revives. We’re excited about this book. It’s the first in the Revive Our Hearts series of books, and Henry Blackaby wrote the forward. We think it will be a life-changing book for many people. You can get a copy by calling us at 1-800-569-5959. We’re asking for a suggested donation of $10.
When you order or make a donation of any amount, we’ll send you a bookmark as our gift. The bookmark will remind you of some of the things you’ve learned this week. And it’s our way of saying thanks when you support the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. We do rely on your donations and hope you’ll pray about what you can give. You can send your gift to Revive Our Hearts. We hope you can be back with us tomorrow. We’ll take a look at the life of Jesus. Not only was He attracted to broken people, He Himself was broken for us. Join us for Revive Our Hearts.
Copyright © 2001 – 2009 Revive Our Hearts
Brokenness: The Heart God Revives, Part 4
Series: Brokenness: The Heart God Revives
Thursday, July 25 2002
Leslie Basham: Jesus’ body was broken on the cross. What does the brokenness of Christ teach us?
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Brokenness brings increased fruitfulness. It’s when Mary’s alabaster box was broken that the fragrance was released and filled the whole house. And as we’ve said, “It’s when Jesus’ body was broken onCalvary that eternal life was released for the salvation of the world.”
Leslie Basham: It’s Thursday, June 25; and this is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
Today we’ll pick up on a message we’ve been listening to all week on the importance of living a life of brokenness and humility before God. We’ll hear about some of the results that flow from a broken life and look to Jesus as our ultimate example. Here’sNancy.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Brokenness brings the blessing of new life being released. Jesus said that if that grain of wheat does not fall into the ground and its outer shell is not broken; if it does not die it will abide alone. Listen, loneliness I have found in my own life is often evidence of unbrokenness because when I am willing for that hard outer shell to be broken, then the life of Jesus can be released through me and there is reproduction.
There is fruit produced in the lives of others. Of course the ultimate picture of that brokenness is the Lord Jesus, who we have worshipped this morning, as he said, “This is my body which is broken for you”(Luke22:19). On that cross as He experienced and endured the brokenness of fellowship with His Heavenly Father from whom He had never known a moment’s separation—as He took upon Himself the full weight of our sin and was broken on our behalf, His death released eternal life for us. So, when we are willing to be broken, His abundant life flows through us to others. Brokenness will bring to us increased capacity for love and worship.
I think back to that sinful woman in Luke, Chapter 7. She had been forgiven much so she was able to love much. I see in that woman abandon in her relationship with Jesus that I desire for myself. She was oblivious to the rejection or the thoughts or the disapproval of anyone around her. All that mattered to her was Jesus. And in her worship and in her love there was such a lavishness and extravagance of freedom.
That’s because there’s a cycle in the ways of God that brokenness leads to genuine repentance. Genuine repentance leads to forgiveness. Forgiveness will produce in my life freedom from the guilt, freedom from the bondage of myself and my sin. And when there is that new freedom bursting through brokenness and repentance and forgiveness—that freedom will produce a new capacity for love and worship—a capacity to love others, to love the unlovable, to love God, to worship God.
And of course that worship and that love of God leads always back to new levels of brokenness—leading to greater and deeper repentance to new forgiveness to new found freedom and increased capacity for love and for worship—to love the people we work with, to love the people we live with. Why is our capacity so limited? Perhaps it’s because we’re not living in brokenness, for brokenness yields that wonderful fruit of increased capacity for love and worship. And then brokenness brings increased fruitfulness. For you see, God uses things and people that are broken.
There are so many wonderful illustrations of this in the Scripture. It’s when Jacob’s natural strength was broken at Peniel that God was able to clothe him with true spiritual power. It’s when the rock at Horeb was struck and broken by Moses’ rod that the water flowed out to quench the thirst of the people. It’s when Gideon’s three hundred soldiers broke their pitchers that the light of the lanterns within shone forth. It’s when the little boy’s five loaves were broken in the hands of the Master that they were sufficiently multiplied to feed the multitudes with abundance left over.
Brokenness brings increased fruitfulness. It’s when Mary’s alabaster box was broken that the fragrance was released and filled the whole house. And as we’ve said, “It’s when Jesus’ body was broken onCalvarythat eternal life was released for the salvation of the world.”
And then the fruit of brokenness is to be seen in revival. That for which we have longed and prayed is really nothing more than the release of God’s spirit through broken lives. You see there is so much in the history of revival, and let me just highlight a few moments where God used brokenness to bring about revival.
We’ve read about the Welsh revival of 1905. The song that was sung throughout the Welsh revival, sung through lips that represented broken and contrite hearts was that chorus, “Bend Me Lower, Lower, Down at Jesus Feet.” And through that brokenness, God released a great floodtide of His spirit that encompassed that whole land and brought untold revival blessings to the world.
You read perhaps about theShantungrevival in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s inChina. I read about that again recently as told by Dr. C.L. Culpepper who was the director of the Southern Baptist Mission Agency in that province. And he tells a story about how there was a group that had been praying for revival, a group of leaders, missionaries. He told one night how he went to his own home after the prayer meeting. And he got before the Lord and he sensed need and dryness but couldn’t put his finger on what it was; and he said into the late hours of the night, “Oh God, what is it in me.”
After he met with God that night, he came back to the prayer meeting in the morning and confessed to his fellow missionaries and leaders the sins of spiritual pretense, of spiritual impotence. He confessed that their praise of him being a good missionary had caused him to be proud and to steal glory from God.
He said, “My heart was so broken I didn’t believe I could live any longer.” And out of that brokenness God brought brokenness to that assembled group of missionaries and national pastors and Christian leaders that resulted in an unbelievable outpouring of the conviction of God’s spirit, conviction of His holiness, conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment which resulted in confession of sin and a great outpouring of God’s spirit throughout that province.
You’ve heard perhaps of the Lewis revival in 1949 and 50 on theIslandofLewis, the largest Isle of theOuter Hebrides, just off the coast ofScotland. But there were a group of deacons of the church there who had met for months, three nights a week for eighteen months, at night in a barn to pray for spiritual awakening and revival. And they prayed as intensely and fervently as they could without seeing any results.
And then the story’s told of how one night a young deacon rose to his feet and quoted from Psalm 24, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that has clean hands, and a pure heart; he shall receive blessing from the Lord.” And he looked at the assembled group of deacons there, and he said, “Gentlemen, it seems to me to be foolishness for us to be praying for revival as we are, if we ourselves are not right with God.”
And there on the straw the men knelt and confessed their sins to God and out of that brokenness was released a revival throughout the Island of Lewis that is still spoken of in Scotland today as a great moving of God’s spirit.
You’ve heard, I know, the story of how God brought revival to the little nation ofRomaniain the mid-70s, which ultimately led, I believe to the revolution there. But, perhaps you may not have heard how that revival actually started.
The pastor of one of the largest evangelical churches in the country went before his people. Now, it helps to understand that inRomania, at least in those days, the believers of all denominations were referred to as repenters. This pastor stood before his people, in that second Baptist Church of Oradea and said, “It is time for the repenters to repent.”
And he called his people to join him in repenting of specific sins, that if I named them to you, we in our western world would think, how insignificant. But, broken over their sin, the repenters began to repent and through their brokenness was unleashed and released the reviving power of God, through that little nation.
You see, God says, “I dwell in the high and holy place, but I always dwell with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the heart of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15 paraphrased).
Leslie Basham: That’s Nancy DeMoss showing us the connection between brokenness and revival. WhenNancy first gave this talk at a Campus Crusade for Christ staff conference in 1995, it had a profound effect on those gathered there. We hope the same happens among our radio listeners this week.
If you missed any of the programs, we hope you call and get the entire message on cassette. We have it for a suggested donation of $5 when you call us at 1-800-569-5959. When you call, be sure to ask about Nancy’s new book, Brokenness, the Heart God Revives. This book can help you develop a lifestyle of brokenness, like we’ve been hearing about this week.
We’re asking for a suggested donation of $10 for the book and you can get a discount when you order both the book and the tape. As our thank you for any order or a donation of any size, we’ll send you a bookmark to remind you of what you heard this week.
We’re a listener-supported ministry and need your prayers and financial support. Would you write to us and tell us that you’ll prayer for the ministry. And if you can, would you include a financial contribution? You can address your letter to Revive Our Hearts.
Tomorrow,Nancywill help us apply this week’s messages to our life. We hope you can be back. Now, with a special message, here’sNancy.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Ever since I was a little girl I had a burden on my heart to see God send revival to this nation. And when we first began Revive Our Hearts radio ministry, it was with the desire and the vision that God would use this ministry as one vehicle to help his people experience personal and corporate revival.
Now you know, this ministry is targeted toward women and as women it’s real easy for us to think of other people who need to experience revival. I meet a lot of women who do have deep in their heart a genuine burden for revival. But, it’s easy to feel that it’s someone else who needs revival.
It’s the young people in the church or it’s the old folks who need to get right with God or it’s my husband or it’s my kids or it’s the spiritual leadership in our church. They’re just not what they need to be.
Or we could look at the culture and say, “That’s where we need a spiritual awakening.” But, one of the things I noticed as I studied how God moves in times of revival is that it’s usually the people who are closest to God—the people who are already sensitive to the spirit of God who are the first to acknowledge their need for personal revival to say, “Lord, it’s not my brother, it’s not my sister, it’s me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”
So as we just listened to these exciting examples of how God has moved in times past, in sending genuine spiritual revival and awakening, can I just remind you that revivals always begin with a few of God’s people who are willing to say, “Lord, I need to be revived; I need to be broken.” So as you and I confess our need for a greater spirit of humility and brokenness, then we can begin to pray, “Lord, would You send that kind of revival to the hearts of Your people throughout this nation and around the world?”
Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.
Copyright © 2001 – 2009 Revive Our Hearts
Brokenness: The Heart God Revives, Part 5
Series: Brokenness: The Heart God Revives
Friday, July 26 2002
Leslie Basham: It’s easy for us to notice the faults of others. But when we truly encounter God, in all His glory, we immediately become aware of our own sin.
This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, July 26.
All this week we’ve been hearing a special message fromNancyon the subject of brokenness. We’ve seen the contrast between proud and broken people and discovered that Jesus is our ultimate example of humility. Today,Nancywill wrap up the message with some practical steps we all can take.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Are you a broken person? You say, “Where do I start? How do I begin in this lifestyle of brokenness?” Well, I think first, certainly we need to come to see God as He really is. The closer we get to God, the more we will see our own needs.
I think of Job, a righteous man, enduring intense suffering as part of that cosmic plan of God and the warfare between Heaven and hell; just a bit player in a sense. But under the philosophies and input of his friends, Job began to reveal a heart of self-righteousness. He spent many chapters defending himself and protesting his innocence. He talked on and on and on until finally God said, “I’d like to speak.”
And for chapters, God began to reveal Himself and His ways to Job. And when God finished, Job could hardly breathe. He said, “Oh God, I have heard of You with the hearing of my ear, but now my eye has seen You, and now I abhor myself, and I repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6). No more self-righteous, rather a broken man pleading with God for mercy.
I’ve spent most of the last seven months in the Book of Isaiah, and how God has met with me there. And as you read the fifth chapter and see Isaiah, this great servant of God pronouncing woes—woe to them who are materialistic, woe to them who are proud, woe to them that are sensual, woe to the hedonistic pleasure seekers, woe to the immoral, and he had the list down.
But then we come to the first verse of chapter 6. And Isaiah sees the Lord, high and lifted up; “Holy, holy, holy.” And no longer is Isaiah seeing himself in the light of all the sinful, wicked people around him; but now he sees himself in one light only. It is in the light of a high of a holy, high and lifted up God. And he says…no longer woe to them. But the first words out of his mouth as he sees God are, “Woe to me, woe to me.”
See God as He is; get into His presence. And in His presence, we will see ourselves as we really are. And then fall on the rock. Jesus said, “I am the rock and if anyone falls on this rock, he will be broken. But anyone on whom the rock falls, it will crush him to powder.” Don’t wait for God to break you. Fall on the rock, on Christ Jesus who was broken for you and begin the habit of, with the public, in crying out, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” With David, “Have mercy on me, oh God.”
And then I find just a practical step in developing a lifestyle of brokenness is the need to acknowledge and to verbalize need, both to God and to others. To God, that I might live with the roof off saying, “Oh Lord, it’s not my brother, it’s not my sister, it’s not my leaders, it’s not the deacons, it’s not the pastor, it’s not the leadership of this ministry, it’s not my neighbor, it’s me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer”—to cease my blaming.
You see, there is no brokenness as long as the finger of blame is still pointed at another. But, when I acknowledge my need to God, I say (from “Rock of Ages” by Augustus Toplady).
Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to Thy cross I cling,
Naked, come to Thee for dress,
helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly, wash me,
Savior, or I die!
The learning not only to acknowledge need to God, but to acknowledge need to others. You see there is no brokenness, no true brokenness, where there is no openness. Does that need mean every sin I confess needs to be confessed to every person that I meet, certainly not. But, I tell you, the broken person is willing for others to see him in his point of need. He’s willing to be transparent, to be honest. He’s willing to say, “Will you pray for me. I have a need; God’s dealing with me in this area.”
A number of years ago, God’s spirit brought deep conviction to my heart that I had developed a pattern in my life of exaggerating the truth. And God began to show me that it was lying—that I lied to make myself look better, to make a better impression on others than was honestly true. And I found myself in brokenness before God, coming to confess that sin, looking to Him for cleansing and victory. But I want to tell you, friends, the victory did not come in its fullness until I was willing to find two Godly people and confess openly my sin before them and say, “Would you pray for me? That God would deliver me from the sin of lying.”
I want to tell you that with that openness and that brokenness before God, and before others, as painful as it was at the time, came unbelievable freedom and deliverance to speak the truth to every person, in every situation regardless of the cost. Brokenness brings release of His life through us.
And finally, to be broken, to live that lifestyle of brokenness—do the very thing that you know that God wants you to do, but your flesh least wants to do. What is it? Many of us have been obeying God in different ways this week, responding to God. But, I tell you obedience can be sometimes cosmetic and respectable.
And, I say, “We don’t need to ask Him, sometimes He’s already pointing it out.” What is the step of obedience? What is the step of humility before God? Do the very thing that you know God wants you to do, that your flesh least wants to do.
A number of months ago God’s spirit spoke to my heart; and I realized that for me, living alone at the television had become a barrier in my relationship with the Lord. And God’s spirit prompted me—you need to turn that television off when you’re alone in your home. And the hard attitude of humility and obedience says before God, “Yes, Lord, I will obey You.
There’s a chorus that’s been heard frequently, sung frequently at some of the student revivals we’ve been talking about. (“Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior” by Fanny Crosby).
Pass me not, O gentle Savior
Hear my humble cry!
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
I think of think of that blind beggar, who heard that Jesus was coming his way, and he cried out, “Oh Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” Listen, proud, unbroken people won’t prayer that way. They see no need for mercy. Those who are rich and increased with goods and have no need of anything will not cry out for mercy. But those who have been face to face with the crucified Savior and a holy God can cry out for mercy. That’s the cry of the poverty-stricken heart that acknowledges its great need.
My brothers and sisters, Jesus is passing this way, today. And He wants to meet with us, He wants to visit us, He wants to release His spirit through us and He can. And He will, when He finds humble, broken, contrite hearts that have been emptied of self that He might fill with Himself.
Leslie Basham: That’s Nancy DeMoss wrapping up a special message we’ve been hearing all this week. I’ll be right back to let you know how you can get a copy of this message on cassette. First, here’sNancy to reflect on what we just heard.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: It’s been exactly seven years since I first shared that message with a group of 4,000 Christian workers gathered together here atColoradoStateUniversity inFort Collins,Colorado. But, you know, that message wasn’t just for them, then. That message is for you and for me, now, today.
As God as been speaking to your heart, what is it that you need to do to choose the pathway of brokenness? You say, what does that mean?
Well, for you it may mean just slipping to your knees and acknowledging to God that you need Him—that you’ve been trying to live the Christian life by your own efforts. It may mean sharing a spiritual need in your life with another believer and asking that person to pray for you and to help hold you accountable. It might mean making a phone call or a visit to humble yourself and seek forgiveness from someone you have sinned against, a parent, a child, a mate, an ex-mate.
It may be going before your family or your church family or your fellow employees admitting that you’ve been a hypocrite, that you’ve not been leading the kind of life that you professed before others. Perhaps for you, the step of brokeness means clearing your conscious over something in your past that you have never yet made right. Or surrendering you will to God in relation to your future or your career or your marriage.
As you think about those steps of brokenness, you may be thinking, I could never do that. Anything, but that one thing, I just couldn’t go back to that person. I just couldn’t make that issue right. Let me just tell you, you’ve got to do the very thing that you know God wants you to do, but your flesh is telling you not to do. And I’ll just remind you, if you’ll run head on into your flesh, head on into that pride, that God will pour His grace into your life as He does every time that we humble ourselves.
Leslie Basham: We all need to respond to the call to brokenness we’ve heard today. Would you write to us and tell us how you’ve responded to today’s message? We’d like to pray with you, and it would be encouraging for us to see how God has used this program in your life. When you write, feel free to ask for a copy of this week’s series. Nancy’s entire message on brokenness comes on one cassette for a suggested donation of $5. You can also get a copy of her new book, Brokenness, The Heart God Revives for a suggested donation of $10. We think this book will help you apply the things you learned today.
When you place an order this week or make a donation of any size we will send you a bookmark based on Nancy’s new book as our gift. We do hope that you will give to the ministry of Revive Our Hearts and help us to continue to provide the program in your area. You can send your letter to Revive Our Hearts. You can also call toll free 1-800-569-5959. Or visit our Web site: ReviveOurHearts.com. You can order resources on-line and you can find the list contrasting proud people with broken people thatNancy gave early in the week.
We hope you have a great weekend and that you can join us again on Monday. We’ll hear the story of one woman who refused to be broken before God. Her rebellion led her into a life of drugs, prostitution and prison. Then something incredible happened. We hope you can be here for Revive Our Hearts.
Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.
Copyright © 2001 – 2009 Revive Our Hearts