I met a young man in Feltham town centre recently. I reported this to my wife and commented that “he’s still not broken.” There was the jauntiness of his step, that haughtiness in his look, that brazenness in his speech. All indicating that he was still not broken. He was still standing on his own and not on or with Christ. And his life is, thereby, still going the wrong way.
We are useless unless we are broken. When we are broken before God then we start to be useful Self-confidence and self-sufficiency are the death-knell of the soul. When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Prov 11:2) says the wise man. The same man also observes that Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov. 16:18). In his prayer to the Lord Nehemiah observes how they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands (Neh. 9:16). In such a state they were Israel was useless for God.
When we are humbled before God then we can anticipate that we can start to live. Usefulness starts when we are broken before God, finished with ourselves and presented to Him to be at His disposal. Useful men and women are broken men and women. If you look at three key figures in the New Testament you can see taht they all displayed brokenness.
- Peter: He saw the massive haul of fish through the Master’s work whereupon we read: When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’ (Luke 5:8). He was BROKEN
- Paul As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied (Acts 9:3-5). BROKEN
- John: When on Patmos upon seeing the glorious Lord Jesus we read: When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead (Rev. 1:17a). BROKEN.
There is a common theme here. All saw the glory of Christ in His full magnificence and were humbled.
Perhaps my uselessness is because I am not continually being overwhelmed by the glory of Christ. More of such a revelation to my soul would mean more humbling, more brokenness. And when broken I am useful.