Spiritual Director · August 10, 2017

Devote #79

Let me start by sharing some scripture with you today, and then I’ll get to what the Holy Spirit laid on my heart.

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” —Psalm 34:18

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” —Psalm 51:17

“He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.” —Psalm 147:3

I hope you noticed that the words “broken” or “brokenhearted” were in all three verses and was the main emphasis.

The Hebrew word for “broken” carries thoughts of “crushed”, “shattered”, “smashed.” It’s a powerful word. It’s a violent word full of action.

When we think of repenting and confessing our sins, we generally don’t think in terms like these. We think of a more quiet time, a meditative moment, a silent reflection, not an earth-shattering, mountain-moving, rock-splitting, heart-crushing outburst.

Could that be because we don’t believe our sin is so great? You do remember that the earth shook, there was an earthquake, the moment Jesus died and paid for all our sins, right?

Those thoughts humbly rumbled through my mind this morning as I read God’s response to King Solomon’s pray after he built the new temple and dedicated it. God appeared to Solomon in a dream and told him He heard Solomon’s prayer and then said this,

“If My own people will humbly pray and turn back to Me and stop sinning, then I will answer them from heaven. I will forgive them and make their land fertile once again.” —2 Chronicles 7:14

That first little two letter word is the clincher, “if“. It’s such a small insignificant word; Many times read, but seldom given much notice.

If my own people will humbly pray…

If my own people will turn back to Me…

If my own people will stop sinning…

It takes a Holy Spirit desire within us to realize our brokenness, our lostness, our need for forgiveness. It takes a Holy Spirit conviction to crush us with the weight of our sin, no matter how miniscule and unnoticeable we think our sin is.

The truth is: it’s killing us. It’s killing our relationship with God and others. It’s stifling our spiritual growth and maturity. It’s rendering us useless, like salt without saltiness.

God said if we would follow the plan, then He would forgive and restore. We didn’t deserve it. It’s His grace. It’s His character. It’s His promise.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today

Allow the Holy Spirit… better yet… ask the Holy Spirit to check every aspect of your life and like King David, “Look deep into my heart, God, and find out everything I am thinking.” (Psalm 139:23 CEV). Then allow the love and forgiveness of God to wash over you and restore you. Let Him heal your broken heart!

Thank You for loving me the way I am, but not allowing me to stay the way I am. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

—Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.