The Blessedness of Broken Heartedness

Psalms 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Heartbreak is never nice. It’s not our favorite shape to be in. The sad songs of the world about heartbreak sell millions. I learned to spell by the song D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Heartbreak is a bad thing and it can happen due to many things. Here the Bible is speaking of a different heartbreak, the necessary one, in order to be right with God. It takes a broken heart and a contrite spirit. We are to rend our heart, not our garments. The only way to be lifted up is to put ourselves low. It means the lowest part of our being, the soul. The spiritual heart of a person is not the organ that beats. It’s the seat on which the soul sits. It can’t be detected by tests but from that heart comes the issues of life. As it feels we react and live our lives.

You can fake a good heart. Outwardly the Pharisees were right. They spoke right things but it was easy for others to see through them. Jesus told them they looked like whitewashed sepulchres on the outside but inwardly they were full of dead men’s bones. Others can tell a lot about you by what kind of heart you have. Having a hard, stubborn, callous heart is hard to penetrate. You can’t do anything with hard ground. It will dull a plow. The heart can get like that.

It was never meant for the heart to be hard and crusty, in a condition that it can’t be softened. Consider how God made us. Verse 5 says Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Medically and physically speaking the only hard part of our body should be our skeleton. Diseases of the bone are bad. They are painful and weaken the bones. The doctors check us to make sure the bones are hard. If hardness is ever good for us spiritually, it is to not give into sin and the world. Don’t be soft on sin and Satan and the flesh. We need rigidity to stand by faith in this world. We’re wishy-washy where we shouldn’t be. Our attitude to the old man, the world and sin needs to be hard.

When a doctor presses on our stomach and chest he’s checking and feeling the organs. If any are hard or rigid you’ll be sent for some tests. It means something is wrong with the body if there is hardness outside of the bones. When was the last time you checked your heart? Is it soft? Does the Word penetrate it? Do you hear it but it doesn’t work on you? We need to seek God to see the condition of the heart. It takes someone trained to check our organs. We need Jesus now. Take heed if this condition is yours.  Beware of the heart of Esau who sold his birthright and turned against God and his brother. He couldn’t find it again.

Our prayer should be what we see in verse 10: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. The only way is a broken and contrite heart. A hard heart happens gradually as a person goes further from the Lord. He/she gets indifferent and isn’t moved by the things of God. Prayer is avoided because it seems such an effort. The prayer may be “thy will be done” but then if God tries to move the heart is stiffened. He tries to work but is met with resistance.

How pliable is your heart? Is it hard to pray? Hard to witness? Do you find yourself yielding to your emotions and seeking things you know you shouldn’t.  The things you should be concerned with–your relationship to God and to others, the Word–do you care less and less about it? What happens? The heart is being hardened. We have to constantly let God change us. As we yield and humble ourselves, God changes us. It makes us stronger in him. Never think you can do it on your own.

The one who needs it most is me. What about you? Are you not yielding as you used to? Are you more conformed to the world than God? Is it more about your will and your way than God’s? If God can’t work with us, who made it that way? Not God. The closer to God we are, the more manageable he should find us. Do you resist the will of the Lord? If we pray “thy will be done” it means to let him govern.

For the heart to be fixed it must first be broken. Sometimes a surgeon has to re-break a bone to fix it right. For us to be fixed we have to be broken. What are our sacrifices: coming to church? Reading the Bible? Praying that same old prayer over and over? The sacrifice is not about what we want to flip about God. He wants a broken, contrite spirit and heart. We are not the biggest one getting all the attention. God wants these things and verse 17 says a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. This is how we were saved. We humble ourselves realizing how small, how nothing we are, how sinful and hell deserving we are. We see Jesus on the cross for our sins and call on him. He saves us.

Shame on us if we get to the point that we stiffen the very heart he cleaned up. What shape is your heart in now? Let him break it if it needs to be. Let him make it soft and workable again. Get back to where you should be, where you were when God saved you. This is the sacrifice God wants: our broken heart.

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