Many Christians today have realized that we desperately need revival. Whether it’s an end times revival (as I wrote about in my last post) or a revival to get the country back to God so we can glorify Him as we proceed into the future, it is our only hope. I’ve written quite extensively on revival in the last twenty years, as God has placed a heavy burden for this deep in my heart. I’ve also written extensively on the crucial importance of spiritual brokenness (which includes surrender and dying to self) in every follower of Jesus.
And there is a vital link between brokenness and revival. In fact, without spiritual brokenness there cannot be revival. Let me explain.
Brokenness is our deep understanding that we, in and of ourselves, are helpless without God. When left to ourselves, we are a mess and are far from glorifying Him. Brokenness is when we realize this, hate our sin and our mediocre walk with God, surrender control of our lives to His Lordship, and die to self (the old nature that is worldly and not glorifying to God). Brokenness is when we, in an act of our will and in total desperation, abandon all rights to ourselves to God and let Him be in control. Simply put, without spiritual brokenness, we cannot truly glorify God the way He deserves. To be sure, brokenness is a life time journey that needs to be cultivated on an ongoing basis, but the initial decision to make this a permanent part of our lives is one that we all need to make. (author’s note: see detailed discussions on brokenness in the posts “The Wholeness of Brokenness” and “Lord Break Me – A Bold and Daring Prayer”; on surrender in the posts “Its All About Surrender” and “Signing the Blank Contract”; and on dying to self in the posts “Dying to Self – the Key to Life” and “The Three Words that Change Everything”).
How, then, does brokenness tie into revival? Revival, which brings complacent, lukewarm, and/or backslidden Christians back to life, comes only when God’s people see their sin, take responsibility for it, repent from the depths of their souls, and cry out to God for forgiveness and mercy. It is humbling ourselves before our holy God and doing whatever is necessary to regain a deep, intimate relationship with Him. It is performing radical surgery in our lives – getting rid of anything and everything that doesn’t bring Him glory. It is realizing just how much we need Him and just how much we want Him. It is a dying to self because you know your old self will never glorify Him and never grow into deep intimacy with Him. It is surrendering to Him because you know that only He can give you the strength and power to live in His will for His glory.
Brokenness is understanding with our minds that we need Him above everything else in life, and desiring with our heart that we want Him above everything else in life. It is a deep rooted humility that knows that you have nothing to offer Him but your brokenness, and coming to Him in total dependency in everything in your life.
A broken spirit is the one God will revive.
And when God revives a broken Christian, the results are incredible – a renewed love for and devotion to Him; a God empowered life that hungers and thirsts for holiness because he/she understands that without holiness it is impossible to glorify him; a life that is a shining light that bears much fruit for the Kingdom of God in this dark world; and a life that exhibits peace, joy, hope, and purpose because he/she abides in the glorious presence of God.
But, it all starts with brokenness. Allow me to say it again – without spiritual brokenness there can be no revival.
Many today quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 when discussing revival: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”. If you look closely, this verse is all about brokenness – “humble themselves” (in deep acknowledge of their sin), “seek my face” (surrender totally to His Lordship), “turn from their wicked ways” (die to self by repenting of their sin and doing radical surgery to cut out anything that is not pleasing to God). Yes, many people quote this verse, but I wonder how many are really willing to be broken by actually doing what it says.
My friends, our nation needs revival. The church in America needs revival. I need revival. Do you? Are you willing to come to Him in total brokenness so that He can bring a glorious revival in your life?
There can be no revival without spiritual brokenness… in me…and in you.