Psalm 51:16-17 16You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
One of the ways that I block the flow of God’s grace is by exercising my pride. Specifically, I exercise my pride by trying to do God’s job in my life. When I am doing God’s job in my life, I am really not listening to His voice or following what He has laid out for me.
Without a broken spirit and contrite heart, my service only serves me. I find that when I serve me…I become jaded and disconnected from others. I find myself wading in a sea of self-righteousness and become bitter and miserable. Usually, I have to have a train wreck of some kind to break me and bring me to my knees before God.
Some of this comes from seeing situations occurring where I would like for God to intervene. Like King Saul, I lose patience and take over myself. At times I lack the patience of waiting on God. In these cases, I tend to lean on my own understanding which in turn, sends me into a false sense of pride. I also have a fear that I may be like King Saul and will have to much self-centered pride and will practice this pride one too many times. I do realize that God’s grace a wider and deeper than I can imagine and that he does not touch me with that kind of fear. However, with my human mind, I tend to cast that kind of judgment of myself onto God.
So, how do I get to the broken spirit like Psalm 51? I think, first I have to acknowledge that God is God and I am not. I have to trust that he has me where I need to be and doing what I need to be doing. Second, I have to have faith even when it seems he is not there. I love the story of the man whose boy had convulsions in Mark 9. The key phrase to me is “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” That is where I want to be…I have faith, help me when it waivers. Third, I have to look for ways to humble myself and realize that my pride does not know all. I need to listen to God and others and allow for other thoughts. Finally, I have to be thankful for trials which produce perseverance in my life. Only God can give me the strength to endure those trials. In turn I will grow and glorify Him by trusting in Him.
In what ways do you have or need a broken spirit? Think about this passage and apply it to your situation in life. I believe that if you listen, God will tell you.
1. In what ways do you connect with the whole human pride issue?
2. In what ways or life situations do you rely on yourself and not God?
3. What does a broken spirit look like to you?
4. This week, ask God to reveal areas of your life where you need to be broken and pay attention to what comes up for you around this revelation.
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