PSALM 51: Lessons in Brokenness or Preaching to Yourself
I gotta say, it seems to be happening more and more often that, before teaching a message to our congregation at Calvary Chapel Iron River, that I have to first “live it.” After a difficult teaching on sin in Psalms 49-50, we then were ready for the biggie—Psalm 51.
You know, David’s biggest blunders: Lazy. Sits out on the battle. Peeping Tom, ‘er Dave. She looks good. Adultery. Baby on the way. Tries to manipulate the husband to quickly go sleep with his wife, even tries getting him drunk. Dude is loyal, upstanding. Doesn’t work. Plot. Scheme. Murder. David then is outed by Nathan the prophet. God calls him on the carpet on all accounts. In a word, fallen.
But the Psalm was written about his broken heart and longing to be right with his God again after trouncing the office of “devout king.” This is a hard psalm to deal with if you aren’t looking at getting convicted, especially if you think it’s for those other people…you know, the ones screwing up.
So, almost a whole week earlier, I was in a knock-down, drag-out conversation/argument with a very close friend and co-laborer. It got ugly. Said stupid stuff I didn’t mean. Held a position I didn’t believe. Protected my flesh by tearing at his. The whole bit. Anyway, not good…but it ended up being a great lesson. And we were both broken and the relationship deepened. Glory to God!
Evidently, I needed to learn a lot about brokenness and so did my friend and God was looking at knocking the stupid out of us so He can grow the church without our flesh stinking up the place. Long story short, lesson learned (or still being learned) and here are some of the things God showed me about the wonders brokenness can work in a believer who simply allows themselves to be worked on. I threw in a couple quotes for flavor. (You can find these by going verse by verse, point by point through Psalm 51).
“The amount of time it takes a person to repent and deal with sin is directly proportional to the amount of “brokenness” a person possesses.”—Damien Kyle
Brokenness gives us the ability to have the humility to call sin sin. You don’t rename sin. You are honest with yourself and others. With God….
Brokenness brings into account God’s reputation. Did I give the heathen reason to blaspheme? Did I hurt the church, one of His children. Before brokenness, we don’t much care for anyone beyond ourselves.
Brokenness causes us to take responsibility. We don’t blame God. We don’t blame our parents or some disease or ancestry. I have sinned against Thee and Thee only.
Brokenness makes the Word of God alive again. Where before we avoided its convicting, holy gaze.
Brokenness brings a return to joy and gladness.
Brokenness produces healthy shame. Humility. Leveling of the flesh.
Brokenness brings a fresh appreciation for the work of the Holy Spirit. I need Your Holy Spirit. Need help that only comes form heaven. I am powerless without His Power.
It brings new intimacy with God. I am now moldable in His hands. Nothing separates us. Nothing hinders communion or prayer.
It also brings a fresh appreciation of the service of God, the privilege. Serving and working for The Lord, ministry. My eyes are now on Him instead of MY problems, MY pain, MY issues. I actually have time for the two greatest commandments.
Brokenness revives evangelism and happy-hearted testimony. You can’t help but speak the things you have seen and heard, what He has done for you.
And the joy of our salvation. Helps you think on the lost. You are just stupid happy to be saved and you want everybody else to be too.
Brokenness brings refreshing in praise & worship. Becomes real again. It is from your heart, not just your lips. Songs mean more, the more broken we are.
Prayer, also, is ignited by brokenness, to stay close to The Lord in intimacy and to intercede for others.
“Only in the kingdom of God is a broken vessel worth something.”—Joe Focht.