Welcome back heroes! (I have decided on this as my opening line. As you know I have tried many, and this just seems to fit. Well, better than Kieferites. That just sounds like I am a Mormon who is trying to have multiple wives and to populate my own planet.) In my devotional time this morning I was struck by something. A concept that is so revolutionary that it changes everything we know about reality. What is that deep and life altering revelation that rose out of the blue and smacked me on the head? Well, since you asked so nicely, I will tell you.
God heals those who have a contrite and broken heart. Especially those who have broken themselves in repentance. I can see by the state of your face that this is not new to you. Well, it isn’t to me either, but it is. What I mean by this, is that every Christian is taught that we need to repent and that through repenting we can find forgiveness of sin. But what I hadn’t seen before was that in multiple places in the bible, God mentions that he will heal those who have broken their Hearts or SPIRIT in repentance. One such verse is Isaiah 57:15.
(NLT) Isaiah 57:15: The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.
Also in (KJV) Psalms 15:16-17: 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.
The word that is often used in the King James is contrite. In the NLT of Isaiah 57:15 the author uses the words contrite, humble and crushed to describe a persons spirit. The Hebrew words used here is dakkâ'. According to Strong’s it is translated to mean, to crush and to crumble, to bruise, to destroy, and to literally beat to pieces. The KJV uses the word contrite for crushed as well. As you can see, it means far more than just to be sorry. It literally means to be so consumed with a sense of ones own sin and failure that they literally destroy their hearts in repentance.
What these verses are explaining is a state that can’t, or won’t be, executed by God. No, this is something a person must do themselves. God won’t do this for you. He will not come down and put your heart and spirit in this state. No, you must set the charges and light the fuse yourself. You must crush your own heart and spirit in repentance. You must humble yourself in the face of your overwhelming sin and failure. This state of being that, according to Psalms 51:5 we were born into from our mothers womb.
(KJV) Psalms 51:5: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Now, that we have done this to hearts and spirit, what comes next. Was this, just like the other gods of old, just a required sacrifice in order to appease a wrathful God? Is this something that God takes pleasure in? Does he like seeing his children hurting? No, he does not. How to I know this? Because of the last line of this verse where He says he will restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.
Further more he goes on to describe God’s attitude and character when dealing with fallen humanity.
(NLT) Isaiah 57:16-19: For I will not fight against you forever; I will not always be angry. If I were, all people would pass away— all the souls I have made. 17 I was angry, so I punished these greedy people. I withdrew from them, but they kept going on their own stubborn way. 18 I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them. I will comfort those who mourn, 19 bringing words of praise to their lips. May they have abundant peace, both near and far,” says the Lord, who heals them.
Here we see God’s character and it is very different from other gods. In this verse we see a God who declares that He will not fight against us forever, because if He did, there would be none of us left and this is not what he desires. Not only is he willing to forgive those who have humbled themselves, but He is also willing to heal the stubborn and lead them as well. What other god can claim that? Just as in Psalms where it states that he doesn’t want sacrifice but a contrite heart, it isn’t about God desiring hurt to come to his children, but He knows that only through this hurt are we able to be restored.
So what comes next, is a complete restoration of not only our relationship with God, but a total healing of our hearts and spirits as well. In honor of what we have done, he will restore us completely both heart and soul. Do you see it now? Do you see just how revolutionary this is? Our God doesn’t leave us in our brokenness but lifts us up out of it. Jesus never leaves anything he touches in the same state it was, and that includes our hearts and spirits.
So now you know that you can trust him if you break yourself in repentance. Now you know you can trust that he will not simply see your contrite heat and leave you in your sorrow. No, if you humble yourself in repentance, he will lift you up. He will, as stated in Isaiah, make you a people who life with him in the high and holy place. Now you know that you can be vulnerable before him and trust him with your broken heart. If you do, will find far more than just forgiveness.