People - - Don Fortner
"The LORD is near to
those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a
contrite spirit." Psalm 34:18
A broken heart, a
contrite spirit, and a subdued will are rare
things, especially in this age in which men everywhere are
taught to demand their rights; and the church has become a place
where man is exalted and enshrined as though he were God.
Self-esteem, self-worth, and self-promotion is the cry of the
day. Every man does that which is right in his own eyes. All men
by nature are exceedingly proud, selfish people.
Preachers today, knowing man's natural pride, have capitalized
upon it. They have developed a flesh-pleasing theology of
pride. Our forefathers exalted the dignity, the majesty, and
the supremacy of the eternal God. But the
smooth-tongued preachers of deceit in our day have set
themselves to exalt the dignity, majesty, and supremacy of
puny man! It seems that religion today is dedicated not to
the honor of God, but to the honor of man. Its
purpose is to make man feel good about himself. Therefore we
hear little about . . .
brokenness of heart,
contrition of the soul, and
the subduing of man's will.
The Lord God declares, "To this man will I look, even to him
that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at My Word!"
(Isaiah 66:2). God will have broken hearts with which to build
His kingdom. Sooner or later, the Lord God will bring us to
nothingness before His presence. God's people, all of God's
people are a broken people.
No man has ever experienced the grace of God in salvation, until
his heart is thoroughly broken before the holy Lord God,
revealed in the crucified Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. If ever
a man finds out:
who he is,
who God is,
who the Lord Jesus Christ is,
and what He has done for sinners
--he will be a broken man!
When Job saw himself in the presence of his three miserable
friends, he vindicated himself. But when he stood in the
presence of God, he was a broken man; and he spoke as a broken
man. He saw himself in all the hideousness of his sin;
and he saw God in all the holiness of His glorious
majesty. Then he said, "Behold I am vile! I have heard of
You by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees You.
Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes!"
There is no pride and egotism here, no haughtiness, no
self-vindication. Once Job had seen the Lord--he was broken, he
loathed himself and blamed himself. Once Job saw the Lord--he
honored God and vindicated Him. The truly broken heart will
always vindicate God, no matter the cost.
This brokenness can be produced in proud, stubborn, sinful men
and women--only by the saving revelation of Christ in our
hearts. Brokenness is found at the cross--only at the cross.
Have you been to the cross? Have you had the crucified Christ
revealed in your heart? Has your heart been broken by the
knowledge of the Lord? O Lord, evermore break our hearts before
- Don Fortner