We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV)
All God’s purpose, all that God means for us on that other side of the Cross in union with Christ risen and exalted, demands absolute brokenness, complete brokenness, in all those concerned. Not just the brokenness of their pictures and outward hopes, but an inward brokenness. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves” (2 Cor. 4:7). The self-hood broken, broken vessels for heavenly eternal fullness.
The Cross is necessary for our breaking. It is not a pleasant note, I know, but in all faithfulness it must be said. This is the Lord’s word to you: that if you are not broken by the Cross, if you have not gone through an experience of real brokenness under the hand of God, all that the Lord means in you and through you will still be suspended, it will be impossible. If the Cross means one thing, it does mean that the Cross is the way to the glory and to heavenly fullness. It is the way of an inward breaking. Let me be very precise, because I know of different kinds of brokenness. I know the brokenness of disappointments, of disappointed hopes and expectations, but the kind of brokenness I am talking about is the brokenness of the self-hood, the strength of Self that holds its position and holds its ground and that will not let go. That is the kind of brokenness. This self-strength, whether it be intellectual and mental or whether it be emotional or whether it be in the will, that strength of the natural life has got to be broken as truly as the sinew of Jacob’s thigh had to be touched and withered. Something like that has to happen in us that we carry through the rest of our days. God has done something in the realm of our self-hood and we are broken men and women so far as self-sufficiency, self-assertiveness, self-confidence and every other form of Self is concerned. It must be.
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