An expensive New York jewelry store displayed a fabulous collection of ornate crosses for sale. They were incredibly beautiful and exorbitantly priced. Underneath, however, was this intriguing sign: “These Crosses on Easy Terms.”
The cross of Christ never comes on easy terms. The key to Pentecostal power is brokenness. Holy Spirit baptism is not for those who want stylish crosses on easy terms. The key to life in the supernatural power of God is death to the grasp of the world.
The corrupting clutch of worldliness will not be shaken off easily. It is a fight to the death, for sin holds us in our own grasp. The irony of sin is that Satan’s only real hope to control my life is me. We often labor under the misguided notion that Satan wants us to do his will.
Satan has no will in our lives. He only wants us to do our will.
I once read an anthropological study of an ancient temple in India. The people in that region were expert pottery makers who regularly sacrificed the fruit of their craft to their god.
Having created a masterpiece, a work that stood to gain him the most fame and profit, a craftsman would take it into the temple and smash it to pieces before his stone god. The broken fragments meant that in sacrificial worship that craftsman had given up all hope of gain from the vessel.
In one shattering moment the dedicated vessel was surrendered, impossible to be reclaimed. That is a perfect picture of what missionary Hudson Taylor called “the exchanged life.” Only when I am a broken vessel on the altar of a living God can I know the power of His life in and through me.
Brokenness is our lot by virtue of Adam’s fall and by our own wretched sin. As long as we cling to our brokenness, owning it to ourselves, trying to impose on it some fleshly semblance of wholeness, we will never know God’s power.
When the pride of self-ownership is broken by our brokenness and we see ourselves as we really are, we cast the shards of our lives at His feet, and He alone restores them to wholeness. Those who offer Him silver and gold shall be had in derision.
A broken heart He gladly accepts. The King of Glory condescends to bestow His wholeness upon ruined, broken pieces the moment they rest on the altar.