Exactly eight months to the day since the glory of God entered my home (see this post for the beginning of the story), I was preparing to take communion with the Lord in the early morning hours before dawn. To my surprise, I heard the Lord say: “I want to lead our time of communion today.”
As we shared the elements together He spoke these words:
“My body, broken for you, is a symbol of My love. It is the international symbol of love for mankind. It is the standard for love upon which all other models of love are (or should be) based. To fall short of the standard of the cross - of a sacrificial life - is to fall short of true love.
“Most people do not define love as “brokenness.” Yet a broken heart is one I can both fix and fill to capacity, for in its brokenness, all of self is poured out and there is room for My anointing of love to come in.
“Many people will never know true love because they will not allow themselves to be broken and poured out for another. Yet I tell you, every time you yield to My anointing for brokenness, your capacity to love will expand.”
THE LORD LOOKS ON THE HEART
In a time when love seems to be in short supply worldwide, it is essential for the Body of Christ to return to her First Love - and to develop a deeper love for others.
Earlier in my Christian life, I remember thinking to myself that I had a pretty good ability to love others. I had been a believer for most of my life; I did not murder or steal or gossip, and I felt pretty confident that I was fulfilling the “law of love.”
However, one day as I prayed, I had an encounter with the Lord that forever changed my perception of love. In a vision that lasted no more than five seconds, the Spirit of God suddenly lifted what seemed like a veil off of my heart, allowing me to see what my heart really looked like on the inside. The sight was terrifying.
I saw such disgusting selfishness and depravity in my own heart, such pride and self-deception, that the vision caused me to cry out in horror and alarm with desperate tears of repentance. I knew that day that nothing in my heart measured up to the Lord’s holy standard!
As quickly as the vision began, piercing my heart with the fear of the Lord, it ended. The Spirit of God drew the veil back over my heart and the overwhelming sense of my own sinfulness dissipated.
I have never forgotten what He showed me that day. There is always room for repentance.
KINGDOM EXPANSION THROUGH BROKENNESS
Returning to my early-morning communion with the Lord, I heard Him begin to speak about Kingdom expansion as it relates to the “soil” of the heart. We know that both love and life flow from our hearts. Outward expansion of God’s Kingdom is intricately linked to what happens inwardly in our hearts.
“Expansion comes no other way; see how the ground must be plowed, harrowed, and broken in order for the Builder’s foundation to be laid! No sensible builder would expect to construct anything of lasting value or integrity without first breaking ground and digging deep.
“In the same way, those who want to experience My love must also experience their own brokenness. Kindness leads to repentance; brokenness leads to love. Those who desire to “live godly in Christ Jesus,” fulfilling My Kingdom command to “love one another deeply, from the heart,” will similarly have their hearts broken again: this time for others.
“Those whom you desire to reach through love will be those who also break you, causing you to become more loving! Why is this so? Because the way you want to give love may not be the kind of love they need; each one I have created is unique and different and will require you to change in order to reach and heal them.
“Do not despair, but understand that this very process is the plan I have designed for your tenderness as well as for their growth! Without breaking there will be no expansion. Without expansion, love will grow cold.”
How true this was, I thought! Each of us has our own “love language,” or ways we prefer to receive love. Each of us also has individual wounds and scars that require caution on the part of those who want to reach out and love us. We need sensitivity in the Spirit to know what to change and how best to personally apply the love of God as we reach out to others.
Yet what do we do when someone resists us? The Lord continued:
“Receive challenges and offenses as indicators of where My heavenly “plow” is set next to break ground in your heart. We will keep building this Kingdom of love together; we will keep targeting and breaking and digging and building until we take back the land, developing in you and on earth what is necessary for the world to know and see the extent, the magnitude of My love and provision for them.”
THE LORD LOOKS ON THE HEART
The following day as I interceded for a friend, I had a vision of the Holy Spirit coming in like a plow or a harrow, turning over clods of compacted soil in my heart. He gently broke up the ground, turning it over in front of me so that I could see it.
As I looked, I saw that the clods of earth He was breaking up had to do with a specific fear that was hidden within my heart. I watched as this fear surfaced and was “exposed” by the plow, which had hurt when it first cut into my heart. Yet the moment I was able to identify the fear, it lost its grip of pain over me. I was immediately freed by the simple recognition of what it was that had brought me so much pain.
Friends, the enemy has cut into the greater Body of Christ with his sharp edges of selfishness, division, and separation. The love of many has already grown cold, and we are in the midst of civil dissension and unrest that is alarming. The set of Satan’s plow is not gentle; his sharp edges have caused great trauma in our land, and his goal is not to build but to destroy. Only repentance can mend these rifts.
In contrast, when the Lord plows the heart, there is gentleness and love for our “land” or soil, along with a desire to heal us. Although the plow hurts at first, it hurts because truth pierces the lies that don’t belong in our hearts and protest their uprooting. Once the initial “set” of His plow takes place, all that follows brings healing.
Praise God, we need not fear the harrow of the Lord! If you have been afraid of brokenness, I want to encourage you today: it is far better to yield to the set of God’s plow and receive His healing than to suffer through the wilderness of a heart and land left uncultivated or undeveloped.
To take back our land (whether in our hearts or in our nation) is to yield to a deeper work of the Holy Spirit, a work which pierces at the outset but makes room for joyful love and expansion in the end!
I hear the Lord asking us once again to become a people of sacrificial love, whose communion with Christ includes the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings. What better time than now, during the ten “Days of Awe” leading to Yom Kippur, to reset our hearts to the standard of Christ's cross, His sacrifice, and His love?
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.