I sat in a Communion Service recently as the Leader picked up the bread and quoting Matthew 26:26 said “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat, this is My body.’ “
Jesus did a number of things here:
1) He took bread, and,
2) He blessed it and,
3) He broke it and,
4) He gave it and finally,
5) He said to the disciples, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
The Word of the Lord which continued to hang on my mind was the word “BROKE.” As I left the service, the only work I can recall from the entire service, was the word “broke.” Jesus broke the bread before using it.
Then it dawned on me: we cannot be used by Jesus unless and until, we are broken by Him, for His use.
At home I did a quick scan of the Bible and the word broke is fairly common through both the Old and New Testaments. Its main use is the Old Testament is in regard to “high places”. Seventy four times the Lord instructed or talked about High places, requiring that they be broken down and many kings and prophets of the Lord, “broke down the high places” and they were all commended eternally for it.
There is a definite requirement in the Bible, and particularly in the Old Testament, for the breaking down of demonic high places in perpetration for the Lord God Almighty, to move in. Unless and until the Israelites broke down all these high places, the Lord would not fully establish himself in their midst.
Unfortunately, history shows that the breaking down of high places was not consistent, but patchy to say the least, and as a result, the enemy kept resurrecting itself and contaminating the Israelites.
The idea of being broken in order to be used by God can clearly be seen in Psalm 51:17
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
As with the “high places,” with the high standing stones of the old religions, the Lord will have nothing to do with us when we are high and mighty either. The Lord wants humble people and He wants us to humble ourselves.
Yes, the Lord humbles the mighty in His way and at His timing, but His choice and preference for those whom He will use, is that we humble ourselves, by our own choice and intent. This is one of the purposes of fasting, as Psalms 35:15 says, “I humbled myself with fasting.”
The other word picture – or more actually a continuing series of word pictures – it is all summed up by the words of Romans 9:21 “Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel to honour and another to dishonour?”
As the Lord prepared His people and His land by the breaking down of demonic high places, so too did he prepare His people as a potter prepares clay; pummelling it, folding it, reshaping it and pummelling it again. Jeremiah 18:3-4 speak to this:
“Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he was working a work on the wheel. And the vessel that he made in clay was ruined in the hand of the potter; so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.”
In other words, God took and remade the vessels as He felt necessary for His purpose. He does the same to us today. We’ve done our little task and we’ve fulfilled our simple duty, but we have in us the capability of more work for the Lord. But He needs a new capacity from within us, a new capability from within us! So He then reshapes us, thinning us and drawing us out, so we can carry more than before.
As Romans 9:21 in a sense, establishes the power of God over His elect in the New Testament, so too does Jeremiah 18:6 establish the same in the Old, saying
“O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter? Says Jehovah. Behold, As the clay in the potter’s hands, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.”
The final two verses which draw all these analogies together are Jeremiah 4:3
“For so says Jehovah to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns”
and Hosea 10:12
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground. For it is time to seek Jehovah, until He comes and rains righteousness on you.”
Here we see the Lord instructing Israel to break up their fallow ground in preparation for the coming harvest and a mighty move of God. For those unfamiliar with crop rotation, the Shmita of Leviticus 25 provides a Godly crop planting cycle for all arable land, allowing it to lay fallow and rest so all pests and disease die off, ensuring a bountiful harvest once it is fully prepared after its Sabbath rest.
But to be used, the fallow land had to be broken up before sowing seed, a preparation requiring effort.
His Kingdom Prophecy has received many prayer requests from Christians who find themselves struggling, to some extent, as if God has abandoned them. They are lost and confused and don’t know what is happening to them. They had, I guess, expected to grow from strength to strength and to be used powerfully for God from the get-go. But that is not what Matthew 26:26 says or infers, is it? Instead, it says something quite different:
1) He took us, and,
2) He blessed us and,
3) He broke us and,
4) He gave us and finally,
5) He said to the world, use us…… or words to that effect.
Based on the Bible teachings and recorded experiences, if we are not broken by Christ, for Christ, I honestly don’t see how we can be used by Christ.
I can understand that the breaking process can be hard… or not so hard, difficult, or not so difficult, painful, or not so painful. However, if we are expecting it, we can take it as a new exciting learning experience, knowing that soon it will be over.
Then again, if we have never been told about it, and are not expecting it, the breaking, the remoulding, may appear like there is no end to an warranted trauma.
As I write this, the Lord reminds me that the other related area of life which similarly causes Christians needless trauma; is the “wilderness time.” Times in the wilderness get a bad rap from all, so it seems, but that view is not biblical. The trouble is, as far as I can see, we have mistranslated the words for desert and wilderness and mistakenly interchange them, causing unneeded and unwarranted stress on ourselves. In the Bible, a desert is a desert, a place of no water, grass plants or animals and where it is very hard to survive indeed. A wilderness place, by contrast, was a high pasture, which was distant from habitation and great for rearing sheep, goats and cattle. David and Moses lived there and grew there, as the Lord prepared them for His works later in their lives. The wilderness is a place for restoration, reflection, reprovisioning, training and preparation for the Lord’s next task – all good and Godly things! Unfortunately, often the Hebrew for wilderness is mistranslated as desert, which sets us off in the wrong frame of mind for the work which the Lord is about to do in our lives.
Yes, I believe that every Christian must be broken for Christ. If we are not broken and remoulded at some time, I just don’t see how we can use used by Him.
If you are undergoing that breaking now, that remoulding, that reshaping, know that the Lord is at work in you now and you are destined for greater things tomorrow. The Lord has a plan for you and He needs you in good shape for the duties you are about to perform.
He needs you, as an obedient and teachable servant.