Contrite Heart

You may have heard it said that we are to “surrender to God”. But have you ever given thought as to what that means? Does it mean that we are to surrender our possessions, our job, our families or our lives? Though we should be willing to let go of any of these things if God calls us to, I don’t think that is what “surrendering to God” means. I believe that surrendering to God is a call for us to stop fighting against God; to stop striving in our own strength, to humble ourselves before him, to be broken in spirit and to be contrite of heart. Psalm 51, verses 16 and 17 puts it this way: 

"You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."

We always fail in our own strength. We might find success in man’s eyes when we strive in our own strength, but it is impossible to be right before God in our flesh. Because when we operate in the flesh, we inevitably sin. We need to realize that we need, I mean truly need, God before we can truly live. And sometimes we need to be broken before we can realize this. Like a wild mare needs her spirit broken before it can come under the control of it’s master, we too need to be broken - and continue to be broken - to surrender control to our master. God wants us to be broken and contrite before him, because that is a sign of true surrender.


Why is it that many times we have to hit “rock bottom” before we turn to Jesus or take our commitment to him seriously? I believe it is because when we hit rock bottom we become broken in spirit. When we hit rock bottom we are open to having a contrite heart. We realize that we truly need Jesus. Self-sufficiency is an illusion. Hitting rock bottom only opens our eyes to the truth; the truth that Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only life. It is my hope that you and I will not have to face a calamity to wake us up from our sleep. My hope for you and me, is that we truly surrender to Christ, that we recognize our need for him and that we become broken in spirit and contrite of heart.