What does it mean to be a broke Christian? Last week we took a look at a servant of the Lord that Christ told us we should imitate in the Good Samaritan. The goal for us is to become like the perfect servant of the Lord – imitators of Christ. A couple weeks ago I saw somebody say that he had never met a broke servant of God.
When I first read that, I had to pause and discern what was meant by that statement. You see, I know what I would hope this means for myself, but I am not quite sure what others will think of that statement. Even now, I am not certain what your thoughts will be about my thought for this sermon, “Not a Broke Christian”.
My instincts lead me to believe that most people will think, “Here’s another preacher preaching about financial prosperity.” I understand that because, sadly, money seems to be tied to preachers and churches in our society. However, when I say that no Christian should be broke, I want you to understand that I do not mean financially. I am a spiritual man so, when I talk about being broke, you should understand that I’m talking about something spiritual, not worldly.
Today, I want to focus on what is written in my key verse. I want you to see what the perfect servant said within His mindset, and why we should imitate that as well.
What it means to be broke
Before we get to that, we must first answer this question: What does it mean to be a broke Christian? I want to take a quick look at some scripture from the gospel of Luke to help us answer that question. In Luke 11:24-26, Jesus teaches about an unclean spirit. He opens by saying (Luke 11:24), “when an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest.” Pay close attention to the spirit going “out of the man”.
Let’s pay even more attention to what the unclean spirit says when it is unable to find rest. Jesus tells us that the unclean spirit says, “I will return to ‘my house’ from which I came.” This spirit sees the man as “his house”! We know this but we often forget that Paul taught us that the body is a temple (1 Cor. 6:19).
Our body, in other words, is a home – a chamber (a dwelling place) – in which the soul resides. Like we receive guests at our homes, our soul is also capable of receiving guests as well. However, sometimes the chamber of our soul often has uninvited guests that come to visit. These guests will make themselves comfortable; they will get so comfortable that they will decide to stay there. (My dad used to always warn that you have to be careful of the spirits you interact with because you don’t want what’s inside of another to jump inside of you!)
This can all sound frightening because not many of us truly understand the workings of the spiritual. In this we find another reason as to why we as genuine believers should always stay in the word of the Lord. We do not battle against the flesh but against the things of the spiritual (Eph. 6:12). The home (or chamber) of our soul needs an alarm system or, better yet, some kind of protector – a protective shield!
Kicking out the unclean spirit
Many of us feel this battle that goes on within us. Sometimes we feel that we are fighting against ourselves and so we try to do something about it. We decide, “I’m going to make some changes to fix what’s going on with me.” So, we then do our very best to clean ourselves up “on the inside”.
Things seem to go well for a little while, don’t they? Then, after a little while, things seem to spiral once again. Why does this happen to us? There are many people today who are in a spiral and they cannot figure out why after everything they have tried.
Notice that Jesus says (Luke 11:25) that they unclean spirit returns to his home. It looks around and finds that home has been “swept and put in order”. The unclean spirit made a mess, and the person decides to fix what’s going on inside to straighten themselves up. Without realizing it, many people kick the unclean spirit out of their chamber! They will say, “I am done doing terrible things! I am not going to act a certain way anymore!” (In other words, though they may not realize it, they are saying they are done sinning.)
This reformation sounds wonderful, but reforming who you are is nothing if you do not invite the Lord into your chamber! (They forgot to install God to the chamber of their soul.) You see, God is the protective shield for the chamber of our soul. When you do not allow the Lord to enter into your chamber, that unclean spirit will simply return over and over again.
Notice that Jesus says (Luke 11:26) the unclean spirit does not return alone; he invites other spirits that are worse than him to enter and dwell. Jesus then says, “the last state of that man is worse than the first”. I tell you that this person is broke or broken spiritually.
The regeneration of your soul’s chamber
My hope is that this is not you, but if it is you, I tell you that instead of reformation try regeneration. Paul said (Titus 3:5), “according to [The Lord’s] mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus told Nicodemus (John 3:5), “one must be born of water and the Spirit.”
We must take part in a washing, that is a regeneration, of our soul’s chamber. I want you to understand that in order for us to defeat the unclean spirit, the believer must invite the Lord into the soul’s chamber. When we invite the Lord in, it is God who now protects the chamber of our soul! God boots out the unclean spirit and will not allow that spirit to return with its friends!
Reformation, sweeping and putting things in order on the inside, is simply a temporary fix. It is temporary because the unclean spirit leaves for a little while but then, after a little while, returns again. Reformation is the process that many broke “believers” use today. (They make changes to the chamber of their soul, with the hope that they are getting their house in order.)
However, I will tell you that it is God that starts us towards the path of not being a broke Christian! Again, we want to be a perfect servant of the Lord, but there is no way we can be a perfect servant of the Lord if God is not dwelling inside of us! This is what it means to be a broke Christian: God isn’t dwelling in the chamber of your soul. Many people are claiming God and to be Christians, but God is not in them.
No such thing as a broke Christian
Now we are ready to take a look at what is written in Isaiah. In Isaiah 50, I want you to pay close attention to who it is that is doing the speaking. You will notice that there are many “I’s” and “Me’s” used throughout this chapter. In Isaiah 50:4, you will notice the speaker says, “The Lord God has given ‘Me’ the tongue of the learned.” “Me” is written as a proper noun in this scripture; so, this “Me” means that God (specifically the Son) is speaking, right?
Proof of this is clearly shown through what the servant begins to say. The servant (Christ) says that God has given Him that tongue to be able to give a word in season to him who is weary. Then the servant (Christ) says (Is. 50:4-5) that it is God who wakes Him and God who opened His ear; And He was not rebellious. Note: This speaks to the obedience of the perfect servant.
We look even further and we see that the servant says, “I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.” We certainly know that this happened to the servant of the Lord as this is recorded in the gospels prior to his crucifixion.
In all, this servant does not sound like a man that is broken in His faith, does He? He is obedient. He sounds like a very courageous man who had no fear. Are we capable of making these same statements? The Christian should certainly be able to say so if we are indeed imitators of Christ.
God gives us the courage
So, why do we suppose the servant was able to make these statements? What was it that gave Him His courage (His strength)? Pay attention to the fact that in each of His statements, the servant credits the Lord. In my key verse (Is. 50:7) we see the servant say, “For the Lord God will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced”. These are not the words of a broke Chistian. You see, no broke Christian will ever utter these words. The spirits dwelling inside of the chamber of their souls will not allow them to recognize where his or her help comes from.
There are many people among us who believes that everything happens by whim (chance). Due to this belief, there are many people that believe they receive no help from the Lord; they believe that it is themselves who helps and makes a way for them. This takes us back to the lesson we learned from the flawed servants last Sunday. The priest and the Levite were too caught up in their own self preservation.
Their self preservation kept them from having the faith to help the man that laid nearly dead on the highway. Self preservation keeps many people from acting on their faith today. That same self preservation is what keeps many so-called believers from truly turning to and trusting in the Lord. There are many flawed, broke Christians, in our world today because their faith is simply not true. Only somebody true in their faith knows and believes, “God will help ‘me’”.
The broke Christian
The servant we should imitate says, “I will not be disgraced.” To be disgraced: having fallen from favor or a position of power or honor; discredited. Why will the servant not be disgraced? The answer is God. God will not allow those who genuinely have faith in Him to fall, lose their honor, or be discredited!
We are living in such an important time to where much is being revealed about people, especially when it comes to faith in the Lord. So this time is especially important for us that genuinely believe in the Lord. Sadly, there are many who call themselves believers that have completely disgraced themselves in their faith. Somebody will ask, “How are they disgracing themselves?”
Unlike the servant we should imitate, they do not give their tongue to the Lord so if they’re not doing that, their is now way they can speak a word in due season. They do not give their ear to the Lord, so therefore they have become disobedient to His word. We see this through their rebellious actions of hatred and wrath.
They much rather listen to the words of those that preach hatred and follow after them as well. Instead of giving their backs and cheeks for others who are in need, they have now become combative to those that they should be helping. Again, I tell you that these “believers” are broken.
Firm and resolute in troubling times
When times got hard and called for Him to endure, note that perfect servant, the one not broken, set His face like a “flint”. What this means is that He became firm and resolute in times that were hard (or troubling). We must be resolute in these times! We must imitate the perfect servant of God! In these times where people are pushing fear, hatred, and division we must set our face like a flint! We must be firm in our faith in these times where faith and morality is being tested.
Where others have disgraced themselves and become broke Christians, we must be strong in our faith and show what it means to be a genuine Christian! Where others have given way to allow unclean spirits to come in and dwell in the chamber of their souls, we must continue to allow the Lord to shield us from all the evil in our world today!
The servant said (Is. 50:8), “He is near who justifies Me; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand together. Who is My adversary? Let him come near Me.” In these words I read strength, I see zeal, and I feel His passion. If God is dwelling in the chamber of your soul, then His strength, His zeal, and His passion also dwells inside of you!
Indeed, there should be no such thing as a broke Christian. The broke Christian is missing these qualities of the Lord. Because they are missing these qualities, our society is now in grave danger. We must take the right steps to reclaiming the inner chamber of our soul. Let us reclaim the chamber of our soul today, if we have become a broke Christian (flawed servant of the Lord.)