Our refusal to bend and break and be humbled causes us to be God’s enemy. Yet we can also have another enemy throughout this process of brokenness—ourselves. We are often our greatest enemy in seeing the work of the cross reign in our lives. Watchman Nee said this:
Anyone who serves God will discover sooner or later that the great hindrance he has in the Lord’s work is not others, but himself. He will discover that his outward man (soul) is not in harmony with his inward man (spirit). Both tend to go toward two opposite directions from each other. He will also sense the inability of his outward man to submit to the inner control. . . . Thus he is rendered incapable of obeying God’s highest commands.
You see, Scripture speaks of an inner battle that takes place in all of us. It even goes as far as to call it a war, one that rages between our inner man and our outward man. Consider what Paul wrote in Romans 7:22—“For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war . . .” (NIV, emphasis added).
There is a clear distinction between our inner man and our outward man. There is a battle, which can have only one winner. If our outward man can be broken and crushed, the inward man can shine through and the beauty of Christ within seen.
Please understand. “The inward man cannot come forth, because he is resisted and blocked by an exhausted outward man. That is why we have repeatedly suggested that this outward man must be broken.”
Founder of Christian and Missionary Alliance, A.B. Simpson, once wrote a hymn entitled, “Not I, but Christ,” in which he captures perfectly the need in each of our lives:
Oh to be saved from myself, dear Lord
Oh to be lost in Thee;
Oh that it may be no more I,
But Christ that lives in me.
Oh to be saved, not from adultery and thievery and lying and cheating and all the gross, visible sins that are happening out there, but from myself. Oh to be lost in Thee, that it may be no more I, but Christ. That is the brokenness I desire for myself and for all of us.