"THE PATH OF BROKENNESS-- A PILGRIMAGE OF ONE"
By Catherine Brown, Scotland
During a recent time of waiting on the Lord, I was shown a vision of Jesus journeying barefoot along a dry and dusty road. The path was called "brokenness" and led into the wilderness and was narrow with many jagged stones on it. The Lord instructed me that He was going to release a new level of divine understanding regarding the path of brokenness to His Bride and that we should pay careful attention to His words
THE PATH OF BROKENNESS PURITY IN HUMILITY
The Lord explained to me that we must each make a personal choice to walk the path of brokenness. There is no other earthly soul who can walk with us; we must walk alone, save for His Grace. What He meant by this is that we cannot rely on another human being to understand the particular path of brokenness the Lord will lead us along - each is unique.
It is not a matter of words, or of intellect or head knowledge ; brokenness is a condition of our heart, and can only be attained through an earnest desire to be holy, and by an experiential transforming of our inner man by the Holy Spirit, who produces in us the fruit of purity and humility of Christ Himself. He is the only One who has walked this Way before. Jesus calls us to embrace the cross and to be co-crucified with Him. On this pilgrimage, the greed in our souls gives way to Grace creating deep gratitude in us that permits the Holy Spirit access to our hearts in order that He might conform us to the image of our Heavenly Father. Rebellion is an affront to the Cross, and in brokenness our illusions of self-grandeur are shattered. In such a place of contrition, our only desire is to serve Him with our lives and to break open our alabaster box of
precious ointment and pour out the oil as a love offering on Jesus head, as it was with Mary.
SANCTIFICATION OF OUR SOULS
Jesus' feet were wounded and bled from deep gashes inflicted by the stones that tore at His flesh. I understood that each step along the path of brokenness is a step of sanctification. Just as Christ's flesh was torn with each step, so shall our "flesh" be stripped away along this journey. Flesh represents all that is unholy in our lives i.e. sin that compromises our walk with the Lord. As we learn to follow in Jesus footsteps, our souls are sanctified by the Author and Perfector of our faith. Jesus has shown us by example how to walk in His footsteps His Body was broken for us on the cross of Calvary, now His body (the Church) must be broken (in spirit) to produce in each of us a humble and contrite heart.
What does it mean to be sanctified? It means to be made holy. How are we made holy? We submit to the Lord and allow Him to refine us (remove from our hearts, souls, minds and spirits all that is not of Him). As He does this, we are changed to be like Jesus. The Lord will only ever do this with our permission, and His method is often by walking us through seasons of (fiery) trials. We place our lives as a living sacrifice on the altar of faith, in total submission to His will, and as His fire (Holy Presence) falls, all that is not of God (unholy) is consumed. Our faith is the altar, we are the sacrifice, and the Holiness of God is the fire that changes us to be like Jesus.
God purifies us in this way to make us holy (without sin), creating for Himself pure vessels on which He might pour out His precious anointing. We must choose to give up all our rights to self. Perfect union through submission to the Holy Spirit is the better and most blessed way. The Bride (the church) must give herself wholeheartedly
to her Beloved Bridegroom (Jesus).
ROBBERY -- IDOLATRY LEADS TO DEATH
After a short while, a group of bandits fell upon our Lord and savagely beat Him and stole his outer garments. They showed no respect for His majesty, and seemed to be totally oblivious to who He was. They put on the Lord's robes, as though this would somehow endue them with His kingly power. They did not understand that no matter
what outer garment they adorned themselves with, that this would not transform their hearts. These robbers represented some in the Body of Christ who walk in a level of power anointing, but who have lost the Truth of their calling. They have become caught up in the outward manifestation of the Lord's power, but have denied their First Love
and through greed of their flesh, they have lost the Father's blessing. They have not lost the anointing, but they have lost the Father's blessing. Our prayers should be for their safe return to the One who called them.
ANOINTING NON NECESSARILY TRANSFORMATION
The outer adornment of power does not change the heart. Anointing of itself is not necessarily evidence of this transformation. The Father's blessing is the seal of His approval. Even so, the Father's blessing must not be judged with worldly eyes, for who can be sure whom the Lord has called as His anointed? It is wisdom to learn never to lift a judgmental word against the Lord's anointed.
A true king is recognized by his servant heart. True authority has no need to vindicate itself or to impose itself, for Kingdom authority is God-given and is based on submission, humility and obedience to Christ. It cares nothing for outward raiment's of power, but concerns itself with relationship far above ruling, finding its fulfillment in the Righteous bosom of Jesus, and not in territory or conquest.
I was shown that those who had used violence against the Kingdom were later destroyed by that same violence. With deep regret, I watched the robbers in the vision tear each other to pieces, as greed and violence consumed their souls. It is God's desire that all should come to repentance, and we must pray in the mercy whilst Mercy might still be found.
"Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits." Ps 73:6,7
My eyes were drawn to many beautiful blooms along the way. Some of these blooms were extremely rare and of the finest quality, yet they had grown beside the roadside and had tragically withered and died before their time. These blooms represented vanity and selfish ambition in the Body of Christ. Those who would raise themselves up in pride, and steal Glory from God will find that their pride will kill them. Self-glorification is but a flicker of a flame that burns and is snuffed out in seconds. The splendor of humility in our souls, is a much more exquisite bloom that burns brightly for all eternity, of inestimable value in the eyes of our Lord and Savior. The Lord will not share His glory with another.
"It is not good to eat much honey; so for man to seek glory, their own
glory causes suffering and is not glory." Prov 25:27 (Amp)
SEPARATION AND JUDGMENT
I saw others standing by the roadside that threw stones at the Lord, and hurled rocks and shouted abusive insults. These were false accusers and slanderers and represented those in the Body of Christ who were unrighteous judges of anything they could not comprehend.
They were afraid of the Lord's anointed and condemned what they could not understand, deeply grieving the Holy Spirit. Each insult against the Sovereignty of God, and each judgment against the Spirit of Grace are like a spear that pierced their own hearts, condemning them to an eternity of separation from their heavenly Father. I heard their silent screams echo through the ages, and my heart ached.
THE LORD'S SWORD COMING TO THE CHURCH
The Lord is bringing His sword to the Church, to separate the Righteous from the unrighteous. There is a holy separation that must occur in the Church, in order that the Bride will come out of the world and adultery and devote herself wholeheartedly to her
Bridegroom. We must learn to embrace the Spirit and nurture our relationship with Him. He will lead us into all Truth, as the Father has promised. We must take great care how we speak and not permit the devil to tempt us to speak against the Spirit of Grace, or against each other, for the Lord will hold us accountable for every careless word. It is in holiness, that the separation shall be complete, and the fruit of this will be humility, purity and unity. It is in humility that the pure in heart will see God.
"They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven and their tongues take possession of the earth."
"How suddenly they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, You will despise them as fantasies." Ps 73:8,9, & 19,20
WILDERNESS - THE PATH OF PERSEVERANCE
The atmosphere of the desert intensified, and the sun beat down relentlessly on Jesus. His aching limbs perspired as He devotedly persevered along the path. Jesus was thirsty. As the Son of Man he thirsted for fellowship with His Father. As the Son of God, He thirsted for fellowship with man. He was tired, parched, desperate and exhausted but still He persevered. There is nothing that can quench the thirst of our souls, save for love and fellowship with our heavenly Father. In the wilderness, our desire for His life-giving water (Spirit) becomes intensified and we seek Him with a new earnestness. Only Jesus can satisfy the longing of our hearts, as we press in for "the more" of God. The wilderness periods are to test our faith ---Our faith must be tested and tried, there is no other way.
THE MINISTRY OF SILENCE
In this way we are purified in humility. We must choose to persevere and not give up. We must realize that our Father has not abandoned us in these times, only that He has stepped back from us momentarily, in order that we will take a step nearer to Him, on our journey of revelation into the Father's Glory. During such seasons His ministry to our hearts may be one of silence. It is not a punishment, but a precursor to a much deeper level of relationship with Christ.
STORMS WILL COME ---INDEED THEY MUST COME
The Lord was further tested when suddenly the seasons changed and a violent storm blew up around Him. Light had turned to thick, unyielding darkness and the wind and rain assaulted Jesus with unrelenting ferocity. He was buffeted and thrown about on the path.
By example, Jesus was teaching me how to survive the storm and how to stand in the storm. Jesus did not lose ground, but stood firm and kept his focus. We, likewise, must learn to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus through the ups and downs of life. It was during the storm that Peter had the faith to believe Jesus for the miracle of walking on the water. Storms are to strengthen our faith. We must learn to walk in grace (not failure or striving) and to make Godly responses when faced with difficult challenges. We must learn not to be intimidated by circumstances, but rather to intimidate our circumstances in Christ!
Storms will come into our lives, and we must learn to yield to Christand be strengthened by Him in these times. It is during the storm that a tree learns to bend, and thus submitting to the wind that would seek to destroy it, it does not break, but its very trunk is strengthened, bringing it to maturity as it puts its roots down deep into the soil in which it is planted. So it must be with us as we learn to push in for His presence through the storms of life. Our roots must go deeper in relationship with Christ, and we must take care not to become rigid and inflexible in our attitudes. The Spirit brings forth the Christ fruits in us as we respond in Christ-like manner through trials and tribulations.
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and
my portion for ever." Ps 78:26
MEEKNESS - THE FRUIT OF HUMILITY
The Lord was almost at the end of His journey. I sensed how completely exhausted He was and how He longed for His Father. His brokenness and meekness signaled His victory. Jesus impressed to my heart that in meekness, the pilgrimage along the path of brokenness was made complete, meekness being a beautiful fruit of humility. He helped me to understand that the world will often view meekness as weakness, but that we are not to conform to the world's standards, but to the Father's. It is the Father's joy when we bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Our penitent hearts will bring a harvest of
meekness in joyful abandonment to our Father s will.
FROM SUFFERING TO GLORY
Suddenly there was a blinding light and the Glory of God broke through the darkness with startling brilliance. The Radiance of Holiness of the Living God blasted every particle of darkness apart, and in this moment I saw the Father's throne and Jesus being elevated to the Father's right hand. The broken Man of God, the Suffering Servant, now exalted to His rightful place, glorified in all splendor. In the awesome majesty and mercy of God, I was permitted to gaze upon this picture of Loveliness without being destroyed. The Holy Spirit conveyed the divine love of the Trinity to me in wave after wave. I found my spirit was lifted up and carried off in the overwhelming beauty of the unity of the Godhead.
FINALLY COMING TO THE END ---OF OURSELVES
Beloved, it is as we come to the end of ourselves and the death of our wills, that this heralds the beginning of our complete union with God the Father, who desires a profoundly intimate relationship with each of His children. God longs for us to enter and live in His Glory realm, but the only way to enter is along the path of brokenness.
Precious child of God, your Father is calling you to "a pilgrimage of one." Will you answer and walk in Jesus footsteps?
"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. Ps 73:23-25
Join us for a prayer revolution in Scotland 29-31 July 2001, with
a day of celebration in Edinburgh on 1 August, 2001.