Broken or Crushed

Journal Entry // April 3, 2021

Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.

Luke 20:18 ESV

It is such a simple and easy thing to deceive myself. To tell myself simple little lies or half-truths that placate my senses and desires. So simple to take the line that God has drawn as a boundary for the protection of my heart and soul and move it slightly away from the Lord himself and more toward me and my selfish pride. And then each successive moving of the line makes the next one just a little bit easier until one day I look up and see how far removed I am from the presence of the Lord.

This verse gives a stark comparison of what it means for the believer to fight against moving that boundary line. For Jesus is that stone being referenced. That stone that has been rejected and used as the capstone of the kingdom of God. There really are only two choices in the matter of following Christ.

1. I reject Christ and give my allegiance to only myself. I can do this in a thousand different ways, but the singular focus of today is the lie that I can move the boundary of faithful obedience to the Lord. That I can compromise on the required obedience to my Savior. My continued pattern of lifting up my pride and arrogance will bring the wrath of God upon me. That the stone will crush me. That the just and due punishment of my sins will fall not upon the stone, but upon myself. That my selfishness will crush me. It is seen in my daily, moment by moment choices where the outworking of my heart is seen through what is expressed in my life. That if I live a double-minded life of trying to serve Christ and myself, I will only serve myself and be crushed.

2. Yet Christ brings such good news in this message as well. If I come to the stone, then there is forgiveness and reconciliation. In repentance I can come to Jesus and lay bare my heart, mind, soul, and strength. And when I come to Christ and fall upon that stone, that man who was lifted up and took upon himself all my sin on the cross, that stone will not crush me. When I fall upon the stone in repentance, it will break me to pieces.

Isn’t it interesting that both sides of this story present pain and heartache in the life of a person. I would tend to think that if I come to the stone, Jesus, that there I will find comfort and peace and forgiveness and rest and assurance. That is all very true. But I often neglect that coming to Christ and following him every day involves me taking up my cross. It involves me continually coming to the stone in daily repentance and being broken.

Am I broken over my sin? Do I hate the sin that is present in my heart? Does the world around me cause my heart to break as I watch countless men and women follow after the ruler of this world and not the Creator of everything? Do I embrace the brokenness of my heart and lean into the adversity and struggle that God has brought?

I want so very much for this life to be simple and safe and happy all the time. This is right and good because it gives me a longing for heaven. It pushes me to persevere and seek the face of Christ every day. This world is not my home. I was designed for a better world. A world where I will live continually in the presence of the Lord himself. This is where my satisfaction and happiness should lie. Not in the daily momentary pleasures of this world, but in the eternal joy of being in the presence of the Lord. And the good news is that I can even now experience a taste of this. I can begin to rest in his presence and learn obedience. Obedience that demonstrates my love and affection for him. He will draw me close. The pain and heartache are still there from the brokenness, but matter much less than before. They matter less as I focus on what matters utmost, Christ alone.

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