Brief Notes

The Secret of
Being Broken

by | 4 November 2021

The ultimate example of
breaking in the Bible shows us
what the secret is

In our previous Note (“Broken by God”) we considered how we need to be dealt with by God and broken by Him, so that His divine life may be manifested in our human nature.

In the Bible, the ultimate example of this is the Lord Jesus Himself, in His going to the cross. He portrayed His death as that of a “grain of wheat”:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”
— John 12:24

The Lord is saying here that, when He became a man, His divine life was concealed within His human nature, just as the life in a grain of wheat is concealed within its outer shell. Through His death and resurrection the outward shell of His human nature would be “broken open,” so to speak, so that the divine life within Him could be released for us all to receive, when we believe in Him. Praise the Lord!

Since the Lord speaks of His death in this way, we should consider the significance of this picture. How then does a grain of wheat begin to grow?

First, of course, it needs to be placed into the soil. Once it is there the water in the soil penetrates into the seed and activates the life within, so that the germ within the seed pushes out of the shell and begins to grow roots. In other words, it is the life within the grain that does the breaking and produces the growth, in response to its being placed into the soil.

So, this picture of the grain of wheat shows us a basic and crucial principle regarding our being dealt with and broken by God, which we may state very simply: The real breaking always comes from within. It takes place as we turn our hearts to the Lord and open to Him, thus allowing His life to work within us (cf. 2 Cor. 3:18).

In our recent Notes we have stressed the matter of suffering as we follow the Lord. The sufferings by themselves, however, cannot transform us, so we should not simply endure them, hoping for them to end. Rather, in our sufferings we must turn to the Lord and submit ourselves to His dealings with us, so that something of Christ may come forth from within us. That is the reality of breaking.

Watchman Nee’s booklet, “Worshipping the Ways of God,” has helped me a great deal. In it he explains, regarding this matter:

Spiritually our entire future hinges on the matter of our worshipful acceptance of His dealings with us. We must come to a point where we worship Him for everything it pleases Him to give and for everything it pleases Him to take away….


When His dealings with us are inexplicable, let us fall before Him and acknowledge that He does all things well; even His very best He is not withholding from us. May He grant us grace from this day forth to offer to Him not only the worship that is begotten of revelation, but the worship that expresses itself in a unreserved acceptance of His ways.

As we bow before the Lord and worship Him in this way, we will enter into the benefit of all His dealings with us. Our suffering will not have been in vain, but something of Christ will be wrought into our being.

Again, we see this in the Lord’s own experience of the cross, and His prayer in the garden to submit Himself by faith to the Father’s will (Luke 22:39-46). In a similar way, the Apostle Paul prayed regarding his “thorn in his flesh” until he found the Lord’s grace in his suffering (2 Cor. 12:7-10).

Sooner or later, each of us, as the many sons whom the Lord is leading into glory (Heb. 2:10), must take this same way. Yet, when we do submit ourselves to the death of the cross, we will become a blessing to our fellow believers, for then we will also enter into the experience of resurrection life. In some measure we will be able to say, with the Apostle Paul, that we are:

…Always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.
— 2 Corinthians 4:10-12

— Up Next —
“Believers, or Disciples?”

Sent to our mailing list on
— 8 November 2021 —