Chapter 1: Brokenness

“Revival is just the life of the Lord Jesus poured into human hearts.”

Roy Hession

Whatever may be our experience of failure and barrenness, He is never defeated. His power is boundless. And we, on our part, have only to get into a right relationship with Him, and we shall see His power being demonstrated in our hearts and lives and service; and His victorious life will fill us and overflow through us to others. And that is revival in its essence.”


Jesus told the woman at the well: “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14 NASB1995).

Being filled with the Spirit is like a conduit, an open ended vessel plunged into a mighty river enjoying the life and power of the river flowing mightily through it. But sometimes we quench the Spirit like the rock that gets stuck in the conduit, and the rushing water slows to a trickle. It is at this point that we recognize our need of revival and brokenness.

“The first thing we learn is that our wills must be broken to His will. To be broken is the beginning of revival.”

Roy Hession

Just like the Children of Israel, we too are a stubborn and obstinate people. In our flesh we are enemies of the cross! The strong self will that lives in each of us must be broken before we can experience revival. Roy talks of the “bent “C” and the “stiff-necked “I.” Perhaps these two pictures illustrate it better than I could.

Stiff necked “I”
Bent “C”

Their body language says it all! The first picture is Miss Scarlet raising her fist at God declaring that she will never go hungry again! The second picture is that of a woman kneeling in prayer, a picture of brokenness. I love what Roy said about the letter “C” being a bent “I.” “The Lord cannot reveal Himself through us until the proud self within us is broken.

Galatians 5 tells us that the deeds of the flesh are obvious. Think about what flesh (self) does. The chapter mentioned several:

  • Unyielding
  • Justifies itself
  • Wants its own way
  • Stands up for its own rights
  • Seeks its own glory
  • Self sufficient

Sadly, this is the American way and the way of the world. The power of self is being taught to our kids. We’ve heard it so much on social media and tv that we’ve bought into it and think its ok! We don’t realize that this is the “wisdom of the world” (James 3:14-15). When these attitudes begin to creep in and become the norm, it will greatly affect the power of God in us.

“As long as self is in control, God can do little with us; for the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5) which God longs to fill us with, is the complete antithesis of the hard, unbroken spirit within us and presupposes that self has been crucified.”

Brokenness is a choice we must make in response to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Will we harden our hearts and raise our fists like the stiff necked “I,” or will we “bow the head and say, Yes Lord?” The thing I love the most about saying “Yes Lord” is that in saying YES to God, we are saying NO to our flesh. Oh, that we would respond to the Lord by saying YES to Him at every turn of our day.

The Sermon on the Mount is probably one of the best summaries of Jesus’ teachings while on earth. “Non-retaliation, love for enemies, and selfless giving” are just a few of the topics covered. At the beginning of the sermon, we find the Beatitudes which are in essence the “attitudes of brokenness.”

Jesus was broken for us. Philippians 2:5-11 is an amazing passage about what Christ was willing to do for us in becoming a man. Imagine Jesus, the High King of Heaven, reducing Himself to an embryo. He was born to die, to be broken for us. Hebrews 10:4-5 says, “for it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. That is why, when Christ came into the world, He said to God, ‘You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But You have given Me a body to offer” (NLT).

“We see Him having no rights of His own, willing to let men revile Him and not revile in return, willing to let men tread on Him, and not retaliate or defend Himself. Above all, we see Him broken as He meekly goes to Calvary to become humanity’s scapegoat by bearing their sins in His own body on the tree.”

How does God break us? “Every humiliation and everyone who tries to vex us is God’s way of breaking us, so that there is yet a deeper channel in us for the life of Christ.” Roy goes on to say that “the only life that pleases God and that can be victorious is His life – never our life, no matter how hard we try.”

“Lord bend that proud and stiff-necked I, Help me to bow the head and die; beholding Him on Calvary, who bowed His head for me.”

Roy Hession

Chapter 1 Homework

Day 1: Broken & Contrite Spirit

  1. Read 2 Samuel 11:12-25
  2. In your journal, record all the things David did in chapter 11.
  3. What did Nathan tell David in chapter 12? What was David’s response?
  4. What were the consequences of David’s sin in 2 Sam. 12:14-19?
  5. How did David exemplify a broken and contrite spirit in 2 Samuel 12:14-19?
  6. How is Solomon a picture of God’s restoration in David’s life? (2 Sam. 12:24-25)
  7. Psalm 51 is what David penned after he was confronted by Nathan. Read through this chapter and journal what you learn about having a heart of brokenness.

Day 2: The Flesh & the Spirit

  1. Write out Galatians 2:20-21 in your journal.
  2. How does verse 20 say we live our lives?
  3. Read Galatians 5:16-21 and record the deeds of the flesh.
  4. What do you learn about the flesh and the Spirit from verse 17?
  5. What is the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23?
  6. Read Psalm 139. Write out verses 23-24 as a prayer to God, asking Him to search your heart. Is there anything in your heart that is blocking the flow of His power in your life?

Day 3: The Great Exchange

  1. Read Philippians 2:5-11. Record in your journal everything you learn about Jesus.
  2. Read Isaiah 53 and record how Jesus was broken for us.
  3. I like to think of the Christian life as the “Great Exchange.” Read 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 and record in your journal what was exchanged.
  4. Read 1 Peter 2:22-24. What was Jesus’ attitude while suffering (v 22-23)?
  5. What did Christ do for us in 1 Peter 2:24?
  6. Read Isaiah 61:10-11. Take some time to thank God for what He has done for us. Thank Him for the incredible price He paid to redeem us, taking on our sin so that we could be clothed in His righteousness.

Day 4: Heart of Brokenness

  1. Read 1 Peter 5:6-10. Record any commands and promises you see in these verses.
  2. What does it mean to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God? I like to think of God’s mighty hand as whatever circumstances He has allowed in our lives. Instead of standing like Miss Scarlet with our fist up, we take on the posture of the humble “bent C.” Remember that brokenness is a choice we make in response to the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives.
  3. How do the promises of God seen in these verses encourage you to have a heart of humility?
  4. Read James 4:6-10 and again record any commands and promises you see.
  5. Take some time to pray and humble yourself before God. Cast all your anxieties upon Him because He cares for you.

Day 5: Dying to Self

  1. Dying to self is not a thing we do once and for all.” It has to be constantly dying to self. “Only then can the Lord Jesus be revealed constantly through us.” As we die to self daily, we are exchanging our fleshly unrighteousness for abundant life in Christ.
  2. Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-12. What was being manifested in their mortal bodies when they chose to die to self (carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus)?
  3. Do you see any similarities in this passage to Galatians 2:20?
  4. Read Romans 12:1-2 and record your thoughts on how presenting our bodies as living sacrifices is like dying to self.
  5. How are we transformed according to verse 2?
  6. Read Ephesians 4:22-24. What are we to lay aside and put on? When we die to self, we are laying aside the old self (our fleshly, sinful nature).
  7. If you have time, take a moment to reflect on all God has taught you this week. Ask God to reveal to your heart practical ways you can die to self by saying YES to Him.

Chapter Resources:

In Brokenness You Shine/Embrace the Cross
(Steve Green)
What happens when we surrender ourselves to Jesus? (Wayne Barber)
Please note that unless stated otherwise, all italicized quotes that are not directly cited from an author or Scripture quotes are direct quotes from the book, The Calvary Road, by Roy Hession.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 1: Brokenness

    1. That’s awesome Jean! Thank you!! If you subscribe to the blog, you should get an email each time a lesson is posted. Let me know if you have any issues getting them! Love and miss you! 🤗❤️


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