I’m a worm and no man

To be broken is the beginning of revival.

“Brokenness” is the opening chapter of Roy Hession’s challenging, inspired book, The Calvary Road.   He begins with brokenness because without a broken spirit (blessed are those who are poor in spirit, Jesus said) we will not know the life of Jesus.

What is brokenness?  You know it when you see it.  Or experience it yourself.  It’s that moment when you realize that you are undone, that everything you have tried to offer God is a sham, that you no longer have any excuses.   

It’s a painful death of Self.  

An unbroken person will still try to justify themselves.  They will offer what seems to them a good reason for being who they are and for doing what they do.  They will blame their history, their culture, their parents, their church, their spouse, their kids, their job, and on and on.  They will continue to insist that they have some rights.   They will name certain conditions before they will act.  

While doing all of this they may very well say they are sorry.  But being sorry is not the same as being broken.  And being sorry makes you just, well, sorry.  

God can’t and won’t do anything with a sorry person.  But He will do miracles with a broken one.

There is a prophetic word in Psalm 22.   You know this Psalm in part because the words Jesus quotes from the cross comes from it: 

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? 

Jesus was not trying to draw our attention to only one verse, but to the entire Psalm, as any good Rabbi would do.   Further down, in verse 6, is this pathetic cry, 

But I am a worm and no man


Jesus, the son of God, who had every right to boast, every right to call a legion of angels to his rescue, who had every right to justify himself as sinless before God, did none of that.   Instead, he became a worm on a cross, and bowed his head to the will of His Father.   

Matthew, in his gospel, does not want us to miss this connection.  He tells us that while Jesus hung on that cross people passed by, deriding him, “wagging their heads,” at him.   It’s the same thing the Psalmist says the people do to him after calling himself a worm (Psalm 22:7).

Hession says this about worms,

There is a big difference between a snake and a worm, when you attempt to strike at them.  The snake rears itself up and hisses and tries to strike back – a true picture of self.  But a worm offers no resistance, it allows you to do what you like with it, kick it or squash it under your heel – a picture of true brokenness.  And Jesus was willing to become just that for us – a worm and no man.  

Are you coming to God as a snake or as a worm?

To be broken is the beginning of revival.   Jesus became nothing on the cross for our sake and God raised him from the dead three days later.  It is promised to those who are broken, not sorry, but who bow their necks and say to God, “I am a worm and no man,” that God will not despise you (Psalm 51:17), but heal you.   He will become your God, and you will become His child.     

I know this to be true in my life and in the lives of many others:  The degree to which we are still in bondage to our sin is the degree to which we still act like a snake rather than a worm.   

To be broken is the beginning of revival.   

5 thoughts on “I’m a worm and no man”

  1. Great distinction between being sorry and broken. I think of Paul saying that he has been “crucified with Christ.” Too often we offer ourselves absolution without repentance. There’s no living water in that.

  2. Awesome post Chad and so very true!! I thank God that one day He broke me— prostrate to the floor— and I truly saw my life as the sham that it was!! Without true godly sorrow and brokenness over our sin we never really know where we know the love of God….and once we experience that then real transformation and healing takes place. It’s what makes the difference between BELIEF that God loves me and KNOWING that God loves me— and how sad so many Christians do not truly know His love because they avoid at all costs real brokenness–as was recently expressed by a choir I heard over the radio singing Amazing Grace and they changed the words “wretch like me” to “soul like me”….imagine them singing a :”worm like me”………..

  3. Oh, to remain broken. Experienced it many times in my life, but the “snake” part of me loves to sit up and be noticed. Thank you for a great reminder. And…Roy Hession is my favorite author!

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