"The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart". Psalm 51:17 (HCSB)
When you think of the word "broken", you may think of something that has been reduced to fragments, torn or fractured. You may also think of something that is no longer usable and has lost its value. While these working definitions may apply to the temporal things of this earth, they are not applicable when discussing spiritual brokenness. Broken can also mean tamed, trained, reduced to submission or changing direction abruptly which is more in line with spiritual brokenness and what God desires for his rebellious children.
Why does God want for our hearts and spirits to be broken? Because He wants us to see the sin in our lives like He sees it. He wants us to feel pain because of our sins the same way our sins hurt Him. When a believer gets to this place in his spiritual life, then he experiences true remorse for falling short of God's glorious standard. God wants to get the rebellious Christian to this point so he will confess his sins and repent.
A broken spirit is more valuable to God than any outward sacrifice offered to Him, such as going to church, reading the Bible, tithing or working in ministry. This is because God cares more about the condition of our hearts than what we do. Proverbs 27:19 states that "As the water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the person." Unless our hearts are right with God, our actions will be done for the wrong reasons. Also, if our hearts are corrupt with sin, it will weaken our relationship with God, and we will not be able to live the lives God desires for us.
God will use whatever means necessary to break one of His wayward children. It may be through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, a timely word from a godly person, a Scripture verse, a devotion or a sermon. Regardless of how spiritual brokenness is accomplished, know that God's motive for doing so is His unfailing love. He always disciplines His children when they disobey because He loves them too much to watch them destory their lives and testimonies with sin. To resist spiritual brokenness is to resist what will benefit you the most.
Once we are spiritually broken, God will not leave us that way. A broken spirit and heart is something God can work. When we are "poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3), God can work in our lives unhindered by pride and personal agenda. God will mold us to become more like His Son and prepare us to spend eternity with Him. Our relationship with God will be restored as well as our joy and peace, and our obedience to God will increase.