There are some common words that are used for the work of the Spirit—salvation, deliverance, grace, mercy, forgiveness. They all have a common basis, that the one receiving the work of the Spirit has a desperate need. They are in crisis, they are imprisoned, they are beyond their own help, they are desperate, they are separated from their good.
In our society we are trained to tell people that we are “fine”. No matter what is going on in our hearts, or relationships, no matter how self-destructive our souls are, no matter what oppression we live with, we are to put on a good face, to display strength.
The Spirit requires three things if we are to receive His work. One is complete honesty. The Spirit wants us to be open about our weaknesses, about our failings, about our hurts. We cannot attempt to hide our true selves from the Divine, because he already knows who we are, to our deepest core, better than we know ourselves.
The Spirit also requires that we take our very selves, our core, and recognize our weakness, our brokenness. We need to look our inadequacies in the face, and admit—if only to ourselves and the Spirit—our brokenness. We are the child who accidentally broke the precious item of the parent. The child has the choice to hide the broken item, or to admit and bring it to the parent. It is the admission that leads to the deepening of the relationship.
Finally, the Spirit requires that we come to him with our broken selves and ask for repair. Just as the child might request, “Can you fix it?” so we come to the Divine and ask for our renewal. Both the parent and the Spirit looks down on the child and says, “Of course.” And that is the grace of the Spirit. He repairs within us what we cannot fix ourselves.