A hard heart restricts and prevents the Lord Jesus from having freedom of movement in our lives. Can you see why that is so disastrous to your life?! It is a literal impediment to experiencing the Life and Love of Christ. It’s like trying to hold hands with someone who has a closed fist. If we have the closed fist of unforgiveness, bitterness, or resistance to God, then we are limiting our interaction with Christ.
My Struggle to be Open-hearted
Let me show you what this looks like. I was struggling with a man who invalidated me on a regular basis. Every statement he made to me disallowed my feelings, even my very person. In an actual relationship, we have to validate each other’s person; this guy offered no such validation. There was a continual debt in my emotional bank account with him. Now, I could stand on my rights all day long, but here is the point: My resistance to this man hardened my heart toward him so much that it closed. And in this area of wounding, I was blind to my hardness of heart.
The result of being closed-fisted rather than open-hearted is a constraint on my relationship with Christ. It doesn’t matter what anyone does to me, I am required to engage my heart by keeping it open. Whether it’s through forgiveness, acceptance, or just a determination not to harden my heart, I must live soft – open and vulnerable – to see the Lord. The consequences are too dire when I shut down.
Closed Fisted Closed Heart
Oddly enough, this closed-heart position can be slow to develop. It wasn’t like I slammed my heart door shut one time; it was one choice at a time that shut the door of my heart on Jesus. I had to have the Spirit come and address it with me, because I was unaware of what was happening. I knew I didn’t like the conversations with this gentleman, but I had no idea what the offense actually was. Only after the Spirit touched this was I able to see, forgive, and release my resistance. The Lord had to open my eyes and then call me to reopen my heart. Unfortunately, the movements too close in to our hearts can be almost imperceptible…until one day we wake up spiritually dead.
I am so grateful the Lord corrected me. He is faithful to bring to light any and every obstacle to our relationship with Him. Jesus gave me the ability to forgive and relinquish my offense with that man. And it kind of felt like I was dropping an unpaid bill and letting Jesus pay it. But with that legal document no longer in my grasp, I am holding the Lord’s hand again.