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.
This is such an important message John. How many times I’ve met the knock at my door with a closed fist, before I even knew who was there. The Obstacle Remover came! Somehow the hand agrees with the heart. It’s a visual I give to the Lord. I open it in consent to my life entrusting it to Him; in choosing to live open-hearted; in forgiveness. I love these few words in Phil.1:10 AMPC, “so that with hearts sincere, & certain & unsullied, you may approach the day of Christ”. And this, 1P.3:18 TPT, “Christ suffered & died for sins… Read more »
“Approach the day of Christ!” and intense reality. It gives us passion and incentive to be prepared. Thank you for your sharing. Love you Helen!
I believe this is where I am. I have no intimacy with the Lord and I’m afraid I’ve been injured by many in my family and I’ve closed my heart. John will you pray with me and to ask The Holy Spirit to reveal these places of hardness?
I absolutely will pray for you Doug! Only He can do this work, just lean into it and asking Him for the light. It will come. Love you.
‘I am so grateful the Lord corrected me. He is faithful to bring to light any and every obstacle to our relationship with Him.‘ John, I have just lived out this situation. It’s painful to admit that I had put up a wall—if even to protect myself. And that wall would have cost an opportunity to ‘do let my light shine’, so to speak. Still, God has ever so gently brought me to realize that I need to be dealing with the burdens I carry, letting Him bring the Light and Truth to cleanse and cut away. He wants to… Read more »
So true LeAnn, and this is so easy to do, too easy. One choice at a time. He is faithful to reveal to us the closure and leads us to open our hearts again. Thanking Him for this truly!
Love you LeAnn, thank you for your comments!
This has happened to my daughter toward my husband, mother, and me. Thank you for putting it into words I could understand. And please join me i. Prayer that she will be released from this hardening and closing of her heart.
Happy New year to you and precious Martha!
I certainly will pray for her as I pray for myself, to open wide my heart so He has full rein in there. Bless you and thank you, Happy New Year to you too!
Praise God, He is faithful to show us the Truth of our mess if we are willing to see. Faithful to forgive if we are willing to repent.
“I need Thee every hour,
Most gracious Lord;…
I need Thee, O I need Thee…”
I love Fernando! He is so faithful to reveal. So pleased for this reality. Love you Tammy!