In my last post a beloved sister of Shulamite Ministries wrote a comment. Her words reverberated in my heart and spirit. I want to discuss what she saw and how Open Arms Exposed Heart impacts all of us.
In that post I wrote, “Think about entering a battlefield, one of the worst positions for a soldier to take is—chest out, arms open wide and heart exposed. Yet this is how the Lord wants us to enter our battle. Wow! Over the last few weeks I have found myself physically positioning myself for surrender. When I have felt my heart closing off, I have opened my arms and exposed my heart and chest. I proclaim, “I will be open to You, Lord!”
In response Sandy commented, “(whispering) John! That is exactly how our Savior died!! “Chest out, arms open wide and heart exposed…” My heart pounded. I had never noticed this before. I know nothing of love…”
Open Arms Open Heart
This is so true and I am so grateful she pointed this out. What I have seen is that only His Life has the power to remain open to the Father. And He was expressing that through me. I can’t take credit for any revelation in me. I knew I was simply responding to the Spirit in what I was doing but now I can clearly see why. Christ was opening in me.
Sure, we all have the ability to reject and refuse His desires in us. We are a gatekeepers of His very Life in us. We choose agreement or rejection—this is free-will. But when we receive and embrace His Will, He performs His Life through us. He is able to demonstratively display His worship and service of the Father in us.
Through these acts of obedience Christ was glorifying the Father in my body. He was displaying His crucified Life through His resurrected Life in me. I wasn’t closing my heart because of joy and happiness, I was protecting myself from pain. I was trying to maintain a semblance of control to survive difficulty. My heart was hurting so I comforted it by attempting to shield it from further pain. But in me Jesus opened His arms and exposed His chest and heart.
On the cross, the most painful of all situations in Christ’s Life, He willingly opened and made Himself vulnerable. His undefended position led to His death. He did this because of His love of the Father. He surrendered to The Father’s Will and the result was death. Just because Christ lives His Life in us doesn’t mean we live pain free. But what it does mean though is that we honor and bring pleasure to our Heavenly Father.
Exposed Heart During Crisis
Most of us are enduring a difficult time in our lives. The sheer weight of the battle waged against us is weighing on our very souls. I know people who have lost loved ones, lost businesses, and live in uncertainty for the future. Again it has tried our souls. So while our national crisis is not the only issue, it is one issue that unifies us all.
As a nation we are facing a crisis that is paramount. The course of our country and our lives has been put on the line. That which we thought was our right, is now being challenged. If we ever took it for granted before, surely now we see that it was a treasured gift of grace.
Our freedoms and blessings stemmed from Christ who lived in honor to the Father. As we walk out another year of trials and testing, let the Life of the Son glorify His Father in you. Let Him demonstrate and resonate His very Life and love. In doing so we will be the Light of the world in darkness and confusion. Today is the day, like no other, to let His Life shine through us in whatever way He chooses to shine. It is a life or death situation—with consequences more eternal that temporal.