So often we view God as an enforcer of religious rules. We see the commands of Scripture as a list of to-dos rather than a path leading to abundant life. But those perceptions aren’t the truth of Scripture. Those beliefs are founded on misguided notions of God’s character. God is after the heart. More than he wants us to do right, he wants us to see him rightly. He wants going to church, reading the Bible, worshipping, serving the poor, and living righteously to come from a heart filled with a true revelation of his loving-kindness. May your heart be wholly God’s this week.
In order to experience all the fullness of life God has in store for us we must live with an open heart. Oftentimes, whether it be from wounds or simply bad teaching, we live closed off and self-focused. We go throughout our days with walls up around our hearts and rarely allow ourselves to receive the reality of God’s nearness moment to moment. But God is calling us deeper. He’s calling us to a lifestyle of encountering him. He’s calling us to tear down the walls we’ve built up and trust that living openly and receptively will bear life, peace, and joy.
John 15:4 says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” God longs to be with you. He longs to speak to you, guide you, pour out his love on you, and remain with you throughout your day. He’s not just a God of Sundays. His presence isn’t only available at conferences, worship services, or monasteries. He is God of every moment. He is Lord of all eternity. And he longs to give you good gifts all the time. He longs to bear wonderful, life-giving fruit in you. But you must be willing to abide in him. You must receive all he has to give.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Life comes from the heart both physically and spiritually. Just as the heart pumps blood out to the rest of your body, your heart pumps out spiritual life. Your heart is the place where God is constantly speaking. Your heart is what he cares about. It’s not enough to just give him your mind for understanding or your hands for good works; he wants you at your core. He wants your life to be wrapped up in his.
Take time today to open your heart to your loving heavenly Father. Look for any walls you’ve built up around your heart. Stop believing any lies or misconceptions that would keep you from experiencing God’s love moment to moment. May your time in guided prayer be filled with new life as your heart is open and receptive to the freedom of God’s presence.
1. Meditate on the importance of having an open and receptive heart to God.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23
2. Do you have any walls up between you and God? Are you living at times as if he isn’t with you? Are you fully open and receptive to the things of God throughout your day?
3. Cast down any walls you’ve built up at the feet of Jesus and open your heart to him. Receive a revelation of his nearness and spend some time simply resting in his presence. Ask him to give you eyes to see all the good gifts he has given you today.
God is constantly blessing us. He constantly has good gifts to give us. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” God longs to demonstrate his love to you by giving you good and perfect gifts. Cultivate a lifestyle of noticing and receiving God’s blessings. Look for all the ways he is providing for you and give thanks to him. Live your whole life in light of the reality of his nearness and experience all his goodness throughout your day. May you be filled with abundant blessings as you seek to live with an open heart.
Extended Reading: Matthew 12