“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Revelation 3:20 NLT
“Love is a divine act that can transform and bring a change of heart.” Lailah Gifty Akita
What I truly love about Christianity is how the Lord waits to be invited. There are no mandates, dictates, bullying, controlling or manipulating. He asks. The Lord of Lords, the King of Kings asks. He knocks.
What I love about the Lord is how he transforms me in the midst of pain and fear, not with pushing, bullying, condemning or judgment. He is with me in my darkest hour. He weeps with me. He prays for me. He companions me, whether I feel it or not. He redeems my pain and fear. You know, everything works to good for those who love him. I experience a relationship with him.
I have knowledge about God but the intimacy, the experience is priceless. There are relationship things like joy, trust, communication (much more one-sided than it should be), love, encouragement, inspiration, anger and yes, silence. Our relationship is more than feelings. It’s a trust walk. All good relationships work on trust.
All relationships have their ups and downs, misunderstandings, dark times and good times, even and especially with our kids, parents, siblings and colleagues. But real relationships start with the heart. No change in the heart– no change. No change in the heart– no change in character. No change in the heart–no change in behavior. No change in the heart–no intimate relationship. Knowledge is good and helps but it’s not the heart.
I managed a small marketing department and I had four single, head-of-house women working for me. They struggled, really struggled, being full-time parents, financial turmoil and exes that were so toxic. It was up to me to make it work! Some had just a GED. No college. No technical training. They lived in harsh environments. The only reason they were working for me was they had to. This was it. It looked impossible.
So, I loved them (and was humbled many times). Love is action from a persuaded heart. I acknowledged with praise what they did well. Learning was a fun, down-time activity. I knew their kids, their boyfriends and even their parents. Most of all I prayed for them. Most of all I prayed for me. But our Father through the Son made us successful. Was there an unexpected pregnancy? Oh, yes. Utilities shut off. Top Ramen for dinner. But we worked, encouraged, lent a hand and cash, overcame and cared. Mistakes were made but it drew us closer. Our Father brought us through.
Every one of these girls is now in adulthood with their own professional careers, loving husbands and families with awards and accomplishments they never imagined. We are friends. We all were persuaded. We all were transformed. All have a spiritual life. It didn’t happen overnight but it happened.
Whatever problem, person or situation, prayer for an open heart, a persuaded heart is required. A miracle! We learn to see with spiritual eyes and heart like our Father and his Son. We experience a joyful, loving relationship with our Father first and it flows to others. We gain the ability to love our Father with our heart, mind and soul as well as our neighbor.
We must see you first before all the things will be added to us and our loved ones. Your Son said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” Oh how we stumble on this statement when our pulled-up- by-our-bootstraps mentality tempts us into self-sufficiency and toxic control and away from you. Thank you for persuading, asking, gently encouraging us. Help us to do this with others too.