A few years ago- the Lord began to ask me if I would open to Him. I could tell this was a call to allow Him deeper into my heart- and I wasn’t so sure that is what I wanted out of our relationship. I was pretty happy to love Jesus and to know He loved me. I was pretty happy for our relationship to not cost me much but to have some benefit in my life. I was pretty content just knowing we were good. But He was asking for more. When He asked me to open to Him- I saw a vision of my whole body being opened down the middle, exposing my innermost parts- my heart. Totally exposed, totally opened, nothing able to hide……
My dear friend is a potter and she described to me how what I was seeing was similar to what the potter does when working with the clay. First they work the clay in their hands, softening it, warming it up to respond to their touch, preparing it to be stretched, shaped, and molded into their organic vision for that particular lump of clay. The next thing is the throw it on the wheel and center it. After being centered, they begin to open the clay up by putting fingers right down in the middle of the lump. It’s the opening process that allows for something beautiful, unique, the vision of the potter to become known to others. The process is so delicate she tells me, that sometimes when she is working, she can’t even breathe, she keeps her eyes fixed on what needs to stay, what needs to go, and what needs to be stretched so gently to encourage the original design to become the outcome of what just a little while ago was a shapeless, purposeless, lump of clay.
My heart began opening to the idea of being opened more to the Lord. I felt loved that He wanted to shape my life. I felt ‘seen’ that He wanted to form purpose for my life and that He was going to personally decide what needed to stay, go, or be added to ensure that His original plan- design- His vision would be what I actually get to become. However, can I tell you that there was a massive part of my heart that knew this was going to be painful. costly, and a long process- possibly life long? Can I share with you that I felt so drawn to know the deeper places of His heart- but I was afraid of what would be revealed as He excavated the recesses of mine?
I knew that saying “yes” to His invitation to really be His- with all that I have, would change everything. I could hear the deepest places of who I am crying out yes- but fear was telling me to hold back- to wait- to just be happy with what I currently had. So I began asking Him- “How do I open to you?” And do you know how loving our God is? This process wasn’t as big and scary as I was making the decision out to be, it is step- by- step. As I said yes- He would dig a little into the parts of me I was trying desperately to hide- out of shame or fear of being exposed. Then, as He gently revealed it needed to go- the decision was always mine- I would say “Take it- I want to look more like You.” Then the next thing would be something He wanted to add- and the choice would be mine. I would say, “Ok Lord, I’ve never done that before, and it seems scary, but will You help me?” Then, sometimes He says that something is good but it needs to change a little to be a more excellent portion for my life and the ones I’m called to minister to. By now, I’ve been in this process for a while that I can recognize the feel of the pull to open and I mostly yield quickly because I’ve learned a common thread- the process is FOR ME- it’s because He loves me that He does not desire to allow anything to be part of my journey that is destructive or will lead me astray if left unattained to. WOW- what a kind King.
I am not saying that the process is any easier than it was when I first began opening to Him. I am not saying that I often understand why something isn’t allowed in my life or why the timing is the way it is, in fact, I rarely understand- I obey by faith. I am saying that the common thread through the entire “opening” journey I’ve been on has been love. Most often, as I listen and open, I can look back and see how much protection I’ve been given- how much I have been saved from before it even became an issue. I can see how much I’ve been stretched and how much I can believe for because of how faithful He has been- and I know that He never changes.
I began to look up the word “open” in the scriptures and I found something interesting. Open and Commit are interchangeable. They are both like rolling away the stone from the tomb. Wow- isn’t that what happens when we say yes to, commit our lives to Jesus? He takes us from the grave of our life- He opens it up and resurrects us to new life with Him? And also, isn’t the point of every attack in our lives to cause us to close up- to hide- to run from intimacy? What if you and I decided to have a new resolve? What would happen in our relationships with others and with the Lord if we chose to commit- to stay committed- stay opened up- even when we do not understand what is happening or why it is happening?
The enemy loves to get us to doubt the goodness of God- His faithfulness- and His love for us. When we don’t believe any longer that we are being loved- we retreat and begin to self-protect and take a defensive stance. But if I have said yes to being opened up- to being seen- known- and clay in the Potter’s hands- then my response to life cannot be closing up. I am going to continue to commit- to open to the Potter- and allow Him to use every thing that flies at me to shape me, mold me, and create His unique shape and purpose for my life. Will you also commit and open to the touch of the Potter? Will you say yes to intimacy with Him? Will you let Him “into-me-see”?
Although it is terrifying to take that first step, and maybe even the next 500 are rather shaky, Who you get to know and who you get to become is worth doing it afraid. He said you were worth it as He journeyed to the cross- and from that extravagant sacrifice and offering, you can rest assured that anything He is calling you to is more than worth the cost!
Jump all in- say yes- and then say yes again! You WILL NOT regret it!