There’s so much goodness inside of you, there’s the potential to change countless lives. That goodness comes in the form of your love. Your love, and your ability to love are under attack. The enemy knows the impact your love could make so guess what does that nasty little sucker do … he works to shrink your heart. He schemes to make you cynical. He plots to make you hardened. He offers the bricks to build your walls. How successful has he been in shrinking your heart?
God wants you to live with a wide open heart, just as Jesus did. Jesus loved without concern of rejection. He loved without need for a thank you. He loved without strings, without boundaries. You do understand that Jesus shared his last meal with the very man he knew would betray him? He knew it, yet he loved him. Jesus lived out loud with a wide open heart and outstretched arms. And this is the life you and I are being called to.
2 Corinthians 6: 11-13 reading from the MSG translation says “I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”
We were each created for a BIG life, but sometimes we are playing little because we have closed off our hearts and tied strings to our love. We may be justified in our tall walls and guarded hearts, but we may also be miserable. You were designed to love. You were formed as a vessel of God’s love flowing through you, working as his hands and feet here on Earth. The creator never designed a single person with the flaw of a bad attitude and perpetually grouchy mood. He never made one human being with the intention of that person not being able to love others, intolerable of people.
God doesn’t work that way.
But the enemy sure does.
One of Satan’s greatest works is to convince you that your way is the only way, everyone else is an idiot, and you can’t trust anyone. Is that the record playing in your head? Is that how you view others? A possible threat? A potential bad motive? An idiot in blue jeans? Have you become cynical and hardened with a closed off heart? Have you created hoops for others to jump through to get to your love?
Remember the story of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15. A man had two sons and one son had taken his inheritance early and promptly blew every dollar on wild living and ended up at rock bottom. This son then realized who he really was and that he was so much better than the way he had been living, so he began the journey back, back to his family and back to the life he was created for. Now notice what his father did. When the father saw his son returning home, did he stand there with his arms crossed? Did begin preaching saying how wrong the son had been? Did he make his son jump through hoops to come back? Did he make it hard for him? No! Quite the opposite. Scripture says the father ran to him with open arms!
The father didn’t chase the prodigal son, but when the son turned around and came back to his truth, the father welcomed him with love.
This is what we’re to do. Don’t chase, but if ways are changed, then we welcome. So someone screwed up. Someone has hurt you in the past. You have every reason for your walls. Your heart is calloused. You’re terrified to open back up because what if it happens again? Trust that God will take care of you if you will just love BIG. You don’t need to make it harder than it already is. Open up your arms and live with a wide open heart. Refuse to allow the enemy to shrink your heart again.
You may have been in a relationship with a horrible man before. He left you feeling less than and to this day you have scars from him you’re trying to heal. He doesn’t need to come back into your life, but maybe God has the RIGHT man for you now. Will you dare to open your heart again? The enemy tells you all men are bad, trust no one, don’t make commitments and join the other man-haters who’ve been hurt. But your creator not only made you, but he made the right people to love you, partner with you and help you become more than you are today. Bring down those walls my sister, there’s something beautiful waiting for you on the other side.
Your walls have guarded your heart from being hurt again, but understand what else they’re doing. Tall walls for guarded hearts keep the right people from coming into your life, and they keep you from entering into the goodness available to you.
I’ve never been hurt by a man, but I’ve been hurt by a few women. I work with a whole lot of women. Thousands. And you’ve heard how women can be, right? Catty and jealous, backstabbing and dramatic. I used to say I would rather work with 10 men than 1 woman. Ya’ll we can be bad! I’m sure most of us have had the same experience, and as a result we have tall walls and guarded hearts. We look at each other as competition and a possible threat. THAT’S NOT RIGHT! This is NOT God’s plan for his daughters. Understand you and I are both daughters of the king, that makes us princess sisters. We are sisters!
Once I broke through the walls I built to keep other women at a distance, I discovered the most incredible circle of supportive, encouraging, inspiring, fun-loving women who make my life so much better. The enemy never wants us to discover this type of sisterhood. You know why? Because we’re a freaking force to be reckoned with! We know how to pray circles around each other’s families that move mountains. We know how to show up and get crap done. We know how to love and we know how to fight for what we love, and when we stop fighting one another, oh dang we can change the world.
This is what God always had in mind for his girls. Has the enemy used a few bad experiences to build your walls and harden your heart? You’re missing out. Are there still a few women who haven’t caught on to the fact that we’re on the same team, so they’re still on a mission to tear others down … yes. But Jesus gave us quite the example of loving anyway didn’t he?
BIG lives begin with BIG, wide open hearts. God is calling you to live a wide open life without hoops and obstacles for others to jump through to receive your love.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” Study that scripture today. Where does God convict your heart for change? Go through it word by word and ask where God wants to work on you. Be patient and kind. Do not be jealous, don’t brag or be puffed up thinking you’re better than anyone else. Don’t talk bad about others, stop thinking of only your way. Don’t get mad so easily and stop keeping score.
Somewhere in the future your life looks totally different because of your choice to tear down those walls today. Somewhere in the future, your broken relationships are restored because of your choice to no longer make it so darn hard for them to come back. Somewhere in the future, your life is so much bigger because you no longer accept the enemy’s offer of a bad attitude or a bad mood.
You were created out of love, and you were created to love. You may be real busy. You may be working real hard. You may be building and accumulating and creating a real nice life for yourself, but are you missing the point? Are you missing that you are here to love. None of this other stuff matters. It will all grow old, fall down or be torn down, sit in a junk yard or be sold for a buck at a garage sale. But the love you offer today can radically change a life. Eternally.
I’ve witnessed love radically change someone. I’ve seen the power of love at work right in front of my eyes. This is the way God works.
You have that power today. You have the power to choose love. The power to step into the BIG Life you were created for and stop playing little with tall walls and a guarded heart. Resist the enemy’s offer of bitterness and accept God’s invitation to be better.