The ‘Open Heart Challenge’

Rob here. A couple of weeks ago I preached a sermon called, Let’s get E-motional’ based on the Psalms. The basic premise of it is that we are emotional people because we’re made in the image of an emotional God. One thing I said was:

“The question isn’t, what emotions should we be feeling, but what do we do with the emotions we are feeling. I often hear Christians say I shouldn’t be angry, or I shouldn’t be sad or even, I shouldn’t get too excited. And I think, says who? Who says you shouldn’t feel those things? God? Well he gets angry, sad and excited and I’m pretty sure that God isn’t a hypocrite. What David and the Psalms teach us is that we feel those things in the presence of God. We can take our anger, grief, joy, hope, nerves, excitement, romantic urges to God and trust him with them. I mean, isn’t the measure of a good friend the fact that they can see you in the depths of emotional meltdown and love you through it? Isn’t God our best friend?

Many addictions arise from this desire to push down our emotions. Life gets too hard so people withdraw or escape into things that help them become numb to life or help them feel in control. So drugs, drink, porn, food, TV, gossip, sexual flings, internet can be examples of this. Parents that struggle to communicate love and affection to their children simply communicate the message that those children are on their own.  If your wife or husband never hears that you love them then you will have a very boring marriage, let alone a boring marriage bed. Boredom in marriage leads to escape as well – divorce, more time at work, affairs, romance novels and soap operas, golf, Sky Sport.

 So do you see that emotional maturity is actually a very serious and urgent matter? It is at the heart of having life in all its fullness and it is life-giving to others when we have it. People wanted to be around Jesus; not because he was emotionally detached but because he was emotionally engaged with the power and presence of God.

What we see in Jesus and David is an unerring trust in the goodness of God.”

So here’s the challenge.      For the month of June practice opening your heart to God everyday. Tell him about the highs and lows, the big and little frustrations, the big and little joys. Every time you feel any kind of emotion tell God about it, and then sit and listen for his reply. We’d love to hear from you. Please let us know if it changes the dynamic of your relationship with God at all. We’ll do the challenge too and will offer help along the way.

Join us and share your experience in our online ‘Open Heart’ Facebook Group. We think you’ll find a new way of living as you pursue this intentionally with the support of others.

I’ll be leading this group along with David Andrews from Brand New Heart Ministires.  Together we’re looking to build a supportive community and a safe environment for people to share their stories of the heart.

If you’re up for the challenge then here’s what you need to do:

1.  Each day be open and share your emotions and feelings with God and listen for his reply

2.  Reflect and post your experience on the group page – what you heard or what you didn’t hear, what’s happening in your heart, or what’s on your heart.

3.  Encourage and support others in the group

4.  We will arrange a couple of ‘Heart to Heart’ group chats along the way too and set some mini challenges along the way.

5.  Click on this link (below) to view our ‘Open Heart’ Facebook Group.  You will then need to click on the ‘Ask to Join’ button at the top of the Facebook Group Page.

View Group

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2 Responses to The ‘Open Heart Challenge’

  1. Cyn Rogalski says:

    My devotion time with the Lord consists of a formula I learned from hearing Becky Tirabassi speak. She said if you do your part (Praise,Admit,Request, Thanksgiving) God will do His part-Read a chapter from O.T, Psalms, Proverbs and N.T. Write down your part in a 4 subject notebook (or any notebook will do) and what God has for you from each chapter . I have NEVER had Him NOT speak to me when doing this devotion; I can’t even do it everyday because He fills me so much I need a bit to digest all He has given me. His Grace is INDEED sufficient!

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