Archive for May 19th, 2009

In the last two blogs in our “The Heart of a Worshipper” series (HWS) I wrote about the need for our hearts to be hungry for God because the hungry heart gives birth to the pursuing heart, causing us to pursue God more diligently. Pursuing God is the first step toward becoming changed people. In this blog, we continue to look at the qualities of the worshipping heart. May you be blessed and transformed as you grow in your own worship of the King of Kings. 

A Transparent or Unveiled Heart 
If pursuing God is the first step toward becoming a changed person, this next in the process process of allowing God to transform us is having a heart that is transparent or unveiled before God and before others. What does that mean? I looked up the word transparent in the dictionary and absolutely love this portion of the definition: “having the property of transmitting rays of light through…so that [things] situated beyond or behind can be distinctly seen.”

A Transparent Heart Has No Walls
Our hearts must have the property of allowing the Light of Life (Jesus) to shine through it so that He can reveal to us what is hidden in its deepest, darkest corners. Scriptures tells us that God searches our heart, but do we remember that even though He knows all there is to know about us, He doesn’t impose His knowledge on us. He allows us free will.

He says “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” We think of that as an evangelistic verse, but those words were actually spoken to the Christians at Laodocea whom Jesus described as “lukewarm.” He is asking permission to come into their heart and reveal things to them and rekindle the love relationship He once had with them. He would not usurp their will and force himself upon them, and He will not usurp our will and will not change us without our permission. No, He says “If anyone opens the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20, emphasis mine).

God is asking us to have hearts that are transparent to him; He’s asking you and me to open the doors of our hearts to Him. Don’t put a wall between your heart and God. Don’t keep little recesses that belong only to you.

The similar word, unveil, means “to reveal or disclose, to display.” Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 3:13-18 for a discussion about a transparent or unveiled heart, and the promise it holds.

13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. [That is, the radiance from being in God’s presence.]

14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It [the veil] has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. [If we are in Christ, the veil has been removed.]

15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers [or hides] their hearts.

16  But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. [Again, for those of us in Christ, the veil has been taken away – our hearts are displayed before God.]

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. [Hallelujah!]

18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

          2 Corinthians 3:13-18 (bracketed comments mine]

When we receive the Lord, the veil that blocks our understanding of God and blocks our direct access to Him is taken away. It’s taken away from our face so that the work God is doing in our hearts is revealed for others to see. It’s also taken away from our hearts if we allow it to be, so that God can shine through and reveal to us the areas that need work. This unveiling happened the moment we accepted Christ. A transformation began. Hallelujah!

A Transparent Heart Works to Remain Transparent
But I’ve found that unless I consciously and continually ask the Lord to come in, unless I consciously and continually remove the veil from around my heart, it begins to come back. Sometimes slowly and sometimes with the force of a slamming door, the veil slips back over my eyes and over my heart as I allow things of this world to encourage me to hide myself from God and from others.

All of us have experienced this. Sometimes, a friend says something hurtful…and you say in your heart, “I’ll never let her see the real me again.” Or something you try to do is a complete failure…and you say in your heart, “I’ll never stick my neck out like that again…look, everyone thinks I’m a fool.” Or you’re not obedient and perhaps you don’t say anything in your heart, but you begin to hide a little from God.

Those are the kind of things the enemy uses to encourage us to let the veil fall back into place, to hide our hearts from God and from others. But we read above what the Scripture says: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” In Christ, we can have freedom from the pain caused by those failures and disappointments, and we can have freedom to live a life that is inencumbered by the need to keep things hidden and secret.

As we continue to reveal our heart to God, He continues to transform us into His likeness with ever-increasing Glory. Notice that Moses wore the veil so that the people wouldn’t see the radiance from being in God’s presence fade away. But the last verse says that our transformation is ever-increasing. I want that ever-increasing transformation. That means that I need to be continually transparent before God.

I need to become more like David, who God described as “a man after my own heart.” In Psalm 38:9 he says:

All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.

A Transparent Heart is Honest before God
A transparent heart is also honest with God about how it feels. Read through the psalms of David and you’ll see that he wasn’t happy, carefree and sinless throughout his life. Far from it. In his struggles and in his sin, though, you’ll see that he is honest with God. Read Psalm 22:1-2 and you’ll see David crying out to God because he feels forsaken by God. Psalm 38 shows David anguishing because of his sin and guilt. In Psalm 42 you’ll find David encouraging himself to turn to God when his soul is downcast. David isn’t just honest with God in his discouragement and repentance, but also in his triumphs and rejoicing. Psalm 47 and 148 are just two of many psalms of unrestrained praise. Our God is worthy of extravagant praise!

What’s my point? My point is that worship should be a time when we pour out our heart to God and express our greatest sorrow and greatest delight. My point is that honesty before God means not “putting on a happy face” every time we approach him. Having a transparent heart allows God to see into our heart. When I read David’s Psalms, I know that I often have a long way to go if I am to be totally honest with God in my emotions.

A Transparent Heart Uses His/Her Own Words to Worship the King of Kings
God wants us to be transparent before Him. And sometimes that means using your own words to express your devotion to Him. LaMar Boschman, in his book A Heart of Worship says this about worship:

“We worship [God] as the Holy Spirit reveals Him to our seeking hearts. In that way, our worship is Spirit-inspired and Spirit-directed. This often requires launching out in faith beyond our prepared songs and prayers to find the Spirit of God revealing the incomprehensible, to touch and taste the unapproachable.”

This is something I had to practice quite a bit before I became comfortable doing it in worship. I was much more comfortable with the prepared songs and prayers. But sticking to them seems “too safe” – it seems inconsistent with what I see in Psalms. I’d like to encourage all of us to be transparent before God. Write some of your own psalms. Write some of your own worship songs. God isn’t looking for the best verses or the best melody. He’s looking for the unveiled heart of a person willing to be transformed by Him. I hope you’ll decide to be that person today!

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