Archive for June 2nd, 2009

This blog is the next in our “Heart of a Worshipper” series (HWS). You can find all of the blogs that have been published in this series listed here.

A Transparent Heart is…A Vulnerable Heart (Part 2)

Yesterday’s blog focused on the vulnerability that results from having a transparent heart and why that is so very scary. We only dealt with half the equation, though – that is, being vulnerable before God. Today we’ll look at being vulnerable in our relationship with other people.

Vulnerable Toward Others – Christ is Our Example

Having a vulnerable heart doesn’t apply only to our attitude toward God. If Christ is our example, we see that He chose to be vulnerable here on earth. He chose to love first. And it led to His death. To become Christ-like, then, we would also choose to love first and to die to self. We shouldn’t in any way deceive ourselves into thinking that the process of transformation is an easy one. Changing us into the likeness of Christ means methodically killing our flesh and our fleshly desires.

I heard one speaker describe it this way: God and Satan have one goal in common: They both want us dead – Scripture tells us that Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy; it also teaches that one of the Holy Spirit’s primary functions in our lives is to kill our flesh.

Being transformed means being reshaped and remolded; it means changing and most of us kind of like things the way they are. Remember the phrase from William Temple’s definition of worship: Worship is many things, all “gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore [worship is] the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.”

Worship, by its very essence, attacks our selfishness and self-centeredness, working the transformation process in our hearts, making it easier to work the transformation in our actions. Can the transformation happen without worship? Perhaps. But worship makes the transformation so much easier because it changes our heart, making it easier for us to work with the Holy Spirit to change our actions.

In his book A Divine Confrontation, Graham Cooke reminds us that God is not seeking a powerful people to represent Him. Rather, He looks for all those who are weak, foolish, despised, and written off; and He inhabits them with His own strength. He has not come to give strength, but to be strength to us as we relate to Him in weakness. If we do all that we can to NOT be vulnerable (which is our natural response), we quickly disqualify ourselves as people God can use. Keeping a transparent heart in worship allows us to remain vulnerable to God and He teaches and enables us to be vulnerable to others.

We must understand the difference between vulnerability and insecurity. All God’s dealings with us are to create maximum dependence upon Him. He calls us to do the impossible. He demands that we see what is invisible. He thrusts us into situations that overwhelm us. It could be rescuing more than a million people from bondage to the most cruel, occult, and oppressive regime of the day. (Moses managed to do it.) Or it could be…living a Godly life in an ungodly work environment. Either way it requires that we be vulnerable to God and to others.

When we are vulnerable, we see our inadequacies in the light of God’s sovereignty and power, and we discover hope and faith. Like Paul, we rejoice in our weaknesses that the power of Christ may rest upon us (see 2 Cor. 12:9-10). The whole point of vulnerability is to bring us to a place of restful dependence in a powerful and overcoming God. Vulnerability is knowing that God is happy to send us out as lambs amongst wolves because He is hugely confident in His own ability to watch over us and work through our weaknesses.

Graham Cooke concludes his short discussion with this sentence: “Vulnerability is given by God to release His presence, which builds self-esteem and confidence in God’s sovereignty.” Again, we see transformation in worship.

Lord, grant us vulnerability in worship. Give us transparent hearts. Grace us with a confidence in Your sovereignty and ability to use us in our weaknesses.

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