I Corinthians 3:16
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
Every morning after making my bed, I open the white plantation shutters above the headboard in our bedroom and I stand in the sun’s light that brightens the room. As I slide the anchor bar upward, I call to mind something my mother told me 5 years ago. She and I were in a conversation about the heart and the spirit of God. She said to me, “keep the shutters of your heart open. Let the light of the spirit of God come through and touch those around you while it simultaneously comes back and touches you. Keep your heart an open conduit.”
Every time my fingers move over those shutters, I clearly see the image my mom spoke of: the image of God’s spirit in me flowing out around others and then returning back into my life. In my mind, it is the quintessential picture of how God’s love flows through and in all situations. Also in the picture of that motherly advice, I am reminded of a certain role I have to play. That role is to open, and keep open, the shutters of my heart in order to allow His presence the room to roam.
Oftentimes, especially with relational conflict or struggle, my desire is to shut down my tender heart as a way to block uncomfortable conflict or vulnerability. It is quite natural for me to do just that in difficult situations. But my mother’s gentle advice held the idea to leave myself open, still allowing God to move during those tenuous times.
I John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleans us from all sin.
If opening myself to God’s company has powerful relational effects, then closing the shutters of my heart eclipses the ability of the Spirit to work fully in all circumstances. Consequently, it decreases God’s benevolent support. The decision to reduce His guidance has an outcome of losing the fellowship for which I was created. And when I diminish fellowship with Him, I realize that I am left with less:
Less wisdom, less benefit, less guidance of God’s spirit for the situation.
2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?
A little bit of time often helps to understand at what “angle” I am managing life. I try to examine my choices by pressing pause. Humbly, I find the beauty of God is that He is always right there with me. Ready. Waiting. Hopeful. Patient. He doesn’t barge down the door like a roaring lion. The spirit of God buys the heart time by placing it in situations to choose. I have always found it comforting to know I can go back and change my choices. The option is clear. And just as God stands on the other side of a tightly fastened heart, His presence moves quickly through the moment it is open. Like the sun streaming into my bedroom each morning, it is impossible to stop His light once allowed in.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.