Committing to our team is a quick decision. We choose to be all in and do our part to make our team better. We see the value of joining together for a shared goal and working hard to make it come to pass. We’ll give everything we have because we want to be part of a winning team—we want a championship; we want to be at the top of our league standings. We open up to our teammates and coaches and trust that they will be a support system for us.
But do we open up to an even greater situation—growing in a faith relationship with Jesus Christ?
We’ve learned to open up to God, which can be a hard first step. But the next challenge can sometimes be the hardest: opening up to yourself.
You can do a good job of covering up what’s really going on with laughter, deflecting questions and shifting focus on others, but when you do this, you’re not doing yourself any favors. If there’s something scratching underneath the surface, don’t blow it off; pay attention to it.
God speaks, but are you listening?
Getting honest with God requires getting honest with ourselves. Oftentimes, we like to brush away an issue or cover it up like a roll of gauze over a knee scrape that’s been reopened. It’s a quick solution, but fixes nothing.
Remember, one of the purposes God has for fellowship with Him is to transform us into the likeness of His Son, Jesus. In order for Him to do this, He needs a willing heart. It’s up to us to decide whether we will be real and admit we’re hurting or have a stubborn streak.
We don’t like to admit we’re lacking. Ever the competitor, we push through on a new workout or play and rather pretend we know what we’re doing than ask for help to learn. But that doesn’t do us any good. Eventually, we’ll either crumble under the weight of trying to hold it together or become someone we don’t recognize and never intended to be.
One of the purposes God has for fellowship with Him is to transform us into the likeness of His Son, Jesus.
Get real. Don’t be afraid to uncover what’s going on in you and bring it to God. He is pleased by our desire to do what we can to get closer to Him.
A great example is King David, whom God called a man after His own heart. He held fast to God in all circumstances. He was in tune with his heart and did a good job paying attention to its innerworkings, and frequently presented his struggles and praise to God through prayers that we know as Psalms. Whether in worship and joy, full of fear and despair or stumbling in sin, David knew what God wanted from him was an open heart and the courage to be honest.
“But you desire honesty from the [inner parts],
teaching me wisdom even there.” (Psalm 51:6)
David held nothing back, and we shouldn’t either. We can’t do it all on our own; from the beginning, we were created for communion with God and that doesn’t go away.
What are the motivations of your heart? Where are you trying for a quick patch-up when God has a lasting healing work in mind instead? Where might you be tempted to take the easy route when God wants you to step on a difficult but righteous path?
“For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.” (1 Corinthians 2:10b-12)
As we’re constantly evaluating film and assessing our performance, we also should pay attention to what’s going on in our lives and our inner reactions. There is freedom in facing our sins and finding out where we haven’t been properly aligned. When we get real with ourselves, it gives God the go-ahead to pour His love into our waiting hearts.
One way to open your heart and Pursue Life is with FCA’s The CORE. Get eight essentials to strengthen your faith and grow in your relationship with Christ, and then put it into action to disciple others.
Want to learn more about pursuing life and growing your relationship with God? Head to FCA in Action and read our April Pursue articles:
Anchor Article: Be Honest: Open Your Heart
Article Two: Answer the Knock: Open Your Heart to God
*If you read this article and aren’t in relationship with Christ yet but would like to know more, we invite you to go through FCA’s The FOUR that explains how an everlasting and fulfilling life with God is possible.
About The Author:
Sarah Freymuth is the communications manager for FCA and writes content for blogs, articles, Bible reading plans and devotionals that share God's heart with coaches and athletes. She played softball for Concordia University Wisconsin, is in their Hall of Fame, and has led FCA Huddles since high school. Dark roast coffee makes her happy, as does telling stories about God and His people to the world. She'd love to speak to your Huddle or group; connect with her at email@example.com.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash