Connecting Hearts
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Proverbs 4:23   Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

Proverbs 27:19   As in water face reflects face, So a man's heart reveals the man.

Flaming Heart

Getting Connected, the Commentary

What is Preventing Connection?

Too many people in the body of Christ do not experience hearing from the King. They don’t know how to meet with Him, are in fact believing that He does not want to meet with them, though they have done everything they know how to do to get it to happen. What is going on?

There are some barriers that will need to be identified and dismantled. The problem with the conclusions I just presented is the belief that somehow we have to get God to come. Where do we think He is? People believe that if they find the right combination, the Lord will “come.” The truth is He is already here, very present, available, and the problem is that we are not aware of that reality. Something is preventing, or obscuring, or interrupting that awareness. So the first thing needed is a paradigm shift in people’s thinking—from I have to find the right key, to He is already here, so there must be something blocking my awareness of that reality. I will need to discover what is preventing me from being aware. That is a more productive trail for the search.

The additional factor is that knowing many things about the Lord, we tend to expect that knowing these things is the same as experiencing them. It is not. In fact, we can know one whole set of wonderful principles and still believe in our heart that they apply to others, not to me. That heart belief will carry the day, and there will be no experience of the presence and love of the Lord. So we will have to learn how to identify our heart beliefs, get them honestly expressed to the Lord, and find out if they are even true, let alone an accurate reflection of His heart toward us. There are understandable reasons for believing the things we believe, and therefore expecting what we expect, but that does not make those beliefs true.

How do we find out what the emotional beliefs underlying knowledge are? First, we begin to inquire about what happens instead of connection with the Lord. Connection is not happening, but something is. What is that? What are the thoughts and feelings that go on while they are praying? There are a variety of responses to that question, once the person begins to focus on what is inside, instead of what is not happening outside. They may say: 1) “It feels like nothing will happen; whatever I do won’t make any difference.” Or they may say: 2) “I’m afraid to risk hoping because I have been disappointed so many times.” Or they may say: 3) “I’m thinking about all the things that are not in order, and I know He is not happy with me about them.”

The first barrier is doubt. It is based on the belief that I will never be able to get it right. This assumes that it depends on the person and they are not adequate, so… The second barrier is discouragement, hopelessness. It is not a position that assumes that I am going about it in a way that doesn’t work; it is an assumption that risking and hoping don’t produce anything, so it is foolish to continue. The third barrier is a “not good enough” belief that produces fear of rejection. People may believe that they do not have it together enough for the Lord to join them, and they believe that He sees it that way, too.

These are the kinds of emotional beliefs that prevent connection with the Lord, and because we are not in touch with them, and have not been taught to get in touch with them, we have little possibility of examining the barriers with the Lord and getting them removed.

How Are Barriers Cleared?

The simple answer to the question about how to get the barriers removed is to start being very honest with the Lord about them. Of course, first we have to be able to name them. Once we can, the conversation with Him can be very different. We can begin to turn what we have believed so strongly and automatically and unconsciously into a direct and intentional question. For example, “Lord, I see that I am believing that connection with You depends on me finding the right key to how it works. Is that true; does it depend on me? You say that You are with us and never leave us. I believe that I have to somehow get You to be with Me. Are You already here?” Now the person is talking about where they actually are, not trying to be where they think they should be. This could either open the door to an awareness of the Lord being there—present, patient, understanding their struggle, but not agreeing with their conclusions about Him or themselves—or it may bump into another layer of barrier, like a real sense of fear of letting anyone close, which they may not have known was there, or thought wouldn’t apply to the Lord. That kind of fear often is in place due to pronounced abuse. Because of the lack of safety that abuse produces, it may take longer to take that barrier down, as it has to happen in small pieces—the person has to find out that with every small risk they take the Lord remains safe and constant. Whatever the realities are, or the extent of them, they need to be turned into questions and brought to the Lord for discussion and exchange.

Similarly, the second barrier, of discouragement over their own attempts, needs to be addressed. Actually, the Lord is the One who comes to join US. He is the One who came to save, though we did not know how to ask Him and were not the choosing ones (John 15:16). So, it would help to encourage the person to lay down their own attempts and let Him join them, let Him reveal His presence to them. That prayer might sound like: “Lord, I have tried everything I can think of and nothing has worked. You say You are present, but I don’t see it, and it may be that I can’t ‘see’ it. But if that is true, I need to know it, so I ask You to show me where You are and how it is that You are with me.” Very often the one praying with a person will need to pray these things because they are so foreign to the person who is believing the opposite. But the important thing is to give the Lord opportunity to respond, and then help them be aware of His response and what it says about Him and them.

The third barrier is a very prevalent one, the person feeling not good enough to warrant the Lord joining or being with them. Addressing it might sound like: “Lord, I am very certain that I am not worthy, and it does not seem possible that You would want to be with me. But You say that You are no respecter of persons, anyone seeking You will in no way be turned away, and that You are in fact already with me. All I can do is hold up to you what I believe, and ask if You agree. I feel so strongly that You are not happy with me, and I can well see why. But it is not what You say about Your attitude toward us, so I ask You directly: are You upset with me, Lord?” This question gets scary for people, as it brings us to a point of great risk. If He were to say, “You are right; I am not happy with you,” we are done for and have nowhere else to go. If He says that He has taken care of our unworthiness and the door is truly open, then the barrier will be shot full of holes and a great hope birthed, not to mention an actual experience of the crux of the gospel: He is our righteousness.

Suppose the person says that “nothing” happens when they try to pray, and they don’t know what their thoughts and feelings are? Then, the best way to increase the light on what is happening is to take the Lord seriously in what He says—that He IS with us, wants to be, hears us, cares, wants to comfort, heal, bless. We begin to invite Him in prayer to reveal that reality to the person who has not yet had that experience of Him. The act of inviting Him to come does hit whatever is there, and if we help the person realize and see the significance of what happens instead of their awareness of Him, one of the above barriers is likely to surface. Once there is any sense of what is blocking, the prayer can shift to addressing it and asking about whether it is true, where it came from, and what is the difference between what the Lord says and the messages that have come from others. When the difference between what the Lord says and others have said is evident, we can ask the person: “Who is right?” They usually smile and the point hits!

The position that we take in helping a person get connected is that there is no question at all about the Lord wanting that connection and doing everything to open access for it. So, the problem is in our ability to see that, relate to it, believe it, know that it applies to us, etc. Those barriers can be identified. The Lord is more than willing to assist in that, and He has the power and authority to overrule them—regardless of the strength of the lesser authority on which they stand. Jesus, said TO OUR FATHER: “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” There is no question but that He wants us to be with Him, or that He is up to whatever battle it will take to accomplish that outcome!