We are largely unaware that the heart is an instrument capable of receiving what God is striving to impart to us by His Word and by the power of His Spirit. He wants to impart the fruit of the Spirit, the emotions that should be living in and expressed from our hearts. Yet this age is continually working on us to be closed off, fearful, and unable to love. This pattern must be broken, and we must truly open our hearts to the Lord if we are to manifest His gifts.
How do you receive the wisdom, revelation, and understanding to know the great provision that God, by His Spirit, is directing toward us as believers? According to the book of Ephesians, the eyes of your heart need to be enlightened. In other words, your heart must become an instrument of understanding, wisdom, and revelation. Our education as Christians, however, makes us reluctant to think of the heart in this way.
The heart is the seat of emotion, and Christians have been taught to be wary of emotions, primarily because of what is seen as the misuse of emotional expression in worship. Yet Paul tells us to put on a heart of compassion. Compassion is an emotion. Kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness are emotions. Forgiveness is the foundation of our salvation, and it is something you feel with your heart and not just understand with your head.
It is very necessary for us to open our hearts to these emotions from God, but we find it difficult to do so. The Corinthians were unable to experience what God had for them because their hearts were not open to Paul. Why? They were restrained in their own emotions. We also cannot receive the power of God’s emotions if our hearts are closed by the fear and hatred of this age and by the abounding iniquity that makes our love grow cold. Let us reverse this trend in our own lives and make our hearts the instruments of revelation and impartation that God intends.
- Ephesians 1:16–21. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.”
- 2 Corinthians 6:11–13. “Our heart is opened wide. You are not restrained by us … open wide to us also.”
- 2 Corinthians 7:2–3. “Make room for us in your hearts.”
- Colossians 3:12–17. “Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
- Matthew 24:6–13. “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.”
- Galatians 5:22–23. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
- Romans 12:2. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
- “I think that we have to open up in a way to the emotion of our heart. We need this prayer to be answered that Paul prayed for the church that the eyes of our heart be enlightened.”
- “Thankfulness is one of the greatest emotions next to love that we can have that opens us up to receive what God has for us.”
- “The enemy’s desire is that the heart of the believer would be that which closes up and restrains itself. And if it does, we are not able to receive from God, nor are we able to minister out from God.”
- There will not be the manifestation of gifts of the Spirit if there are not first the manifestation of the emotions from our heart that come by the infilling of the Holy Spirit. The chief of these is love. Next to that is joy and then peace. If we are led by the Spirit, that means we are being led by emotions. What emotions? The emotions that are the fruit of the Spirit.
- We should not be conformed to the emotions and feelings that are coming out of the hearts of the people of this age. We should be transformed. As believers, we are to put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
- When we grow in God, when we mature, we should be manifesting the fruit of the Spirit. These are all emotional feelings that enable us to both receive what God is imparting to us and to impart and minister to others. Therefore, let us open our hearts as Paul encouraged the Corinthians. Let us not be restrained in our own emotions, but rather let us open up to the emotions that come as the fruit of the Spirit imparted to us by God that we may walk in the Spirit.