Journey U Blogs

Opening Our Hearts to Jesus: The Path to Restoration and Renewal

Believers are called to open their hearts to Jesus in their journey of faith.  This allows Christ to enter into the deepest recesses of their being and bring about transformation, restoration, and renewal. As we open ourselves to His love and grace, we experience the fullness of life that He offers, and we are restored to wholeness in Him.

The Invitation to Open Hearts

In Revelation 3:20 ESV the Lord says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” This scripture clearly communicates that Jesus desires a personal relationship with each of us as believers.  In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  Jesus wants us to be unburdened and find rest for our weary souls in him.  The relationship that Jesus defines for us in his scriptures is characterized by intimacy, communion and trust.  This can only be accomplished as we open our hearts to Jesus and invite him into our thoughts, emotions, desires, fears and dreams.

Acknowledging Our Need for Restoration

Opening our hearts to Jesus begins with acknowledging our need for restoration and healing in our souls (mind, will and emotions).  When we recognize our brokenness and our inability to fix that brokenness within us, we are in the place of humility with God where He can begin to transform us.  King David says in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O god, and renew a right spirit within me.”  King David did not hide his struggles from God or try to mask the pain he felt.  He came to God humbly and trusted that what he could not do himself, his God could do on his behalf.

Confession and Repentance

Confession and repentance are a crucial part to opening our hearts to Jesus. 1 John 1:9 ESV assures believers, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Confession involves acknowledging our sins and shortcomings before God, while repentance involves turning away from sin and turning toward God in obedience and surrender. When we confess our sins and repent of our ways, we open the door for God’s grace and mercy to flow into our lives, bringing forgiveness, healing, and restoration.

Surrender and Trust

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV gives us this assurance: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  Opening our hearts to Jesus requires surrendering our will and desires to Him and trusting in His plans and purposes for our lives. When we relinquish this control and place our trust in Jesus, we open ourselves to His guidance, His provision, and His leading in our lives. Surrender is not a sign of weakness but of strength, as we acknowledge that God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).

Cultivating a Heart of Gratitude

Opening our hearts to Jesus involves cultivating a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving for His goodness, faithfulness, and love toward us. In I Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV the Apostle Paul says, “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” When we cultivate a heart of gratitude, not only in the good times, but also in difficult times,  we are opening ourselves to the transformative power of God’s love and grace, and we experience His presence and joy in every circumstance.

Walking in Obedience and Faith

The apostle Paul writes in Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV that we should “let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Opening our hearts to Jesus is an ongoing journey of walking in obedience and faith, trusting Him to lead us and guide us every step of the way. As we fix our eyes on Jesus and follow Him with wholehearted devotion, we open ourselves to His transforming work in our lives, and we experience the abundant life that He promises to those who love Him (John 10:10).

Conclusion

In conclusion, opening our hearts to Jesus is the key to experiencing restoration, renewal, and wholeness in Him. By acknowledging our need for restoration, practicing confession and repentance, surrendering our will and desires to Him, cultivating a heart of gratitude, and walking in obedience and faith, we open ourselves to His transforming work in our lives. May we, as believers, continually open our hearts to Jesus, allowing Him to reign as Lord and Savior over every area of our lives, and experiencing the abundant life that He offers.
By Angela Aberle
Image by Rasesh Raiput