Pour Out Your Heart: How A Vulnerable Life Aids Spiritual Warfare
Prayers are carefully guarded, especially in church. Rarely are we vulnerable. We pray sweet little things. For Aunt Sue’s foot surgery. For our trip. For the anger when things don’t go our way. For the weather on our weekend away. For compassion on our coworker who really, really don’t pull their weight. For the practical, polished, polite prayers that are nice to share with our friends.
But rarely do we pour out our heart.
There is a clear Biblical precedent for being wise with who we decide to share information with. We should cast pearls before swine. But our brothers and sisters in Christ, they aren’t swine. They are the family given to us by God.
We are called to bear one another burdens, but that’s quite difficult when we don’t trust the person next to us in the pew enough to listen to our burdens, let alone walk alongside us through the valleys of life and the wars waged in our hearts.
When we lay our burdens at the feet of Jesus, it should be an invitation for the Body of Christ to come alongside us.
In John 12, when Mary came to the feet of Christ to extravagantly anoint His feet. But she finished her act of worship by pouring out her heart and washing Christ’s feet with her tears, streaming from her face.
This wasn’t a private act of emotional extremity; it was a public way of praising her Lord. Her worship, her tears, were poured out in view of all. She was open and vulnerable for all to see.
Mary’s example is a precious one to follow when walking out our Christian life with other believers. Too often we retreat into ourselves when Christ is calling us to boldly call upon others to witness our hearts, broken and vulnerable before the Lord.
It’s not for show, but rather to honestly and openly unite the Body of Christ.
Often, our hearts are not weighed by the things we share on Sunday mornings. Our valleys are not bad weather on vacation or annoying coworkers. They run much deeper than that.
Friend, the love of Christ can reach your deepest valleys and often, He does that through His Church.
When we pray, let us pray for the true trials and joys we face. It’s hard, vulnerable work to open the door and let someone into your hurt. Marriages that are struggling, children that are wandering from the faith, the stains on sin on our heart that feel like they’re just too much to battle, these are the requests that often go unspoken within the walls of the church. But these are the requests that need the act of war that brothers and sisters in wage on our behalf when they petition the Father and speak truth into our lives.
Our battle is not against flesh and blood. Our battle is much deeper, and the scars are often unseen, even in the family of God. But until we open up our lives and allow others to come alongside us in our battles, we will be neglecting one of the greatest gifts God has given us, His church.
So pour out your heart. Offer it up as a testament to what God has done and what you trust Him to do.
Share with your brothers and sisters in Christ where you are. When you are vulnerable, you not only give them a space to speak truth into the darkness but you also permit them to invite you into the hidden, hard places in their journey.
And then, we can pray together.
Matthews records a promise that when two or more are gathered in His name, Jesus Himself is among us.
When we are gathered together and open with one another, we are bringing our trials, our burdens to the very presence of Christ. So let us come alongside each other pour ourselves out at the very feet of Jesus.
“Too often we retreat into ourselves when Christ is calling us to boldly call upon others to witness our hearts, broken and vulnerable before the Lord.” – Amen!!! Such truth! You always hit the nail on the head! God actually calls us to vulnerability… “God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.” -1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 (The Message)
ABSOLUTELY!!! I used to keep a big thick wall around my heart. I was trying to protect myself from more hurt. Yeah, that didn’t work at all. Once I started letting people in did I start moving forward. Great post!!! THANKS!
Yesterday at church, our preacher informed us that as of June 2017, the church only has 41% rating in confidence of the institution (the military and police being the highest rated). Even though society shows there are several reasons why this is probably true, it’s sad. As the bride of Christ, the church is the place to truly connect to God and lift your worries and fears up to Him. As a place of holy worship, the church should always be a place we feel comforted when our burdens need to be released.
I understand this message. In my experience, I have been vulnerable to church people and was met with HARSH judgment, told I had issues, told I was self-centered, that I needed to listen to Dr. Phil, had my intentions maligned and grossly misjudged, and the list goes on. What makes this most painful is that these are the very people I have tried to keep encouraged in the Word. Also, these same people with whom I felt comfortable to be vulnerable with were not vulnerable with me. It’s like, I am vulnerable, stomped, then looked down upon and distrusted because they are not vulnerable with me………as much as I was willing to walk with them in their valleys (if they even have any).
I have lost trust in the church institution. It’s like the people with problems are looked down upon, told they have a wrong spirit, etc. The institution church teaches people to pretend and to be professional pharisaical hypocrites and put on a show that you have it all together when inside you are tearing up………but can’t be vulnerable because it would be met with judgment instead of love and a spirit of “we are in this together.” It’s like it is a sin or lack of faith to struggle. It’s like if you are not always on the mountaintop, that you aren’t right with God.
The church institution needs to really step up and do a MUCH BETTER JOB in representing ALL ASPECTS of God. The Christian life is NOT all roses, mountaintop………Even Jesus did say we will have tribulation in this world. In the book of Acts, it does say that we will go through much trials and tribulations to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In Hebrews, it says to not forsake the assembling of ourselves (which many church institutions lead by money and power-hungry pastors to keep people and money coming into their churches)…………with the motive so that we can encourage each other and also so we are not ensnared with the deceitfulness of sin.
If we as Christians would learn to be more humble, realizing that our being a Christian does NOT make us any better than other people BUT gives a privilege and opportunity to be a blessing to others with the motive to bring them to Christ, then I understand this article to be true that the greatest blessing are brothers and sisters in Christ. I have spent my life being treated very harshly more so by “brothers and sisters in Christ” than even worldly people. So yes, I do go to church as an obligation and to be a blessing to others, NOT because I trust it. I have ZERO trust in the church institution. Until I can meet someone trustworthy, I will just have to suffer alone and continually call on the Lord with my raw feelings.