What is the condition of your heart when you attempt to go to a lost and hurting world with Christ’s message of restoration?
Jesus conveyed that we should not go to the world either condemningly with a hard heart of stone or carelessly with a loose heart of sand; rather, we should go connectedly with the Spirit of God in total humility, and with a soft heart of clay (Matthew 7:1-12). That makes every encounter with another person a three-way call. When we are connected with God and connected with others, then they are connected with God. Whereas pride brings static on the line, humility offers a clear connection.
Jesus described the three connections in a manner that resembles a three-way call today:
Connection One-ASK God.
Connection Two-ask others.
Connection Three-others ask God into their lives.
Let’s look at the first connection.
Jesus said that we should go to others with a heart of humility that is first connected with God. Whereas a stone heart tells condemningly, and a sand heart tells carelessly, a clay heart asks connectedly.
Jesus commanded us to ASK-Ask, Seek, and Knock. He described a progressive intensity of humility in prayer, one’s heart connected with God’s. He promised that if we ask humbly, we will receive; if we seek (making our muscles move with our prayers), we will find; and if we knock persistently, the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7-11).
You might ask, “Receive what? Find what? Open what door?”
In Luke’s parallel passage, we discover that the answer is not what, but who. “Your father in heaven (will) give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him” (Luke 11:13 [parentheses mine]). The Holy Spirit removes the planks from our own eyes and gives us wisdom to discern, but not condemn. He keeps us from being careless with the pearls of the Gospel message, giving us wisdom to answer outsiders (Colossians 4:5-6). He offers us a clay heart that connects, one that is malleable in the hands of the Potter. A clay heart is the humble heart of Christ (Matthew 11:29).
We must first ask the Holy Spirit into our lives and then ask Him for wisdom regarding each encounter.
This week, ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom for your every encounter, seeing any supposed interruption as a divine appointment to connect first with God.