I didn’t realise it at the time, but my baptism testimony brought me closer to people; they felt they knew me because I had shared my life and heart with them so that they could know me. I love testimonies, they are real, they’re people standing on God’s truth, unhidden, unashamed. I simply love it, I want every preach in every church to be born from a testimony of Love.
I will not die an unlived life.
fully alive – dawna markova
… ‘To allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid’…. ‘perfect love drives out all fear‘…. it ‘rejoices in the truth’.
I am convinced Openness is an underrated virtue in this world. People are drawn to authenticity because it’s so precious, rare and beautiful. Everyone is so busy trying to appear perfect and cover their imperfections and brokenness, they don’t realise they are isolating themselves. We all long to be known, but in a judgemental world we have all, understandably, become past masters at hiding.
…What’s so amazing is that God’s saving Grace gives beauty to our brokenness, because it gives us the ability to be fearlessly authentic. We know we are fully known and, in spite of all our faults, fully Loved, our security is in Christ. ( -perfect love is redemptive.)
In 2Corinthians 6 V13 Paul begs the Corinthians to open up their hearts, not to withhold their ‘splanchnois’– ‘inner most parts and emotions’ from him… “I speak as to my children – open wide your hearts also”.
Open wide here is the word ‘platunthēte’ from the Greek root word ‘platus‘ meaning: to make broad, a wide street…. our hearts are like a pathway on which others can journey with us- if we let them in.
Making ourselves open makes us feel vulnerable, it can be a scary thing! But fear is not a God thing: God promises his perfect love will drive out all fear. We’re not alone, God’s gonna help us become open hearted…
A word connected to ‘plantus’ is ‘plassó‘ meaning: to form, as a potter his clay, created…. if we make ourselves vulnerable to Abba Father first, then He can shape a wide pathway in our hearts, a highway to heavenly places (Isaiah 35). But even that takes courage!
I remember a Kris Vallotton talk where he spoke about Secretariat- a horse with a 22lb heart, 3 times the normal size!– a heart that made history. God has given us hearts to be history makers, because His spirit is in us, because we’re resourced beyond our physical abilities, because He pours His love on us.
In Latin the root word for heart is ‘cor’ and it’s where we get the word courage from (the Old English definition for the word courage was ‘to tell your story from your heart’). Our hearts were made to discern truth and make us courageous (-the truth of eternity has been set in the human heart Ecc 3v11).
It’s gonna take courage to be known and not to hide.
When the disciples are described as speaking openly the word ‘parresia‘ is often used, meaning: Boldness, confidence, frankness, courage, openness. This word is made up of two root words- ‘Pas‘: all, whole, always, and ‘rhema‘: spoken word (often referred to as the ‘now’ word of God, implications of being spirit filled, open to hearing his voice). There’s a wholeness and integrity in speaking truth: by being courageously truthful we gain completeness.
‘Aletheia’ is the Greek word for truth, literally translated it means ‘not hidden’. As people of God we are called to be courageously visible with who we are or we won’t represent the truth….
What a challenge! but also what a reward!- deeper more authentic relationships, God’s Love breaking through!