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The Power of an Open Heart

You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men;  clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

2 Corinthians 3:2-3

In the passage above, the apostle Paul highlights two important qualities shared by all true fathers. As “living books,” spiritual fathers are both “known” and “read.” This means they are available and accessible. Fathers have the desire to release all that is in their hearts for the blessing and benefit of their sons.

 On the contrary, fathers with closed hearts are often unavailable and inaccessible. These relationships are marked by high structure and rigid boundaries. They are hard to connect with and have walls around their hearts a mile high.

 I remember listening to a teaching series on CD by a great prophetic teacher in the Body of Christ. This man has been a seasoned minister for over seven decades. He has been faithful to his wife, planted churches around the world, and releases amazing revelation from God’s Word when he teaches. As I listened to the message, he made a side comment which caused my heart to break. In essence, he said, “I know many of you wanted to talk with me after the evening session, but unfortunately, I need to return to my room to prepare for the morning session.”

 I was listening to this seasoned father in the faith from the perspective of a son. I know the conference was filled with this man’s spiritual sons and daughters. They wanted time to connect heart to heart. They love his teaching, but they enjoy him even more. They wanted his touch, his affirmation, his encouragement. I could almost feel a collective sigh come over the room when he made the announcement. I wanted to scream, “No! What you are teaching is your life message. An extra hour or two of study will not make much of a difference. You can teach this material in your sleep! Your sons are crying out for time with their spiritual father! Close the books and be a “living epistle” instead.”

 This man was inspirational, but struggled with the relational. You can easily connect with his anointed teaching, but find it difficult to engage his heart. His head was known, but his heart was closed from public access. A true father has a heart that is open for dialogue and available. Paul told his disciples as Corinth, “Our heart is wide open” (2 Corinthians 6:11). He’s inviting them to come and to receive all he has for them. He’s saying, “I’m available and accessible.” I am here to pour into you and all I am is yours.

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