There is a phenomenon that occurs when the body of Christ begins to walk in the truth of God’s love.  It is both startling and refreshing.  Being based on the work of the cross and the revelation of love that knows no bounds, it cannot be produced or mimicked by any man’s planning or device.  It is created by the synergistic power which abides in the place of individual surrender and culminates through the interactions with each other.  It is found nowhere else.

The manifestation of the revelation of God’s love brings exposure of the heart.  It begins as a swipe across a clouded window, clearing a small area for peering into the beyond.  This fills our lives with excitement and joy at what lies ahead and what could be seen and tasted beyond the veil.  Like giddy children on Christmas morning, we exclaim at the possibilities which are glimpsed and our hearts are warmed by the glow of what could be.

True exposure of the heart, though, brings us to the end of ourselves.  The heart, being deceptive and protective of that deception, must be sanded, scraped and cut with the tools of God’s choosing to remove the buildup of self that surrounds.  Self-pity, pride and arrogance create the outer layer of this shell which has been decorated and remodeled many times in order to appear impermeable.  We have often applied a veneer of self-righteousness and several coats of false humility to present an acceptable facade.

The tools of God’s choosing throughout the process are often cast aside in preference of a more comfortable and less jarring experience involving a timetable we create and implements we can control.  We may retreat into a life of a separation while we are seeking for a gentle brushing away of our defenses or a topical application of something that won’t be abrasive or too upsetting to our current plans and agendas. 

And yet, so often, the tools in the hand of the Master are the words, actions and attitudes of the hands, feet, lips, elbows and shoulders of those in Christ’s body.  We await the scrubbing, scraping, picking and prodding with fearful eyes and focus on the servant which fulfills the Master’s bidding instead of the process of exposure which love demands.

As the hardened, selfish shell of our attempts at preservation are broken, our lovesick heart is exposed bit by bit, to the whispering caress of the Lover of our Soul.  Having been hidden away from the light and the truth, we are now tempted to quickly restore the demolished areas when the tender flesh of our exposed heart feels the unfamiliar sensations of life unfettered.  We experience deep sorrow where we used to feel slight compassion.  The light that once was filtered is now glaring with intensity – so great it brings tears.  The constant jostling of worldly demands that was often just a shudder, now arrests our heart with such violence that we almost trip over our next step.  All the sensations are magnified as the process of breaking free is continued, mixing the destruction of self-erected coverings with a heightened sensitivity to the Spirit of God.

Surrounded by those who are also experiencing this exposure of the heart, there is a gentleness and understanding that begins to flow, as oil, into the open, tender places which need much nurture and grace.  There is no directive or instruction given from any source, except the nudging of the Holy Spirit as we pour into others what we so desperately need ourselves.

At some point and often without prior recognition, the skillful hands of the Divine Surgeon reaches deep into an abscessed area of our exposed and fragile heart.  The festering wound of rejection or the pus-filled pocket of lust is lanced by the quick, deep thrust of the sharp, two-edged sword of God’s Word.  The pain inflicted is intense, but pales in comparison to the joy of deliverance and freedom that follows.  Even through the surgical procedure, it is often those in Christ’s body who minister patiently and lovingly the bandages of mercy which bring completed healing to the places of potential scars. 

The great temptation, upon discovery of the apparent destination in this journey, is to build a monument in our life where we record, analyze and publish all the painful details, with the intent of replacing our diminishing self-interests with something we can hold up later and relish.  This edifice is often built alongside the heart issues being exposed and lies are traded, tit for tat, so we never actually totally release the exposed elements for complete dissolution. 

This is the monument of religion which attempts to build something valuable and necessary to defy the all-consuming love of God which demands complete and total surrender to the cross.  The building process sounds excusable when we proclaim intentions of only bringing greater glory to God in the end.  And yet, the finished product is subtly positioned around the partially exposed heart and all the beauty of the monument now resists the very action which precipitated its creation.  Tongues, prophecy, dreams, visions, benevolence, knowledge and even martyrdom.  The towers of this monument rise high and lofty while still giving pretense that these things have worth, although love has been thwarted. 

No matter where we are in the process of the exposure of the heart, let us not forget that it is love that starts and carries out the full expression of God’s heart to man.  When we deny that love has brought us here and love alone will bring to completion, we risk all that God would create in and through the body of Christ as He heals each heart.  True exposure leaves no covering, excuse, defense or attempt.  The summation of everything  must be that God’s love has no equal, no comparison and no rival.

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