Yesterday I was once again reminded about the “sinners prayer,” not really found in the bible in a literal sense, but a concept that basically says, the first step is to ask Him into your heart. To confess, to repent, to submit, to acknowledge one’s need for a Savior is an important part too, but I just wanted to address the first part, asking Him into your heart.
Language is challenging, many ideas can get lost in translation and so really the best way to say that is that we invite the Lord into our heart. We issue an invitation, we make a choice, we ask. In truth however, we are not asking the Lord into our hearts at all, He is inviting us into His. We are seeking His heart, His face, His presence in our lives. He has invited us into a relationship and we are accepting His invitation. That kind of changes the whole dynamic. Who is actually leading the relationship? We are in the sense of reaching out and slipping our hand into our Father’s, but that is where we end and He begins.
I spend a lot of time listening to what Christians don’t believe in (or even what they do believe in,) and I am the same way, I love to talk about what I have seen, what I know, what I believe. It is just that in that state we can easily forget that the world, that Jesus Christ Himself, are not defined by what we believe or don’t believe or even by how we act. He exists independent of us and extends an invitation to come into His kingdom. Even better, to come into His kingdom with the wonder and openness of a child, not so much declaring what we believe as suspending our own disbelief.
A huge part of faith is not so much about stating what we believe to be true as it is about letting go of what we believe to be true. That is not to say there isn’t great value in knowing what you believe, or in embracing things like the Lord’s Prayer or the Apostles’s Creed or other statements of belief. It is just that our faith in our own set of “beliefs” can become walls that we use to box God in, forgetting that it is His table that we are invited to in the first place.