“Put no trust in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your arms. . .” (Micah 7:5 ESV)

Today let’s speak only about having an unprotected heart, reserving ‘meeting place’ for next week.

I understand an unprotected heart as being exposed, even vulnerable, to others. How can this be? How can we possibly open our hearts? This contradicts the teaching to guard one’s heart that I’ve heard in the last few years. Even Micah lamented that in a wicked and perverse world there is to be no trust, no exposure. He looked critically, rationally, at the world around him, at the loss of the godly, at the rise evil, and admonishes to trust no one, for no one is righteous.

In my last column, I spoke of treating even enemies as friends. We are to let our actions speak sermons, to encourage those who are in need of G-d’s salvation, to treat all as friends. This means we speak the truth that is within us. This means we expose ourselves to others. We come to people with an unprotected heart. Really? Are we truly to do so, in an evil world? Should we not guard our hearts. Yet, despite the evil in the world, John wrote “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:17 ESV)

A protected heart lowers its walls, exposing ourselves to another person. From out of the heart, as Y’shuaJesus said, pour rivers of living water (John 7:38) to nourish a thirsty–even if evil–world. We are to walk blamelessly and do what is right and speak truth from our hearts. (Psalms 15:2 ESV) And perhaps you will say you’ve opened yourself and now feel that reproaches have broken your heart so that you are in despair. You’d like some pity but no one provides. You’d like a person to comfort you, but find none. (Psalms 69:20 ESV)

Y’shua knew we would face difficult times in an evil world. He said, “Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” (Luke 10:3 ESV) Paul admonished us to “. . .not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV)

When we are willing to love, to expose ourselves, we act as our Lord who was willing to suffer to reach those that He may. And we are rewarded in our suffering. In our suffering we become more like our Lord. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalms 51:17 ESV)

We let the Holy Spirit guard our hearts in His wise way. Micah realized that among people there is no help, no righteous fellowship, yet boldly states: “But as for me, I will look to the LORD: I will wait for the G-d of my salvation; My G-d will hear me” (v7). Let us go forth today, boldly trusting in our G-d, in the salvation we have though His Son Y’shuaJesus, through the power of His Holy Spirit. Let us be willing to open ourselves as led by the Spirit, willingly risking rejection and reproach. Let us rest in the Lord and in His peace.

Thanks be to G-d, who guards our hearts with His Peace. He spoke though his psalmist, telling us even if an army attacks us, our hearts should not fear; though war come against us, we may be confident. (Psalms 27:3 ESV)

Furthermore, we are encouraged to be like the psalmist who says to our G-d, “I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. (Psalms 40:10 ESV)
Praise be to G-d, our strength and our shield. Amen.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .