Cut to the Heart

POST SCRIPT: The panic attack over my parents coming to the service, completely unfounded. And God so worked. They fully participated in the service and prayed to receive the Baptism during the service. A powerful and humbling lesson for me….
——————————————————————
At church our pastor, Robert Morris, has been doing a series called, “My Best Friend.” The messages are about the Holy Spirit. These messages are similar to a series I’ve have heard him teach called “The Holy Spirit Revealed,” but there is something that is “quickening” all around us as he teaches this particular series.
.
I do not want to start or pursue a theological debate on the subject, but I have come to an understanding of the Baptism into the Holy Spirit and believe by faith I have received the fullness of that promise. Yesterday, Pastor Robert said, “Now let me tell you, the Holy Spirit is not weird… We should never be afraid of a gift God wants to give us.”
.
The message yesterday was indeed on the Baptism into the Holy Spirit. I had a bit of a panic attack on Friday when I got an email reminder for the Altar Ministry of the church protocol for the prayer of Salvation and praying for the Baptism into the Holy Spirit. My parents were planning to attend this weekend’s service. I am not even kidding when I tell you I thought I might hyperventilate. I even considered calling and discouraging them from coming to church because – quite frankly – there are just some things I do not discuss with my father anymore for the simple fact he believes it is an emotional bunch of “HOOEY!”
.
I told my husband, “I got an email today and my mother and father will attend a church service on The Baptism in the Holy Spirit.” My eldest daugther was assumably sleeping nearby but giggled under her blanket. I said, “Why are you laughing?”
.
She said, “You know why, it’s Grandpa.”
.
Okay. So now you may be getting the gist of this thing. I was on pins and needles as we walked into church. The music and demonstrative worship at our church is conservative charismatic – we are encouraged to freely express our worship so long as we do so in an orderly fashion. We are free to clap, dance, sing, kneel, lay prostrate and so fort as long as it does not become a distraction or an attention getting ordeal. This troubles my father, but he enjoys Pastor Robert’s messages and chooses to overlook what he calls “an overly emotional experience” in worship.
.
Part of the message yesterday was a passage in Acts 2:36-38 (NKJV) “36 ‘Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ 38 Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'” (Emphasis added)

.

Cut to the Heart. In this passage of Scripture, Peter is preaching to the Jews in Jerusalem. Those who very readily agreed to the crucifixion of Christ and the release of Barabas in His place. Can you imagine what the quickening of these words did to their hearts as Peter, the one who often had his foot in his mouth, spoke them to bring restoration and Salvation to their souls.
.
When we think of being cut to the heart, what do we think of? A moment of deep emotional anguish? Turmoil, and deep conviction? What does that look like?
.
CUT To The HEART. Not our physical heart that beats blood and life into our veins each and every second of our life, but our spiritual heart. The part of our soul where our passions, our mind and our will reside. The seat of our emotions, passions, desires, our free will and our intellect – the ability to learn and grow in knowledge as well as discernment – that is our spiritual heart! Their spiritual hearts were cut with Peter’s words.
.
Think of this: Have you ever been cut to the heart?
.
I have – and recently – when I could have been obliged to take up an offense and wear it like a medal of honor around my neck. Instead, my heart broke over the situation and all I could do was see how I had played a part in the offense. I fell on my knees and wept in apology and brokenness. I begged for forgiveness and offered it as well. I was cut to the heart.
.
Before we came to Gateway, I was in a small Baptist congregation and had been introduced to the concept of Baptism in the Holy Spirit by a few who were close to me. I didn’t understand it. I was indeed quite intimidated by it, and to top it off I had been raised to believe it was not Biblical. So when someone placed a cd in my hand on the subject, I hastened to my car and popped it into the cd player on the dash. I listened. The intensity of the moment grew as I realized that what this pastor was saying was not only widely and evidently Biblical, but it was evident throughout the Bible and something Jesus not only encouraged but gave as an instruction to the Apostles/Disciples before leaving this earth. He instructed them to wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them and empower them for the ministry. I was cut to the heart by my own ignorance and pious attitude about whether or not such a thing could be of God.
.
That message that cut me to the heart was delivered by none other than Pastor Robert Morris. It was a Gateway Series message on “The Wealth of a Word.”
.
Years before I would come to this place seeking healing and freedom I would hear a message my heart had been crying out to God for over and over again. A message of power and love and how to experience more with God through His Holy Spirit.
.
I began to pursue the baptism with great determination. I wanted it desperately. I talked with those I knew who had experienced it, and I prayed earnestly but nothing really changed.
.
We came to Gateway in the Summer of 2007. It was an exciting new journey for me, and one of deep sorrow as I left finally the only place I had left that remembered Justin as I did – as one of the flock of that small Baptist church. A church lost its son the day my Justin died. I never once missed that reality as I made my way through those awful days of despair. I knew that healing was on the horizon, but I also knew there was much to do.
.
The first class I attended was “The Baptism in the Holy Spirit.” I could barely stand it as I waited to hear how to attain this incredible promise. But, something much more wonderful happened in its place. I realized in the two weeks of the class that I had already experienced those deeply personal moments when the Holy Spirit came upon me – only I did not call them “The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” I just said, “God showed up.”
.
The day I count as my Baptism is May 3, 2003. I learned all about power and love in one fell swoop and cried tears of great joy and awareness for 36 hours straight. All I could say in explanation: “It is like the scales have fallen off and I can just see God everywhere.”
.
I have sought and hoped for a fresh anointing and recognized when I was stepping out of His will and into my own numerous times since the revelation of this truth settled fully upon me.
.
I now know what I could not have certainly told you two years ago, Jesus will Baptize us in the Holy Spirit and it brings power, truth and love in an limitless way.
.
Conviction has come upon me time and again, each time God has cut me to the heart and required me to lay down some soulish way of mine so He could exchange it for a heavenly truth of His own. In February, 2005, I began to search out this truth of cutting the heart – and God
took me to the writings of Paul.
.
Colossians 2:6-23 (New King James Version)
.
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
.
11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. 20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”

.
After reading this passage over and over again, I cried out to God. “Circumcise me, Lord, cut everything away until only You remain.”
.
I later went to the pastor of that small Baptist church and asked him to water baptize me and I read this verse. I expressed to him a deep desire to publicly demonstrate the spiritual circumcision that God had been teaching me about and working in my life. He agreed. I was water baptized in obedience to my Lord and as a symbol of leaving that old life behind on February 6, 2005.
.
A circumcision of flesh – is it not only the rite of a Jewish son to be physically circumcised but also the duty of a Jewish son to be circumcised. A duty performed by the father and priest of the child. It is during circumcision that a son’s identity is made known and his name is given. It is during circumcision that the flesh is cut away and the instrument of a physical legacy is revealed. Think of this. What does it mean to be cut to the heart? For us our spiritual legacy begins and ends with our heart.
.
God’s Word calls us Sons, Co-heirs with Christ. Would it not, then, be appropriate to seek a circumcision of our flesh as the passage in Colossians points out. But, we cannot be circumcised if we are holding onto our soulish desires and attitudes. We must allow God to cut away anything of our “flesh” that remains in us so that we may be completely and purposefully His.
.
This morning after my husband and I prayed, I explained this very thing to him and what it meant to me. Then I said these words, “Just before Christmas I told my father that the only thing that matters to me in this life is God being glorified and nothing else. And Baby, those aren’t just words. That’s my heart.”
.
That’s my heart. Be blessed and know the Lord wants to do a new work in you this very minute – will you allow Him to cut you to the heart.


Leave a Reply