If you’ve been around church for a while, you may have heard people talking about ‘asking Jesus into your heart’. It’s a strange saying that might leave you asking, ‘Say what?’
When you commit to following Jesus, you are taking a step of faith that says ‘I believe Jesus is God.’ You are binding your life to Jesus in a profound way.
Jesus promised that anyone who believes he is God will receive the Holy Spirit, the part of God who is called our ‘helper’. The Holy Spirit is like an ever-present friend, who helps us make changes that we need in our life, teaches us about Jesus, and provides us with his wisdom. Many people that have made this commitment to Jesus talk about seeing things in a new way: colours seem brighter, creation seems more beautiful, and they feel more at peace.
In fact, our lives are so transformed that saying we ‘follow Jesus’ doesn’t seem like enough. It’s more like Jesus, metaphorically, dwells in the deepest, most personal, truest part of us. That’s why we say, ‘I’ve asked Jesus into my heart.’ It’s not just an intellectual belief; it’s an emotional, spiritual and personal relationship that changes who we are.
One of Jesus’ first followers described it like this: ‘If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!’ (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Jesus also described our relationship to him by saying he is like the central vine in a grapevine, and we are like the branches (John 15:5). The central vine nourishes and feeds the branches, so they can thrive and produce fruit. When we join ourselves with Jesus, we grow and are nurtured by his Spirit to become our best selves.
But it’s even greater than that! We become part of Jesus and his great plan for all humans and creation. We join in with what he is doing in the world. Our lives are allied with others that are also plugged into the vine of Jesus. We are as one—our cells and DNA connected.
As we are ‘grafted’ into Jesus and abide with him, we can’t help but reflect his own DNA. His love, forgiveness, mercy, kindness and justice are just a few of the fruits we produce through him.
In a way, it would be more accurate to say that ‘Jesus has asked me into his heart’. All we need to do is to accept his open invitation to become part of what he is doing.
You don’t need to say special words, speak to Jesus like you would to a close friend. Tell him you want to follow his ways and that you’re sorry for past your wrongs. Ask for forgiveness.
Trust in what Jesus did when he died and rose again. Jesus died for you, and ame back from the dead to give you new life. From now on, let Jesus rule your life and be obedient to him.