The Butterflied Heart

Prayer of Consecration

Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body as a holy and living sacrifice to you.

Jesus, We belong to you.

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.


Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.

A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

Romans 2:25-29 (NIV) 

Consider This

The bottom line on chapter 2—the ground is level at the foot of the cross. Jew or Gentile—a sinner is a sinner is a sinner and we are all one of them. Stop comparing. Stop judging. Stop faking. More to come on that next week, but today Paul drops a bomb of a hint about all the goodness to come. The hint comes in this stunning phrase; a heretofore uncombined combination of words:

circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit

So think about circumcision (and I’ll spare you the graphic details). Now think about the heart, which Paul poignantly chooses as a metaphor. Now think about the Holy Spirit. Circumcision of the heart by the Spirit.

Now, besides everything, what did circumcision mean to the Jews? It was the mark of belonging to God. The circumcised heart is the mark of belonging to Jesus. It is not a mark made by human hands but by the Holy Spirit. I see it as the cauterizing of the cross.

I got an interesting text message from a friend this week. It was in response to the entry where I got super real about my body and losing weight. Here is the thread:

Friend: Dear Jesus, turn my heart into a fillet of surrender. Today.

Me: What do you mean by fillet?

Friend: I had a dream years ago that my heart was split like a fillet and all these butterflies came flying out and they all went different ways to do good things for Jesus and I was so peaceful. I still envision it and feel like all is well.

Friend: I guess it’s more like butterflying meat. Which actually (to me) brings it a step deeper.

Me: The Bible calls what you are referring to as the circumcision of the heart—which signifies the kind of surrender you are referring to— which releases the kind of flourishing you describe with the butterflies.

Friend: PS to John David, get rid of the scale.

I know so many of you want this very thing for your life too. And you know what? Jesus knows it too. He sees your heart and it pleases him. I asked him if he would speak to you today, by his Spirit, through my yielded heart and free-flowing words. I am asking Jesus to circumcise your heart by his Spirit right here and right now. Here’s my sense of his Word to you today:

My Daughter, My Son,

I see you and I delight in you greatly. I don’t want anything from you. I am not looking for you to do something for me. I am not needing you to try to become someone for me. I simply want you, the real deep true you—not the person you think you should be or the one you hoped you would become by now, or even the one you take pride in having become. I want the you who you were when you were a child before it all became so complicated and broken and many other things it was never meant to be. Bring me your heart now that it might be circumcised by my Spirit—butterflied, laid open, and made whole again.

I want you to let all the broken past be finally buried now, as in a grave, my grave, where I can cut it away like the lesions it has become on your soul, compromising and often crushing your true identity. I will give back your wounds as resurrected scars of glory. I’ll give back your ashes as resurrected beauty. I’ll give back your canceled sins as stories of salvation. I’ll give back your brokenness as resurrected blessedness. All of this suffering I will give back to you as a song you will sing to me for the rest of your days until the day you sing it before me face to face.

And I’m not looking for the you of your achievements and accolades and accomplishments—the you, you clamor for others to see. I want you to put all that on the shelf, my shelf, and let me cut away the broken attachments to your heart and heal the distortions it has done to your soul. I simply want you, like a child who can be held, carried, embraced, and blessed for nothing but love. I will give back your insecurities as the mighty fortress of my safe and secure presence. I’ll give back your achievements in the form of accolades to those who couldn’t achieve. I’ll give back your trophies, stripped of their idolatry and resurrected from the dead, as tokens of my glory you will one day lay at my feet again.

Give me your heart, in full surrender, fuller than ever before. Trust me completely and with abandon. Find your knees, make an altar, and do whatever it takes to mark these moments for these are the moments I am marking you. I am writing my name on your heart again. And I know you may have done this before, and you will certainly do it again. What’s important is you do it now, right now, bringing your heart just as you are. No expectation. No anticipation. Feeling it or not; willing or willful. Just bring a pure, unbridled, unconditional gift of your deepest heart to me in love. You belong to me. I belong to you. This is love, and you will never be the same again.


Jesus, we belong to you. Jesus, I belong to you. Jesus, you are the gospel—the pure, unadulterated, too good to be true but true goodness of God. I not only believe you today, but I receive you. I receive you in greater measure than ever before. I want the circumcision of the heart by the Spirit. I sense it will be costly and yet nowhere near as costly as the life lived without it. Holy Spirit, lead me into this deep place with Jesus anew and afresh. This will be awakening. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen.


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