Opening Your Heart to God

Opening Your Heart to God

“Sheba came to learn. Her eyes and ears, her mind and heart—all were wide open for King Solomon to fill.~ It’s Good to Be Queen

Chapter Two: It’s Good to Be Open

Of all the wisdom we’ll be learning from Sheba week by week, you said this one spoke to you most: “Be open to whatever God has prepared for you.” Openness is a real test of faith, isn’t it? Whatever means…well, whatever!

Alison admitted, “This is a challenge for me. I struggle discerning what God wants me to do.” You’re not alone, Alison. There are so many good things we could do, we wonder which is the right thing.

Here’s what we know for certain: God wants us to trust Him. As in let go. As in don’t fret. Pam shared that she is “learning to trust Him in all things and lift my finger off the control button.”

Love the visual. Lifting our fingers. Opening our hands. Releasing our fears. Receiving what’s next.

For many of us, God clearly is preparing something new.

  • “I’m at a transitional place in my life…” Gina
  • “I am in a holding pattern…” Joyce
  • “I’m in a new chapter /phase right now…” Karin

Being open to change can be both exciting and scary. Our one consolation is knowing who’s in charge: “The Lord reigns forever” (Psalm 146:10).

Map in the Time of Solomon and Sheba from It's Good to Be Queen

Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones— 1 Kings 10:2

What a spectacle! However valuable the jewels, however costly the gold, the queen’s spices were the most extravagant of her hostess gifts. The land of Sheba was rich with Arabian balm, myrrh, frankincense, and other delights meant to please a king.

But Sheba didn’t only open her treasure chest. She also opened her heart.

...everything on her heart. 1 Kings 10:2

…she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. 1 Kings 10:2

Sheba opened herself up and revealed “all the things that she cared about” (MSG). The fact that her discussion points aren’t recorded in Scripture doesn’t mean they’re unimportant. They just aren’t as vital as her spoken words soon to follow.

Remarkable, isn’t it, how she trusted this royal stranger? Perhaps because the two were peers. More likely because Solomon loved and served the one true God, and His Spirit permeated their conversation.

Clearly, God was wooing Sheba through Solomon. Beckoning her to share her deepest thoughts. Answering her endless questions. Meeting her heartfelt needs.

The Lord does this for us as well, beloved: He listens. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).

Let me take a quick run at one of our Study Guide questions, then it’s your turn to share what you’ve learned this week. So glad you’re here.

1 Peter 3:13

From the Study Guide

Are you willing to open your heart, your life to God’s leading?

This is an easy yes for me…now. In the early years of marriage, with young children at home, saying yes was harder. I worried about my own future, but mostly I worried about theirs. If I said yes to God, how would that affect my family? Would my children feel neglected? Would my husband feel ignored?

Here’s what I’ve learned: God not only prepares us, He also prepares those we love, so we’re all walking according to His will. It’s not about me, it’s about we. It’s not my ministry, it’s our ministry. His Word calls us to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21), which we do our very best to honor at the Higgs house.

Bill and I have worked side-by-side for two decades. I’ve only fired him twice (smile) and both times, he stayed in his desk chair and kept working. What a man. Our son serves as my first-draft book editor, our daughter-in-law is my new personal assistant and office whiz, and our daughter is my social media maven. When I began stepping away from a “real job” back in 1986 and opened my hands and heart and calendar to God, I could never have hoped, dreamed, or imagined what He had in mind. So good, Lord. So kind.

Heavenly Father, we stand in awe of You. You love us, You lead us, You let us stumble, but You never let us fall from Your hands. Let our hearts remain open to whatever You have in store for us, knowing it’s not only good, it’s best.

"...if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14)

Now, it’s your turn

If you open your heart fully to God’s leading, what might happen? Please share your thoughts below, so we can learn from one another.

Your grateful sister, Liz
Your sister, Liz Curtis Higgs BibleGateway Blogger Grid I am honored to write for P31 Ministries Love being part of (in)courage!

P.S. If you’ve not yet purchased a copy of It’s Good to Be Queen, here’s a great price. And if you’d like to hear me teach Chapter Two, pop over to watch my short, free video on Vimeo. Last week on Facebook, Pam wrote, “This book and the study have changed my life and I am only on chapter 2.” All God, all the time, sisters. He is just that faithful!

37 Responses to Opening Your Heart to God

  1. Vicki Johnson September 2, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    God might lead you and your hubby in ministry 12oo miles away from your children, grandchildren, and parents. He might move you to a home with close neighbors, small closets, and no parking. He may bring you to a place where you know that to NOT go is disobedience, but will strip you of most everything you take comfort in. THEN He will show you His greatness and abounding love in ways you couldn’t imagine. He will open doors and opportunities that you only dreamed of. With every step of the journey, He will prove His faithfulness over and over again.

    True story.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs September 2, 2015 at 11:45 am #

      I LOVE this true story, Vicki! We’re back to “whatever,” which is the heart of obedience. Thanks SO much for sharing.

  2. Roksanna September 2, 2015 at 11:42 am #

    First off, I want to thank you personally Liz for saying in the end of this chapter that YOU found your true mission: encouraging your sisters in Christ. God surely has guided your path to exactly that. I resonate and am in sync with you, your teaching style, and most certainly your ability to teaching and sharing the Lord.?
    Chapter 2: (Openness) I can honestly say this is my life’s process…to be open, open to listen, obey and let Godin. It sounds so easy in theory of course, but to truly do it is where the process comes into play, and of course can’t do it without Him. I have my good days and bad, and need daily.ness with the Lord for my every step. I so love that queen Sheba, her stature in her own right, her worldly stature beyond beyind, (one smart cookie), but it wasn’t enough, she hungered for more. The Lord knew she was ready and drew her in. I am so grateful that the Lord drew her to Solomon, a man who was in almist every way her match….but in addition…a man of God. Solomon being the perfect match for her in everything, status and worldly means. I admire her…
    as I anxiously await as the story unfolds….

  3. Paula Timpson September 2, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    It is so freeing to open up your heart to God
    He surprises
    He knows Best
    Be a child
    Open up
    Be a butterfly

    • Tammy September 9, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

      Beautifully written — spoke to my heart! Will write this in my journal. 🙂

  4. Shirley September 2, 2015 at 11:57 am #

    If I fully open my heart to God’s leading, I will be in for the adventure of my
    life. He has so worked in my heart over the last years, that I can fully trust
    Him without one fear or doubt. I wake up excited to learn what He is
    going to teach me every day, and to step back and watch Him do His
    work through me.. Total surrender, because He loves me and I can trust
    Him with my life. I stand amazed in the Presence of Jesus the Nazarene
    and wonder how He could love me so. For years, I could not receive His
    love, to many flesh bondages, from words spoken to me over the course
    of my life.. Thankfully He has set me free and I now can see myself as
    He sees me. I can feel worthy enough to receive His love, because I am
    worthy in Him.. There is so much power in words to damage the
    emotions and until we allow Him to do a deep cleanse of our soul
    and then allow the spirit to rule the soul, we are bound in chains.
    A trip like Sheba had would sure give us lots of time to think and
    meditate. I am longing to find time every day to simply be silent before
    Him and to listen for His Voice, speaking words of love and purpose
    over me.. Lord, I surrender all of me, as you originally created man
    in the Garden for the spirit to rule the soul, instead of a damaged
    soul, keeping the spirit bound, Freedom IN Christ. Thanks Liz, for the
    writing of the book with words that penetrate and set us free..

  5. Heidi Steinrock September 2, 2015 at 11:57 am #

    What a great question! I don’t know what’s next in the future, but I can say that last spring when I opened my heart to go and do where God was leading, the journey was drizzled with profuse sweating, a couple anxiety attacks, and muscle spasms! Don’t get me wrong though, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was not where He led me that brought on my anxieties, it was the fear in me being called out by the authority of Jesus the Word saying, “Follow Me.” The fear of going where I’d never been threw a hissy fit as I stepped into God’s leading–the fear knew the closer I got to Christ the sooner fear would be required to leave me.

    Now in the future, when I recognize the call to follow God’s lead into new territory, I’ll remember that none of my fears came true, they only disappeared, and a part of my heart got healed and set free in the process. Pretty beautiful!

  6. Tamera Rehnborg September 2, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

    In a time when immediate news transference didn’t happen (no internet, no television or radio), I wonder who brought the news of this absurdly wise king to Sheba? Who came to her and told tales in her suite in her palace? What heads of state mentioned his name in casual conversations? I hear a lot of names now, but there is rarely a hunger to meet these people. Not often do I pack up the car or purchase a plane ticket and head off in their direction. But Sheba did. 1500 miles of swaying on the back of a camel–and all her thoughts and questions swaying with her. I think her hunger grew with each mile. Did a scribe sit with her as she dictated her questions or did she tuck them away in her head pondering them as Jesus’ mama would hundreds of years later? She was so hungry for wisdom, not just knowledge that she risked everything to gain more. She left her kingdom, exposed herself to danger, and traversed through a desert to find the origin of this king’s wisdom. Could she draw from the same well? Could she tap into the same source? Her openness to becoming a “seeker”, as Liz stated in her Vimeo teaching is astounding. A queen? People were to seek her out, vie for her audience. Instead, she sought Solomon’s. Like this mystery Sheba-queen may we never cease to be “seekers” in the kingdom of God!

  7. Brenda September 2, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    I really don’t know. I thought I did when I was younger, teenager. But than marriage, children, daughter in laws and grandchildren. My life has been centered around my family. I do not know who Brenda is anymore. So really I do not know what I would do. Or I forgot how to open completely. Honestly I felt closer to God when I was a teenager and before marriage. Please don’t get ,me wrong I love my husband, kids ( and that includes my daughter in laws) and I love, love, love ,my grandkids. Look forward for Summers so I get to have to every day. But along the line I forgot who Brenda is

    • Mona September 3, 2015 at 4:08 am #

      I can relate to “along the line I forgot who Brenda is”. My problem is I was married young, went from one household (from a controlling father) and to a fairly controlling husband. Along these travels of life, I knew there was a God – I found Him when I was 30; baptized at 40 with my only son. But I didn’t know how to trust or let God control my destiny. I did not understand how to trust God with a “controlling” husband telling me what to do all the time. I could do anything I wanted as long as it was done my husband’s way. The problem I face now is I am alone. My husband passed away 1 1/2 years ago at the age of 58 (I was 55). Now I really feel lost; I am trying to figure out how to listen to what God is telling me and not all the static Satan wants to fill my mind with. I pray daily and read in my Bible daily asking God for direction. I have to learn who I am and what direction God wants to put me in. I want to listen and be faithful. I pray you continue to find your way. May God bless you!

  8. Doris Acker September 2, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

    First, I had to smile when I saw that you had “fired” your husband and yet he stays and works beside you! I have fired mine occasionally and he just smiles at me and keeps putting up with me. I think we found two great guys. Second, I was thinking about Solomon’s relationship with the Lord being well known and I think that his being on the same level as Sheba, a ruler, was one reason she came to him to inquire about God. May all of us who belong to the Lord be so well known for our walk with Him that others, seekers, come to us to find out about the Lord. Like Peter says, “be ready to give an answer to every man who asks you a reason of the hope that is in you” I Peter 3:15

  9. Robbin September 2, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    If I fully opened my heart to God’s leading, I might find that He is telling me to drop some things. I may need to forgo the good to find God’s best. “Doing” less for God in order to just enjoy God and “be”is a foreign concept at times, but He made me for relationship, not to be a factory worker. When fully aligned with His purposes for me, the things He calls me to do will take less effort and exude more love. Hmmmm, not a bad exchange.

  10. Dessie September 2, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

    A thought recently came into my head, God only wants the best for his princess. This surprised me as a belief that I have had is God wants what’s good for you, but I’m a different story. To be honest the question you posed scares me and made my body tingle. But, I am willing and I am coming to find that when I open myself up to the God idea and let go of the Dessie idea that God blows my ideas out of the water.

    • Tammy September 9, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

      Dessie, I completely understand what you’re speaking … been there – didn’t like the t-shirt so went back for more … seems as though I complicate what I ‘think’ God wants of me/for me in comparison to what I may have to ‘give up’ … so instead of having the perception of ALL I will GAIN from opening up to Him — I spend wasted time pondering what I ‘think’ I will have to give up (a.k.a. sin or things that interfere with my relationship with Him). I pray for the both of us that we focus on seeking HIM in all things — that we perceive the positive and look forward to the best blessings yet to come in our lives. Hugs.

  11. Amy September 2, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    Stepping out in faith into the unknown can be difficult for me. Fear instead of trust can reign. God, however, me sustains and His steadfast love and power remain. Praising Him for the honest encouragement that you have been and continue to be. It is always a grace, Liz…. always a grace…..

    With love in Christ,

  12. Susan G. September 2, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    This was so enlightening Liz! I have seen that I am limiting our limitless God. I am opening my heart (and mind) to the big things He has for me and my family, not just the little things!
    I so love all your wisdom, insight, and encouragement as well as your doses of humor through every one of your devotionals.
    Be blessed!

  13. Denise Heilman September 2, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    For me that question is something I ask myself at times and wonder…
    I think that I am opening my heart to God…that I am open and willing.
    But am I?
    Am I fully surrendered?
    I believe sometimes I am, but lots of times I am not.
    We like to stay in our comfort zone, and most of the time, full surrender take us out of that comfort zone.
    So, all I can do is to pray and ask God to help me be FULLY surrendered to Him, no matter the cost to me.
    P.S. just got the new book, can’t wait to get into it!

    • Robin September 3, 2015 at 7:41 am #

      I agree. This past week I had written that I am somewhat hesitant as to God’s leading, mostly I suppose because I am comfortable & satisfied with my life and not really willing to make any changes/sacrifices that I perceive may be required. Kind of scary, though, thinking what He may do to shake me up to get me out of this stupor. I think of my recollection of the scene from Homer’s Odyssey where the people were basically incapacitated by their contentment. Recently while reading KILLJOYS: THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS, I was convicted that perhaps I am guilty of the sin of slothfulness. As God seems to be reiterating the same thing, may I truly be open to listen & obey!

  14. Holly September 2, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    I too worry about how to juggle my time with my family & trying to serve the Lord! I am getting braver about listening & doing what God has for me! This study is very good for me! Thank you, Liz!

  15. Gina September 2, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

    If I open my heart to God completely I may have to give up a career choice, and just be still and know that he’s God. This is when “trusting in the Lord with all your heart, and not leaning on your own understanding” comes in handy. He’s faithful so why should I worry? Gina

  16. Julie Ramsey September 2, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

    I we let go and give God control the possiblities are.limitless!

  17. Elaine Steil September 2, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

    Page 33: Solomon was a man who loved God and he ” showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David.” I think this is a key to your question, at least for me. Opening our hearts to the Lord begins with loving Him and then be willing to trust what he has for us. I hope this makes sense. Thank you Liz, for writing a great book, again.

  18. Laurel Shaler September 2, 2015 at 10:03 pm #

    Appears many of us are in a period of waiting or change. Same here. Praying for us all to be open to God.

  19. Shelley September 2, 2015 at 11:11 pm #

    “If you open your heart fully to God’s leading, what might happen?” Well, you might just be healed of over forty years of depression, intimidation, and mental and emotional abuse (yes, that’s me)! You also might finally understand what being in ministry is all about even though you’ve been in minstry with your husband for fifteen years already! But after the healing, opening your heart fully to God’s leading may just lead you into full-time writing and women’s ministry, too! Oh the possibilities are endless when you open your heart fully to Him! He loves us oh, so much and wants only what’s best for us even if we can’t see it and may be just a little afraid to take that step. My advice would be to just step out and “do it afraid!” It’s an exciting time and a ride you don’t want to miss. God does prepare us, Liz and He prepares our family as well. I followed my husband in ministry from 2000 until 2012. When God healed me that May, He began a new chapter in our lives. I still follow my husband, but he is also following me, supporting me, and encouraging me. Because for the first time in my life I’m not intimidated by people and can boldly step out and say, “Look what the Lord did for me!” Your testimony above has encouraged me as well. We’re all in this together. Might as well work together in unity and have fun doing it!

  20. Jean Riczko September 3, 2015 at 7:11 am #

    Love this bible study. Thank you Liz, God is working through you.

  21. frannie fink September 3, 2015 at 7:53 am #

    Hi Liz so good to be a part of this study on Opening our heart To God.
    I am so blessed and have heard God’s message to me, at first I pondered it, then realized that He was calling me for a specific ministry at this time. I am privileged to lead a prayer group starting on Sept.16th with the Scripture of 2 Chron. 7:14-15. This will be held at a local church, and I am praying that many will come out of their comfort zone and join us. He has great things for us and I know this as we open our hearts to HIM and listen…I am grateful for so many things in my life and your studies are one of them! I thank you for your encouraging words from Scripture, and I thank Our Heavenly Father.

  22. Linda H September 3, 2015 at 8:14 am #

    This is a huge one for me as fear always stands in my way. Trust Him, Let Go, Don’t Fret that should be my motto. I know in my total surrender I will find the real me. I don’t have to stay in my comfort zone. There is joy, healing and love waiting just beyond that safe place. I pray I can be open enough and ready for what will happen. Loved your prayer at the end Liz, it touched me♥♥

  23. Delane Terrell September 3, 2015 at 10:14 am #

    Life may truly begin once you let go and let God. His ways are not our ways but He always has our best interests in mind. Trust and obey.

  24. Mikki Jo September 3, 2015 at 11:59 pm #

    We are not our own, we were bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. He paid our debt in full. So who am I to go against what God was calling me to do, yet I did. For years I have always written poetry and inspirational short stories, but simply to entertain my family. But lately I have felt a deep churning in my soul to write. For awhile I neglected it and felt like I had wasted so much time because I am now 53 years old. But Jesus showed me throughout time He was preparing me and the time is NOW. I’m not sure where this will lead me but I do know He will bring transformation and renewal to those who are searching for Him and I pray He uses me. My gift doesn’t belong to me, but to Him and to those He wants to change. So if I follow Him and give Him my whole heart and allow Him to use me lives can be changed. I want to hold the hand of those reaching out and help lead them to Jesus Christ.

  25. Janette September 4, 2015 at 8:54 am #

    My husband and I are at a point in our lives where we don’t know where God is leading us. I appreciated your reminder though that we need to be willing to follow God wherever he leads us. And I am right with you that I can trust God and change if need be, but I worry about my two boys and how it will affect them.

  26. Peggy S September 4, 2015 at 10:02 am #

    Liz, I’m loving this study. And, oooh chills, He is reinforcing it all through other things I’m studying, learning. I THINK I am open to God, but of late it has been “Are you open to just being here?” That is a hard one for me! I would rather be serving. But He has given me my thorn in the side and kept me more at home in prayer, than “in” ministry. So, I am a little hesitant to say, “Yes, Lord, I’m open.” Keep preaching it sister!

  27. Maxine September 4, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

    As I talk to people I hear them express such deep hurts and needs! Families are falling apart, and illnesses need to be borne. I must be open to asking God which ones to take on in prayer, let the others go, and pray hard for those people and situations to which I’m led. THEN cast those cares on God, knowing He cares for them, and will do the best for them in their situations. God’s heart of compassion is so great!

  28. Ginnie Montoya September 5, 2015 at 9:02 am #

    Once again I have learned to trust in God. Being my husband was ill Doctor said antibiotics kicked in very well. So he can go home. I couldn’t believe. But God is in control. My faith once again grew. We need to leave God all things.

  29. Brandi Luiz September 6, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

    Open to God taking your children on adventures out of your control. Resting in His goodness and grace. Knowing that He has it all in His hands.

  30. Jan September 8, 2015 at 10:10 am #


    A few short minutes ago I popped on some music while I had a shower to get read for my day. I carefully selected an old playlist on a streaming site for an old album I loved years ago and went about the task of cleaning up. But this time my playlist didn’t just play what was on my list, but two additional songs I knew and hadn’t heard in a while that had nothing to do with the album and didn’t even show up in the available song list. The first was about getting on my knees in prayer and while I was still thinking about that I heard the voice of Twila Paris talking about some struggles she had had similar to mine and then singing her beautiful song Fountain of Grace. This touched a place in my heart I didn’t know still needed mending and then to top it off the playlist ended with a surprise song reminding me that all of the things in my life even the mistakes were leading me back to the Lord and his greater plan and it brought me to my knees in tears rather unexpectedly!

    I have been feeling like I’m being pulled aside for a time to focus on some things in my life that I have left untouched because they “feel” selfish. It’s easier to do everything for everyone else and I worry about who might feel neglected if I heed this call. To be honest I’m not even sure how to start..but then I just read these words “Heavenly Father, we stand in awe of You. You love us, You lead us, You let us stumble, but You never let us fall from Your hands. Let our hearts remain open to whatever You have in store for us, knowing it’s not only good, it’s best.” And I know he is not only able, he is willing and he is faithful to do what he has promised.

    Thank you for this great encouragement this morning ♡

  31. Linda September 13, 2015 at 8:59 am #

    I am at a season in my life where I want to be open for God. Several months ago, I was in a distraught state of mind and I heard a voice say, You need to leave. This was about a part time job I had. Now 4 months later, I am at the same building but not doing the same job. I am more a mentor & encourager. I cannot relax with this because I feel I didn’t obey God. I want to do what God says and go where he tells me to go. Have I done this???

  32. Ashley September 27, 2015 at 7:00 am #

    Opening my heart and pursuing what He wants brings joy, encouragement, and understanding. I cleared my schedule and joined a group mission trip to Belize this past summer. It was exciting, beautiful, heart-wrenching, and difficult all at the same time. I came back refreshed & renewed in His spirit. I now find myself committing to other trips with the same group to serve as a guide/chaperone with the youth. Such a great group of kids!