Apart from the fact that the expression “ask Jesus into your heart” isn’t found anywhere in the Bible — the closest similar phrase being “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Eph. 3:17), which is a verse directed to Christians — there is another problem with the idea of asking Jesus into your heart.

In modern-day English, we usually use “heart” as a metaphor to describe emotions and feelings of love. Inviting Jesus into your heart in such a sociolinguistic context suggests that what is most important for human-with-Jesus interactions is “feeling close to Jesus” or “receiving and responding to Jesus’s love.” But so much is lost when we reduce our connection to Jesus to the heart alone.

Is God not the Creator of the entire universe? Is he not sovereign over all he has made, including us? Our responsibility (and privilege and calling) is to wholeheartedly receive and submit to God’s leadership (Lordship!) over every aspect of our lives, holding back nothing. He is Lord, is he not? Does he not have full rights over every part of me?

So, I’m thinking that instead of just giving Jesus my heart today, I want to invite him into every part of me. Thus, with God’s grace enabling me, I ask Jesus to come into:

My feet: to send me anywhere he wants me to go. Here I am, Lord, send me (Isa. 6:8).

My legs: to stand strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might (Eph. 6:10).

My knees: to kneel in humble and dependent prayer (Eph. 3:14).

My stomach: to identify and turn away from idolatrous appetites (Phil. 3:19).

My arms: to bear the burdens of others (Gal 6:2); to care for the fatherless and oppressed (Ps. 10:18).

My hands: to lift in praise (Ps. 28:2; 63:4).

My mouth: to speak wholesome and upbuilding words (Eph 4:29); to share the good news, despite my fears (Eph. 6:19).

My ears: to be attentive to wisdom and incline toward understanding (Prov. 2:2).

My eyes: to turn away from evil (Prov 3:7), and lift upward toward the one who is my help (Ps. 121:1).

My mind: to think on things above (Col 3:2), on all that is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good reputation, and worthy of praise (Phil. 4:8).

And, yes, my heart—all of my heart!: to sing and make melody with all my being (Ps. 108:1)

“Take all of me, Lord. Everything! I hold back nothing. I invite you into every part of me—to do with me what you will. From the tip of my toes to the top of my head—and everything in between — I am yours. Today I am yours. Tomorrow I am yours. Forever I am yours.”

This post and other resources are available at Kindle Afresh: The Blog and Website of Kenneth Berding.