Heart of Stone
Key Verses: “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:25-27
Salvation. I remember when I recognized the need for it when I was a child. I remember being made aware of my sin through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I remember a little girl of five years old going down to the alter of her church and repenting of her sins, asking for forgiveness, and asking Jesus to come make His home in my life. Fast forward, I am now a thirty-seven years old and still in need of a Savior. I remember reading these verses again recently and how they filled my heart with hope.
A heart of stone being made into a heart of flesh. We grow and we become older but I wonder as we age do parts of our hearts start to become hardened. Do I allow the ways of this world to harden my heart, my attitudes, my choices? Do life circumstances begin to harden my heart and thoughts towards God and His ways? The Holy Spirit keeps leading me to these verses, when I see areas that are yet not like Christ. I remember that He is still making this heart, this life, to look more like Jesus.
Ezekiel was dealing with a people who had turned their hearts away from God. They were worshiping idols and living a life contrary to His ways. Scripture tells us they defamed God. Their lifestyles and choices were making a mockery of who He is and His ways. Their hearts had become so hard that they were dealing with being in captivity. Hearts of stone: unresponsive and unteachable.
God sent Ezekiel to speak judgement on His people– but also hope! God wasn’t content to just leave His people with a heart of stone. Why? Because God is a God of restoration, redemption and salvation. Ezekiel 36:26-27: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. A heart of flesh: tender, receptive and responsive to God. How wonderful, that we have the promise of the Holy Spirit in these verses too! A heart of flesh, now responsive to God, will be moved by the Spirit to live a life of obedience to God. A life that pleases God!
Where is your heart today? Maybe you yielded your heart to God awhile ago but as you have gone through life you have allowed the world and life to harden parts of it. Perhaps, you recognize that you are allowing your life, choices, and attitudes to reflect more of the world than of God and His likeness. Ask God to help your heart. Allow Him to perform a transplant on those hard places of your heart and make them a heart of flesh again.
Be still and know that He is God. Take a moment to listen to God. As you read the devotional did you sense any “nudges” of heart issues in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas in your heart that are hard or becoming hardened.
Worship God for who He is! God saves, redeems, and restores. Worship and praise Him for His Salvation of your life and how even now He is transforming you into His likeness.
Repent. We are all prone to a heart that can become hardened. Ask God to forgive you in ways where you have aligned your heart against God’s character and ways. Turn away from those things that begin to harden your heart.
Be still and know He is God. As your heart is made tender take time to listen to see how God wants to change your attitudes and choices.