And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. ~ Ezekiel 36:26-17
When reading scripture, my dad would often ask, “as opposed to what?” It helps when understanding what the text means.
And I (God) will give you – as opposed to if I work hard enough or if I achieve a certain “elite” Christian status or have enough good deeds under my belt
A new heart – as opposed to my current heart! This heart is jaded, hurt, broken, in pieces, not working properly. In fact, this passage describes it as a “heart of stone.”
A new Spirit – as opposed to the old, lifeless drudgery, the old ways I have of doing things
And I will put my spirit within you” – as opposed to my own selfish will or even Satan’s wicked schemes.
The factor needed in changing hard hearts is not a new minister or a better Bible class teacher. It isn’t working harder or doing a certain method of self help. The Lord and the Lord alone is the one who changes hearts from stone to flesh, from hard to tender, from stubborn and unyielding to warm and moldable and compassionate. And when my heart is changed, my obedience naturally follows: to walk in [his] statutes and be careful to obey [his] rules.
Am I allowing Him to change my heart today?