Sunday, July 6, 2014
July 6 – Weighed down by a stone?
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 HCSB)
Did you know that a new heart is a gift of God, not an accomplishment of our own doing? We have freedom to choose God or to reject Him, but once that sincere movement is made to turn in His direction, He rushes in to complete the work. We don’t make our hearts new, He does. All we do is begin the process by repentance and reaching out to Him.
He promises us a new heart and a new spirit. That means new desires and a new motivation to please Him. And after that, He promises His own Spirit – the baptism of the Holy Spirit that creates in us the ability to truly know and obey all that He teaches us.
The difference between an old spirit and a new one, is that following God is no longer just a list of dos and don’ts. It becomes a relationship where you love and are loved, where you speak, listen, and know that you are heard. You follow because you trust Him to always lead you perfectly, even when you don’t understand. But an old spirit resists, complains, and is stubborn and indignant with what God urges it to do or think or be. An old spirit easily blames God for being mean and unfair. It’s that heart of stone, hopelessly selfish that has to be switched out for a heart of flesh.
For those who try to follow God but hold onto a stony old heart, the journey is painful and full of frustration. You say on one hand that you love Him, but on the other, you resent what He does and what He requires of you. An old hearted believer is a miserable one.
If that is you, don’t you think it’s time to let go of that old heart and surrender it to God? Relinquish it. Let it be thrown away and take from His hands, a new, soft and tender heart from Him. Let Him give you a new spirit that is full of life and excitement to know Him and serve Him. And then you will be ready for the baptism of His Spirit to totally overwhelm you and immerse you in His presence.