“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: 26-27)
This is a very familiar verse that most of us can quote blindly. The irony of this verse is in this question: Have we allowed this truth to become a reality in our hearts? Someone aptly said, “The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart”. Sin causes hearts to grow hard, especially continual and unrepentant sin. Jesus taught, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness” (Mark 7:21-22). Ouch! In the Scriptures various aspects of human anatomy are used to define the whole person, but the most frequently used is the heart. Often, the heart refers to the soul of a human being that controls the mind, will and emotions in which many scriptures confirm.
Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Ouch again! In contrast to the contemporary definition of “heart,” the biblical use of the term refers to the inner man, his thoughts, his will, his inclinations, and his affections or the human soul with its faculties and operations. Thus, the biblical term “heart” is a reflection of one’s character. Scripture clearly teaches us that the real issues of life are spiritual and are really matters of the heart, or the inner man. Jeremiah says “The heart is deceitful above all things.” In addition to its deceitful nature, various translations describe the heart as “exceedingly corrupt (Gen 6:11-12 and Ex 32:7), desperately sick, dreadfully wicked, and beyond cure.” Double, triple ouch! All of which refers to man’s depth of moral depravity. Under the influence of an evil heart, we live under deception and everything appears in false colors. God ultimately knows our deepest and innermost thoughts and motives.
Wow! Now that I our toes have been spiritually stomped on, (In my case I feel like a couple may have been cut off!), we can embrace the truth that we have hope in Christ and He has a plan! Thank you Jesus! The truth about the condition of our hearts in scripture can seem very ‘disheartening (Pun intended!), but I also believe the scriptures above have give us a definitively clear picture that without allowing the Lord’s influence in our lives daily, our hearts will lead us astray. So if we know and have embraced this revelation, how does this transforming of our heart actually happen? What is our part and what is God’s part concerning this journey?
I have worked in the construction/renovation/restoration business for over 30 years. Many of the words God uses in relation to transforming our heart are familiar terms used in this industry.
At the start of a restoration job there must be a plan of action noting details. This should include work schedule, pay schedule, and completion date. So how does this apply to a heart condition? I’m glad you asked! WE MUST HAVE A PLAN! Proverbs Chapter 16 has some great wisdom about the heart and planning.
In my own life it has been an incredible journey of allowing God to ‘renovate’ my heart! The amazing thing about this is that God allows me to grow at a pace that does not overwhelm me but still challenges me to move forward.
After all, Jesus paid the price for me to embrace and walk in the fullness of freedom. Knowing this gives me hope! So, I will leave you with the words God has given us to continually transform our heart! The instruction is simply this: If we meditate on these truths, and put them into action in our lives daily, the transforming power of God will be a reality in our lives!
- Set aside time to spend with our Poppa-God
- Take inventory of your heart and be honest with yourself.
- Meditate on Scriptures. (I have found several that are called out at the end of this blog)
- Allow Holy Spirit to bring revelation.
- Do not give up Hope! Be steadfast, having endurance, and knowing Poppa’s desire is for us to have a heart of flesh not stone!