Verse: “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.” Ezekiel 36:26
Ezekiel 36 addresses “the prerequisite regeneration which Israel must experience before they can nationally enter into the promised blessings.” God was seeking to cleanse His people from sin with a spiritual renewal. “The gift of the new heart signifies the new birth, which is regeneration by the Holy Spirit. The heart stands for the whole nature. The spirit indicates the governing power of the mind which directs thought and conduct. A heart of stone is stubborn and self-willed. A heart of flesh is pliable and responsive.” (John MacArthur Study Bible)
Undoubtedly, this struggle lies within the nature of our failing flesh. Think of your faith in mathematical terms for a moment. Apply a percentage to your willingness to surrender your heart to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Most of us are 25% ers or 50% ers. Sure we may show up on Sunday Mornings but much of our lives are off limits to God. We are nothing more than a “Christian” façade at best. A few of us are 75% ers or 80% ers…and even the most pious of individuals who we admire often tend to be 95% ers at one moment or another. Human nature gravitates toward selfishness. We are all deprived. At any moment our greediness may grasp onto a sin rather than submitting to the Lord. Personally, I am guilty as charged.
Yet to live with reckless abandonment for Christ means we die to our own desires, and put God first in everything. To live out a faith of authenticity entails much more than mere words or attendance on Sundays- sacrifice, effort, prayer, devotion, and an honest pursuit of Jesus is required. What is your percentage of genuine faith? Reckless abandonment is where true regeneration of the heart occurs- and we begin to walk with Christ in intimacy.
Quote: “….What in me is dark illumine, what is low raise and support; that, to the height of this great argument I may assert Eternal Providence, and justify the ways of God to men.”
Additional Readings: Jeremiah 17: 9, Jeremiah 31: 31-34, John 3:5, Hebrews 9: 13-10:22
Prayer: Father God, forgive me for having a heart of stone. I pray that I live with reckless abandonment and give all 100% of myself to You. Live through me. Consume me Lord Jesus. Allow my life to be a reflection of Your glory. I want to genuinely live for You. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.