Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT) And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
I love this promise. “I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you.” I don’t really care for the process. Brokenness is never fun. Change is uncomfortable. To take out the familiar and replace it with the new and unfamiliar is not easy. However, how could I pass up getting rid of the stony, stubborn heart overwhelmed by sin and pride for a tender, responsive one ready for God and all His Promises? The Lord offers us a new heart and new mind each day. His Mercy comes like a giant eraser to eliminate all the ways I let Him down yesterday and chose my way over His Way. His Grace pours over me removing every spot and blemish so I can enter His Presence and be made new again. His Love for me is overwhelming sometimes too good to be true.
The problem with our stubborn and stony hearts is the absolute necessity of brokenness. A believer can never experience the Love of God fully and all of His Precious Promises locked in the proverbial dungeon of an overloaded mind. Our heart must be soft and pliable to receive from the Lord beginning with His Word. I believe this is the promise hidden in Psalm 65:10, “You drench the plowed ground with rain, melting the clods and leveling the ridges. You soften the earth with showers and bless its abundant crops.” A harvest is many and abundance way more than I am able to produce with weak hands and wobbly knees. It is the heart that keeps us engaged when our flesh falls short and things go from bad to worse. Faith produces hope that does not lead to disappointment but how does one discover such a thing outside of hard times. God wants to melt our heart today. He desires for a heart so in love with Him that it responds to His Every Whisper.
Too often consumed with a roaring lion or the voice of the taunting giants in our life, the sound of the still small voice is drowned out by all the noise. The Lord whispers His Promise. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” The Lord has a humble and gentle heart. It is full of peace and rest that is continually offered to us as believers and rejected just the same. Why is there no peace? Where is this elusive rest? Why are we so divided? Is it our stony hearts? Are we stubborn people? In our need to be right, have we somehow rebelled? Choosing religion over relationship is always rebellion against God. The church and Body of Christ must be challenged today to examine our heart and mind. To feel the weight of our heart. To press it a little. To discover what is the mass of that thing beating in our chest. Is it soft and responsive or stony and rebellious?
Ezekiel 11:18-21 (NLT) “And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart, so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those who long for vile images and detestable idols, I will repay them fully for their sins. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
Our church is experiencing some growing pains. If your church is not feeling the same way, it is time to seek the Face of God. As believers, there is growth potential in each moment of each day. God sows His Word in our heart. The intent of seed is to grow. If it is not growing into deeper love, admiration and devotion – it is falling on hard ground. It should spark a fire on the inside of us that will make its way to the outside – it only happens when something is placed on the altar. Everyone has parts and pieces in their life along with certain weights and burdens ready to be bound on the altar. It is in that moment God can do a new thing and give us new hearts and minds.
I have asked the Lord what is needed to overcome the pain to get to the promise. His Answer simple and direct – one heart. Our identity in Jesus Christ is to have His Heart and His Spirit. We cannot fully experience the Holy Spirit without completely yielding our heart. Pride builds walls around our heart that even the Spirit cannot permeate. The Lord will not force us to love Him or make us follow Him. He will give us ample opportunity to repent and pursue Him. God pursues us with His Goodness and Unfailing Love every day for the rest of our natural lives. (Psalm 23:6) What is keeping me from experiencing it? I am. My stubborn heart given to perfection rather than grace. The works of my hands rather than the working in my heart that says, “I can doing nothing apart from Him.” Lord, I ask you today to give me a new heart. I want a new mind. Is this your prayer today? If not, you will never experience the greatness of God but remain stifled by self.
Singleness of heart makes us God’s People. When the confession of my mouth to seek Him agrees with the intention of my heart to have Jesus alone, something changes. We pray for many things. There are unmet expectations thrust daily at His Throne. The Lord is waiting for those who want what He wants. Those who will love like He loves. Those who will stop at nothing to have His Heart and His Mind today. Is that you? It is definitely me. Please hear me today – an outpouring around us means nothing unless it does something inside of us. We can cry out to God for revival but until our hearts and minds are ready – it simply will not come.
As the modern day church cries out for revival, it is under attack. The enemy does not want God’s People to get it right. If they unite, he is finished and he knows it. He doesn’t have to tear us apart. Truth is that he cannot touch us so he roars loudly breathing hot air on the back of our neck and yells from the battle field like the giant with taunts and lies against our God. Such an obnoxious opponent but powerless presence. The enemy is not very smart but pays close attention. When the people were building the Tower of Babel, it grabbed God’s Attention. This is what He said, “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!” If the Body of Christ could establish one heart and one mind – nothing would be impossible any longer. Imagine the fear that this must strike in the heart of the enemy. He produces confusion and is the author of lies. This has cast many churches into a state of chaos that is causing congregations to implode. Christians devouring other Christians and waging war within the Body that is tearing it apart. We must cry out for one heart and one mind. We must love the Lord more than ourselves. We must forsake comfort, complacency, pride and fear to pursue Jesus wholeheartedly knowing it will lead to brokenness along the way.
Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT) “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul. This is the first and greatest commandment. Our heart is too small to hold the Love that the Lord bestows on us and must constantly be broken, reshaped and remolded over and over again. Our hearts must be humble to receive anything from God. A humble heart is indeed a broken one as what I want desire and need matters less and less to have Him more. The second commandment is equally important or so the Word implies here. Love your neighbor as yourself. Neighbor is anyone who is in our sphere of influence including those who are considered our enemy. These two commandments sum up the entire law. Can we stop for a moment and consider this fully? Just let it sink in for a moment. The only requirement on my life is to love. Love God. Love People. This should be the mission statement of every church. I wonder if for a single day what if every church made this their agenda and primary goal. Forget giving to the community. Inviting new people. What if for just one day it was our global to love others unconditionally and completely – what might happen?
Acts 4:32-35 (NLT) All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.
I believe this is exactly what it would look like. Believers giving their life away in honor and service to Jesus Christ. Loving others unconditionally and not judging their worth. Forgiveness would give way to new relationships and restored friendships drawn and quartered by rebellion and sin. For just a second, it wouldn’t be about me, my hope, my promises, my desires, my blessings, my purpose, and my flesh but fully and completely about Jesus. Oh Lord, give me a new heart and new mind that understands and embraces your new covenant. Write it on my heart and in my mind as you have promised. (Hebrews 10:15-17) Forgive me for making it about me and forgetting sometimes that it is all about You, Lord. Your Kingdom come Jesus Your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
John 14:26-27 (NLT) But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
It is easy for believers to get caught up in “doing” and “serving” the Lord. But today, I must ask myself am I caught up in loving the Lord as He desires. He has a new heart ready for me if I will simply allow mine to be broken. Letting down walls of pride and selfishness so the stubbornness can be exposed and swiftly dealt with. I want a new mind. He will give it to those who take captive rebellious thoughts and subject them to His Word and Way. See God is still pursuing us even when we think we are following Him with a new heart and new minds so His Unfailing Love and Goodness can make its way to us. Our heart must be responsive. We can do nothing apart from Jesus. We need singleness of heart today. In our self, our home, our workplace and church.
Those who decide today to bind their heart and mind to God’s Altar allowing His Spirit to do the rest are giving a precious promise. The Lord will give you peace. No longer will you live at odds with God or mankind but find in that moment peace that passes understanding, produces forgiveness and rights our way. Lord, give me a new heart today please. The kind that is consistently responsive to You and not reactive to my conditions. Lord, give me a new mind that is set, focused and determined to experience your Great Love and expose others to the same. I can give people pieces of my heart. I can give others a piece of my mind. It is when I give all the pieces to Jesus that it produces singleness of heart.
Philippians 4:4-9 (NLT) Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.