Tuesday, December 26, 2017

God Provides A New Heart and Direction

In review of Ezekiel 36:26 it says, “I will give you a new heart and a new mind. I will take away your stubborn heart of stone and give you an obedient heart.”

Bottom Line:
God can change your stubborn heart and replace it with an obedient one.

What this means to me:
God has given me a new heart and put a new spirit in me; he has removed my stubborn heart and given me an obedient heart.

In this prophecy from Ezekiel, he said that Israel would be restored as a nation and would return to its own land. The mountains were symbolic of Israel's strength. But to the exiles in Babylon, this seemed impossible. This message again emphasized God's sovereignty and trustworthiness. He would first judge the nations used to punish Israel and then restore his people.

In this passage God promised to restore Israel not only physically, but spiritually. To accomplish this, God would give them a new heart for following him and put his Spirit with them; to transform them and empower them to do his will. Again the new covenant was promised, ultimately to be fulfilled in Christ. No matter how impure my life is, God offers me a fresh start. I can have my sins washed away, receive a new heart from God, and have his Spirit within me, if I accept God's promise. There is no sense in patching up my old life when I can have a new one.

God said his people should be ashamed of their sins. Seems the people had become so callous that they had lost all sensitivity to sin. First they had to "remember" their sins, then despise them, and finally repent of them. As I examine my life, I may find that we, too, have lost our sensitivity to certain sins. But if we measure ourselves against God's standard of right living, we will be ashamed. To regain sensitivity we must recognize our sin for what it is, be sorry for displeasing God, and ask his forgiveness. The Holy Spirit will guide us, making us responsive and receptive to God's truth.

If I ask, God will come to my aid. I cannot expect his mercy, however, until we have received a new heart from him. I can be thankful that his invitation is always open.

I’m reminded this morning to be open and willing to a change of plans when God changes my heart. I may think I’m at a place where I have it all figured out. Everything seems to be moving along just fine. However, if I’m not where God wants me to be, it’s time to head in a new direction.

God’s plans are not always my plans. His ways are not always my ways. However if I follow his lead, the path will take me somewhere far greater than I could have ever anticipated. The path may not be strewn with rose petals and rainbows, but it will make me into a servant, someone God can use to further His kingdom.

The Bible suggests that I write out my plan for the upcoming year and make it plain. Pray about my plan. God will give me the desires of my heart, but He will never take me down a path that will endanger my eternal soul.  Remember, He can see my end from my beginning.

So If God changes my heart, be willing to adjust the sail on my ship. God might be directing me toward deeper waters that will bring me into closer Commitment with Him.