26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. - Ezekiel 36:26-27
God gives us a new heart so that we will see the world as He sees it and we will live for Him. We will have new attitudes and new behaviors, new priorities and new desires. He gives us a new heart so sin and self-focus is diminished, and our eyes are opened to others. We should be growing more compassionate, more caring, more loving, more forgiving, more gentle. Our new hearts should be less critical, less judgmental, less selfish.
Giving us a new heart does not mean we are immediately made new. Instead, it’s something that happens slowly over time. We are not made perfect in the moment we receive our new hearts, but we should be able to say we are increasingly more and more like Him. The people in our lives should be able to see a change from the person we were at this time last year. We are still far from perfect with our new hearts. Unfortunately living in this world with free will, we can still be drawn into sin. But we should notice that the interval between sins is getting longer, and that the length of time it takes us to dig out of the mess caused by our sin is shorter and shorter. With new hearts, we are not perfect, but we are quicker to take responsibility, to confess our sin and to make it right with the people we offended and with God.
Before we leave this verse, it’s critical we understand in order to get a new heart, we have to admit we are the wretched sinners. Change begins by first admitting we are broken because of sin and turning to Him. Only God can change our hearts. We need to stop acting as if we have the power within us to change - far too many misunderstand that last portion of this verse. We think if we are careful to obey His rules, then our hearts will be changed. That isn’t how it happens. There isn’t a checklist of rules that will bring about a change in our hearts. I know - I’ve tried for years to do that. It doesn’t work. Only God can change our hearts. Change only comes through an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus who lives His life through us because His Spirit lives within us.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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