“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.” (Ezekiel 36:26)
Whether you’re a follower of Christ or not, odds have it that you don’t personally believe that you have a heart of stone. Yes there may be exceptions out there, but most of us think we have decent hearts on the inside.
Ezekiel was tasked to share the Good News to the captive Jews in Babylon. Israel’s hardened hearts of stone had obstructed them from hearing and responding in faith to God. Along with the warning of long suffering, Ezekiel also delivered the message of hope and future restoration to God’s people.
This “heart of stone” doesn’t represent someone who is simply cold or callous in life, but rather it represents those who have no desire or intent to pursue after a relationship with Christ. We too have hardened hearts before God, which can only be transformed to impressible, responsive hearts of flesh through the power of His Spirit. Jeremiah reminds us that our hearts are deceitful, Psalm 14 reminds us that there is none that inherently does good, and even Jesus states that “no one is good except God alone.”
This reveals that in our fallen state of sin, we are born in rebellion to God. This may sound like a defeatist message, but just as He did with the exiled nation of Israel, God too offers the same transformation and promise of hope to all of us through Jesus!
God desires us to have supple hearts that will spiritually grow and flourish through the hearing and accepting of His Word. Being kind, compassionate, giving, caring, etc. are amazing byproducts of this complete heart transformation, but are not the end goal, as we can be those things in part without even knowing God.
The end goal is having a genuine relationship with our Abba Father whose image we were created in. It is the extraordinary miracle of reshaping our lives to fathom and seek after the things of God, and living a life of worship that in turn draws others to salvation in Him!
Take heart because God shows us throughout the Bible that He offers His patience, love, and forgiveness to even the most stubborn and wayward people. I myself fall into this category, but He has put a new spirit within me that has forever changed my desires, goals, objectives, and destination for eternity.
If He can transform my heart of stone just as He did with the exiled Israelites who outwardly rebelled against Him, then He can do so with you and for all those whom you are praying desperately for!
Continue to seek after Him and pray for those who do not yet know Him. The greatest miracle He can ever do in your life isn’t providing physical healing, wealth, or material blessings, but it’s giving you a new heart and spirit that’s aligned with His.