When God spoke to His people through Ezekiel, He told them that He would “give them a new heart and a new spirit and replace the heart of stone with a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26 paraphrased). To get a better understanding of the conditions that existed when Ezekiel was talking, read how the prophet tried repeatedly to warn the people and how God used him. My favorite passage in Ezekiel is when God admonishes him to do his job as a watchman. “When you see danger approaching, warn the people. If they do not heed your warning, their blood is on their own hands. If you do not warn them, their blood I will require at your hands” (33:6).
You see part of the problem with the people of the land is that they wanted to live any way they wanted to live, with no one guiding them in righteous living. Most of the prophets of God were detested by the people because they kept reminding them of their ungodly ways. But those who knew and understood God, kept warning and kept dealing with the disrespect of the people. Through all of that, Ezekiel still spoke what God gave him, reminding the people that obedience to God would put them into a better position to “receive” from God.
Think about this for a moment. A promise of a new heart and a new spirit, replacement of a heart of stone for a heart of flesh, has to mean that the hearts within man were corrupted and hard-hearted and their spirit too easily influenced with evil. Are we in the same place today? Have our hearts become so hardened that we cannot see the needs of others? Are we so afraid of what people will think about us we will not warn them when we see danger approaching? Are our spirits so weak that we allow evil to control what we do and how we think?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, we are in need of a heart transplant–a total replacement in order to do what God has designed for us to do. Consider this: We should all be “watchmen on the walls” if we say we are Christians. Anytime there is danger lurking to destroy hope and faith in God, we should be able to loudly proclaim God’s truths. If we are more concerned with political correctness than Godly righteousness, we are in need of a new heart–a heart that is molded and shaped by God to hear Him.
Create in us O God, a new heart, a heart willing to hear You and a spirit strengthened by Your Word to defeat the evil that attempts to influence. Grant us courage to speak as You speak to us and through Your Word that we might snatch some from the fires of hell. Thank You for giving us a heart of flesh, molded and shaped by You. We will give You praise for all things as we continue this journey with You and our new heart.
Amen and thank you!