TRANSFORMING STONE INTO FLESH
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ezekiel 36:26-27
Today, I wanted to reuse the scripture verses that we used for this year's ROL theme. I know that our theme was a summer like no other, but the message that we were teaching was one on the transformation of the heart. I also know that we have already talked about the heart a couple of times in this blog, but I fully believe that the heart is one of the most valuable battle grounds to our souls. Each and every day the heart is not only pumping blood to all of the major organs and extremities we have, but it also has an important role in the emotional and spiritual parts of our lives. We are affected by so much and the things that attack us are not just left in the brain, but also take home in the heart. In the world filled with evil, we find our hearts more hardened and calloused because we are tired of fighting the daily battles. So we become hardened in our hearts towards wanting to do or help anyone because we feel as though they are trying to pull a fast one on us. We are transforming from a heart of flesh to a heart of stone.
See you would think that the transformation would go the other way as we grow in our faith with Christ. But the reality is the older we become and the more "experienced" we are in the world, the more skeptical and hardened our hearts become in trying to really wanting to help others. As our hearts harden, our eyes stop looking for the opportunities to help others
and moves to a way that we can hide and not be taken advantage of daily. Our hopes and dreams of changing the world for the better are squelched because others continue to tell us that there is not way that we can make a difference in such a fallen world. We begin to believe the lies and our hearts stop beating with the same passion we had as a child. We begin to stop thinking that the world is our mission field because of the person that continues to tells us that we are not enough. Our hearts begin to slow down and our passion begins to turn to more internal than external thoughts.
Looking at our scripture today, we are able to see that God is stretching Ezekiel to see life through a different lens. God is preparing Ezekiel to see that God is preparing to reengage the world through the coming of the Christ, but the heart of the people must first change. All throughout the scriptures, God's people have ran this gambit of being blessed by God...turning apathetic and falling into sin... being enslaved because of their sin... then crying out to God to be freed... God frees them from their bondage and the cycle continues. See the people of God wanted a earthly king that would come and take over the world. They wanted to be the top of the food chain and God was trying to show them that the earthly kingdoms would all eventually fall. God was trying to show them that through their faith in Him, God would multiply their numbers and provide a NEW HEART, a NEW SPIRIT that would fill them and transform them. And that is exactly what God was able to do through Jesus. We just didn't understand the gift that God had given us when God became FLESH... when God transformed a world filled with stone with a world following God in flesh... Jesus.
Transformation is never easy. In fact it means that we have to be willing to return to that childlike faith and recognize that God has s bigger plan that involves US. We ahve to realize that we have to break through the scars that we have been given through so much heartache and give our hearts back to God in hopes of warding off any heart attacks that satan will continue to send our way. It is not going to be easy to regain the heart God intended for us to have. It means that we are going to have to pull up our sleeves and get a little dirty. It means that we have to be more hands on and that our hearts must be given the opportunity to love people again. Stop allowing our first thoughts to be about how are we going to be
wronged today and move more towards how can I help others experience God's grace again through Christ. Remember what it was like to love people for who they were and not for what they could offer us to get ahead. Stop thinking that the world is not going to get any better and realize that God has called us to step out and be a part of the solution. Yes our hearts need to be replanted and broken apart because of the deceit and fear we have "experienced" in this world. We need to find new ways to get back to the beginning and realize that Ezekiel was also speaking to us. We too have to walk away from this world that has beaten us down and return to a God that is ready to fill us with HIS spirit. It always comes back to the heart... and thank God we still have a chance to be reminded that we have one by simply feeling our chest or our pulse. God lives and breathes in each of us today. So take the time to renew your heart for the next steps that are to come.