I read a Scripture this morning that has captured my attention today. My thoughts have so woven until they then brought me back to the sermon I heard on Sunday morning. One line from that sermon came flooding back & tied right into the verse that I read this morning. Let me try to assemble some order to my thoughts & share them…..
This is the verse that I read this morning…..
“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.” (Ezekiel 36:26).
The heart is a very important part of our being. Think about it. We use expressions like:
- “That person has a good heart.”
- “Follow your heart.”
- “My heart is yours.”
- “He’s a man after my own heart.”
- “That comes from the bottom of my heart.”
- “My heart was in my mouth.”
- “He has a heart of gold.”
- “I had my heart set on that.”
- “She is young at heart.”
- “Eat to your heart’s content.”
- “My heart sank at the news.”
But in Scripture, reference to our heart means the home of our emotions, our will, our intellect. Everything we do, say, think, feel, how we interact with others, our relationships – are all determined by the condition of our heart. And here in this verse, God is telling us something that is critical to our relationship with Him.
He is going to take that heart of stone & replace it with a heart of flesh. That heart of stone is cold, unfeeling, unable to relate well to others. Why? Because each & every time we were hurt or wounded in our lives, we responded in such a way that we could have put up a defense or a wall. The more we are wounded, the thicker those walls.
This is where the one line from Sunday’s sermon comes in. The line was…
“Walls in the Old Testament (meaning around the cities) were a means of protection.”
Very true. Those walls were absolutely needed. I think this is where the enemy deceives us into thinking that putting up a wall around our hearts is wise. He lies to us & tells us that by keeping that wall in place around our heart, we will keep ourselves from further wounding. Nothing further from the truth. All we will do in maintaining those walls around our hearts is to further isolate ourselves & grow colder & harder.
God wants to replace our hearts of stone & give us hearts of flesh. Hearts that are soft, compassionate, & feeling. Hearts that are capable of loving God & others.
Today I realized this: if I am believing that I must maintain & rely on my own means of defense, then I am actually rejecting God’s truth of being my source of protection in my present situation. I must rely on Him & Him alone.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16).
I like the way the Amplified expands this verse:
“And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us.”
As I begin to understand that He alone is my protection & my defense, I come to rely on Him to keep my heart soft & pliable. It is then that the dreams He has for my life become realized & attained in my life. If I put up walls & defend myself, I also become hardened to the dreams & passions He has given me & will fail to achieve His best for my life.
Dreams & passions are dependent on the condition of my heart. And the condition of my heart is determined by my response to the One that holds my heart in His hands.
Amazing to me how God will take a sermon & a verse & cause the two to collide in the middle of the week to continue to speak to my heart. I am excited to hear the rest of the series, “Dream On” over the next 2 weeks.