Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Heart Transplant

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,” says the Lord GOD, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations. Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord GOD, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!”

‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt. The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it.” (Ezekiel 26:22-36, NKJV)

* * * * * * * *
It occurs to me that when I focus on myself and my own plans (or more accurately schemes), I harden my heart of stone and end up breaking God’s heart. Yet if I will lay aside my desires and truly seek God, He has promised to perform a heart transplant and give me a heart fashioned after His. I take this to mean not only will I desire what He desires, but I will put myself in the position of making my heart “breakable” as well.

And here’s the rub … I really don’t like my heart being in a breakable state. You see, my baseline self is pretty angry. And I’m especially angry when the way I envision things doesn’t pan out or somebody else won’t follow my lead when clearly it is the best option out there (or not). I struggle with a perfectionist nature and find myself leaning on my own strength and intellect to make things happen. In other words, I like my “unbreakable” stone heart.
But God doesn’t like it. In fact, when I act out of a stone heart, I tend to grieve His heart and break it. Somewhere in my mind I know what He wants is complete surrender and I know I’ve been happier the times I’ve done that. Yes, that ends up making my “God heart” vulnerable, but if I am to reflect His image to a lost and dying world, wouldn’t it be better if my heart were breakable, especially if it breaks over the things that grieve God?

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that once you commit to Christ, He transforms you and you are completely and permanently adopted. But this world is still severely tainted with sin and we are subject to that environment continually. Our mandate is to pitch our hearts toward God continually and put away (Paul says “mortify” or kill) the sin that would try to enslave us.

As His part, God has promised a heart transplant for us. He will remove our stone heart and give us one like His own. Our new heart will beat for Him and our relationship will move toward restoration. God will have perfection once again because that is who He is and what He does. He will live in our new hearts and cause us to walk with Him and for Him once again. On that day when He calls my name for the final time, He will shatter this stone heart once and for all. At that point, my new heart won’t even be breakable anymore, because God’s heart and mine will be joined for all eternity.
So as I continue to walk on this Crooked Path, I can rest assured that God is more than willing to do my heart transplant and move me toward perfection. It will happen on His terms, but He will see it done. And there is a complete restoration in store for me ahead. I really can stop trying to do it myself because His way is much better. It’s even worth that temporarily breakable heart instead of my cold stone one.
* * * * * * * *
  1. So, what is your heart made of … stone or flesh? If it is made of stone, are you ready for your transplant?
  2. Are you in tune with your “stone heart” choices grieving God and breaking His heart? Do you have a tendency to try and run things your own way?
  3. Have you given up your own version of perfection for God’s process that leads to true perfection? Are you longing for the day when He will shatter your stone heart once and for all?

NKJV - Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment