Ezekiel 11:19-20 NIV
And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
Stuck. Wheels in deep mud and raining all around. No forward movement, no easy way out.
That scene driving your car might also describe your emotional or personal state. You find yourself in a place you don’t want to be, with little prospect of things changing.
The people of Israel were stuck in a foreign country, little freedom to do what they wanted, no hope of any change any time soon. It was called “exile”.
To those in exile, the prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah spoke of God bringing them back home. God also spoke about a new thing He would do in them – more than the external change of place or situation.
He wanted to bring about a “heart change” in his people – a new heart, one heart with God, not a stony heart, but a heart of flesh. “Heart” speaks of the center of our person – where we think, desire, choose, as well as feel. We could say that the heart is the real you, or the real me.
The people needed more than a release from the exile of captivity in a foreign land. They needed a heart that was released to be responsive to His Word and His Voice.
God was prepared to give His People, Israel, a new start. Yes, he would bring them out of Babylon. More, he would give them a new heart, one open to His leading, His Word, His Voice. God will write his word “on our hearts” as we come to Him and read His Word. God will give us His Spirit to “cause you to walk in my statutes…” God’s heart work in us will be for your own good, and the good of your children after you. And there is a promise: “And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” What a hope – a new heart, a new source, a new teacher, a new relationship with God!
Perhaps you feel like you are stuck…or that you cannot make forward progress…or that there is no hope – like you are in “exile.” God wants to change your life, beginning with a change of heart. Turn to Him and ask Him to give you a heart that will respond to His Voice speaking to you. Take this step! Then, with your responsive heart listen to His Word, for His Voice – and respond in following Him. He wants to help you get un-stuck, with a new heart, to follow Him.
Prayer: Lord, I bring you my hardened heart and ask you to exchange it for a softened heart – one that will hear your Word, your Voice, and respond by following You. Your new beginning in me can begin today, with my heart. Thank you, Jesus, for un-sticking me, for giving me hope, for helping me step out in a new direction. Amen.