A Heart Of Flesh

I’ve talked with so many folks that have prayers that seem to reoccur over and over in their life. You might call them life prayers. Prayers that seem to define our relationship with the Lord.

One of the ongoing prayers that I’ve prayed is for God to fulfill Ezekiel 36:26 in my life. The Lord speaks and says…

I will also give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

My honest desire is to have a heart that is soft, tender, sensitized to God and His ways. However, I can look at so many instances where I am stone cold to His will…. His ways in my life. Where His favors appears to have lifted, but I haven’t a clue as to when, where or how it happened. In most cases, I’m sorry to say, I carry on the life course I’m on until I get so far away from Him that it takes some crisis to get my attention. Have you experienced that in your own life?

I wish I could report to you that I’m the first one to quickly run back to the Lord when crisis does come, but I can’t. Like all of us, I’ve also learned to survive. I’ve learned to tough it out through crisis and so I can go along time in my self protection mode… keeping my head down… moving forward… emotions turned off… not hearing God’s voice.

That’s why this promise is so precious to me. Because I know that God’s desire is not for me to live a hard life of emotionless, cold, lifeless existence. God’s desire is for me to be fully alive in Him… to be conformed into His likeness… for His reflection to be seen in me.

That’s where the exchange comes in. The exchange where He replaces my stony heart with a heart of flesh. Sounds romantic… doesn’t it? Sounds so freeing… doesn’t it? Sounds so good… doesn’t it? Until He starts to work.

Until you’ve experienced it… you don’t know what it feels like to have a heart of stone ripped out of your chest. The things that you cherished… the things that you held on to… the things that held on to you all come out of the darkness and into conversation with God. And when He speaks it is like thunder over the deep wells of your heart. He calls into accountability the broken dreams, unmet expectations, selfish ambitions, twisted thought patterns and manipulative mannerisms… and it hurts to the very core of your being.

But here is the hope. He is the author and the finisher. That means that He is jealous to see His work accomplished in our lives. He is fully invested to see His plans unfold before our eyes. He will stay on task until He can look at us and say… it is finished. Strangely familiar words aren’t they? The same words Jesus uttered on the cross. The words that accompany death.

So many of us cry out for a resurrection. We want resurrection power in our lives. But, before there can be a resurrection there must be a death. Before God can give us a new heart, He has to take away the stony heart.

“and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.”

A heart of flesh… that’s what I want. The question for you and I is simple… are we willing to give God the permission to take out our stony heart and give us what we really want? A heart for Him?

Today as you spend time with the Lord, I would encourage you to write God a letter giving Him permission to take away the stony heart out of your flesh and to give you a heart of flesh. Write down areas of your life where you would like Him to begin working. Then, store it away in a place that is nearby. You will need to refer back to it over and over again as a reminder of the agreement you made with God – giving Him permission to work. You see, He loves to answer this prayer and He will take you at your word.

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