I wasn’t doing anything important. I was going about my business the other day and out of nowhere, I thought of two scriptures in the same instant. I knew I needed to pay attention because there are moments that are unmistakably from Him. The verses played on a continual loop in my mind. “Okay, God I’m listening,” I whispered. But why those? “Heart, stone, flesh. Feet, enable, heights.” Got it. Okay! Sounds good!
So, I looked up the scriptures and read them several times and in different translations. This was the first verse God brought to my mind:
“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.”
This is the Message version of the same verse:
“I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands.” Ezekiel 36:26
But, I don’t have a heart of stone! Do I? Maybe I do…a partially fossilized heart. There are things in my life that I haven’t been willing to give to Him and that can turn pieces of my heart dark and hardened to His ways, His will and His voice. I am so often self-willed, not God-willed. Do I care? Do I seek Him with my whole heart regardless of what the world tells me to do? Do I want a real, beating, open and vulnerable heart…a heart like His? I do. Yes! I want that.
Every time I sing the words to the song, Hosanna by Brooke Fraser, I fall apart a little. It is such a God-breathed song. As I sang the bridge this weekend at church, my heart almost leapt out of my chest. “Heal my heart and make it clean. Open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love like you have loved me. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Everything I am for you Kingdom’s cause…” I want a healthy heart. I want a heart that truly breaks the way God’s does when there is sin and injustice. I want to be in step with Him as closely as I can and have a spirit that is receptive to every nudge and whisper. I want to be heart of His heart. And yet…I fall so short of that. I am a daughter of Eve. I am a reckless rebel, a doubting Thomas, a betraying Judas. But I am also His daughter. I am His lamb covered up with so much grace. He views me through the lens of Jesus’ blood and sees me spotless. And that’s why He woos me with His Word and plants scripture in my mind…He wants me to see what I am unable to see with my blinded eyes and feel what I can’t feel because of my hardened heart.
The second scripture that I couldn’t get out of my head that morning is found in several different places in the Bible.
“He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.”
Psalm 18:33, 2 Samuel 22:34, Habakkuk 3:19
As I read this verse, I noticed that both scriptures were about things God wants to do in me and for me. It was as if the Lord was saying, “If you give me that…if you hand over your empty heart, I will replace it with one that is full and complete. Stop trying to fill it with things that won’t last. Obey me and I will help you. I will show you where to go and I will set you on the high places.” My Father convicted me but not with a voice of condemnation and judgement. He wasn’t guilt-tripping me. He was reminding me that He is worth the spiritual growing pains. It is worth swapping my heart for an upgrade…one that is more like His own heart.
It’s an unbeatable offer…a promise from my Redeemer.