Read Ezekiel 11
Focus on verse 19-20
I have don’t believe I have ever met a person who has had a heart transplant that I am aware of, but I have met plenty of people who apparently need one, if not on a physical level – on a spiritual one.
It is a wonderful and amazing advance in the science of medicine that makes this incredible procedure possible. It is a procedure that has been performed by surgeons for quite a number of years already. While it still has some serious risks, it gives hope to people who prior to the miracle of heart transplants had little to no chance of survival.
In today’s reading Ezekiel proclaims a few words of hope amidst all the judgment of gloom and doom. He describes how God will in time bring the remnant of people who have been scattered to the nations back to Israel, where He will essentially give them a spiritual heart transplant. He says:
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 that they may walk in my statues and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people and I will be their God. (v. 19-20)
There is a sense by which we all need a spiritual heart transplant in order for our relationship with God to be restored. There are many people in the world whose physical heart is healthy, but spiritually, they have a heart of stone. To have a spiritual heart of stone is to be spiritually dead! A spiritually dead person has no concept of what it means to know God personally. Interestingly, this is something only the spirit of God can change, though it requires the cooperation of the person as well. The Spirit of God is always working on softening the hearts of people who have become hard toward Him. His desire is that we respond to His advances and His rebukes so that He can empower us to walk in accordance with His will. Without His empowering it is impossible to please Him. Entering into a new relationship with God always begins with God performing spiritual surgery on our hearts.