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. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ezekiel 36:24–38 (NIV)
A painful broken engagement in my mid-twenties was the catalyst to a long journey of figuring out who I was before God. Realizing that I had nearly joined myself to a man who was completely a wrong fit drove me to delve prayerfully into the deeper issues lurking in my soul. In doing so I came back to God’s foundational truths about how he created us, loves us, and redeems us through the death of his son on the cross.
Each morning I woke up early and pored over the Scriptures; the words came alive and I heard God speaking his love and affirmation to me. They felt like food for my soul, and the early mornings didn’t trouble me.
God was giving me a new heart and a new spirit, even as he promised the Israelites through the prophet Ezekiel. He sprinkled them with water to make them clean on the outside, and then effected an internal transformation by giving them a heart of flesh and putting his Spirit in them. This was all for his glory; their opponents would see them changed, made new and restored to their land. And with his Spirit in them, they would be able to follow his rules for abundant living.
God has created us as his own. He wants to transform us, cleansing us from our anger, hurt, or bitterness, and healing our feelings of being unloved. As new creatures we too can know abundant life through his living water that he pours within, restoring and renewing us.
For prayer and reflection: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:13–14).