“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 11:19-20 NIV)
Ezekiel’s prophecy, the word given to him by the Lord, was far-reaching and undoubtedly quite unpopular. This “son of man” (Ezekiel) prophesied against wicked counselors, false prophets, idolatrous elders, the house of Israel and Judah. Almost everyone.
In the middle of His judgment on the nation, God delivers a glimmer of hope – one day, everything will change!
This is where tension exists, in the “already, but not yet” nature of scripture. Israel does eventually return to the promised land. As a nation her heart turns back to God. Unfortunately, that loving relationship between God and His chosen people doesn’t last. The cycle of turning away, punishment, repentance and restoration goes on. So it is with us.
I have been given an undivided heart – that is prone to wander. I have a new Spirit in me – that I often grieve. My heart of stone has been replaced with a heart of flesh – and still I succeed in hardening my heart towards others in self-righteous indignation. My desire is to follow His decrees, to carefully keep His laws – yet I find myself sometimes straining gnats and swallowing camels like an unrighteous guide.
I am His son, He is my God. I am an imperfect child who is perfectly loved. There will come a day when this prophecy will be fulfilled and consummated in me. One day I will be all He created me to be, and until then all I can do is recognize my shortcomings, press forward in faith, and trust Him with the final outcome. The tension will end – one day, everything will change.
Lord, thank you for your Word, and Your promise of a future and a hope. Thank you for calling me and adopting me as Your son. Thank You for the heart surgery You continue to work in me – I can’t wait till it’s over! I need Your grace and mercy as I continue to live in the “already, but not yet.” Amen.