“And I will give them on heart, 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 statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord God.” -Ezekiel 11:19-21
My son looked at me, knowing his choices had left him face to face with me rather than enjoying his play time. I reminded him that the action of his heart matters just as much as the actions of his hands. I was instantly reminded of myself, I can do so many things but if the activity of my heart doesn’t match then what I do has no purpose or value.
It is a sickness we have when we get trapped in believing the list is all we need, when in fact we need our hearts to drive us first. But, what or who is moving your heart? Is that possibility of achieving more, or checking off every item that needs to be done? Or is God driving your heart?
Over the last forty-five days, we have been studying the book of Ezekiel. We have traveled with visions and destruction. We have been overtaken with prophecy and hope for a future that is yet to be seen. This book filled with its strong wording and prophetic visions at times has left our minds spinning, but I believe it ultimately leaves us with one question. Who is driving your heart?
We can choose to be run by idols, or we can allow God to control. We see from the Israelites what happens when we let something else have its way. There is no victory in idol worship, there is no joy in placing our jobs on the altar, no hope in putting our families at the center of God’s temple. There is no peace to be found when our phones become all-consuming parts of our bodies.
The Israelites may have built statues to their idols but we often hold ours in our hands, or they sit in our homes. Ours may look different, but we will still give them the same glory and power as Israel did.
There is nothing that can replace God. We attempt and wrestle with things we think will fill up and make us whole but the truth is there is nothing that can bring us joy and perfect peace apart from Christ alone.
The Israelites in Ezekiel illustrate this truth. It whispers a warning to us. They chose idols over God for so long, but yet, in the end, we see they are utterly hopeless apart from God. We know that they can’t have peace or hope without the deliverance of God. They need Him, just as we do. We need a relationship with Christ, in fact, we require it, we are made for it. God desires to take our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh.