And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. - Ezekiel 36:26
It's easy to get stuck!
Words like, mundane, rote, and monotonous carry an experience and reality all too familiar for the vast majority of us. Like a car whose tires continue to spin without traction, we step on the accelerator and go nowhere fast. Or we finally get moving only to return to the same places, doing the some things as we've done before. Addiction, lazy, selfish.
No forward movement.
And here we sit at the beginning a new year, most of us with a new resolve and a new goals to get us moving, yet the stat I heard the other day said that less than 8% of the population find themselves satisfied in their New Year resolutions as the year progresses. So a lot of people don't see the point in even trying. New year; Same results. Cynicism creeps in deeper.
This is essentially where Israel finds herself in the writings of the prophet Ezekiel. Discouraged, and weary, they know the promises that have been passed down through the generations. They know the truth, yet their hope is waining that their restoration is possible. This is what makes the promise of a new heart so beautiful, it was based on God's faithfulness, not their worthiness. It is the work of the faithful Father to prepare them and qualify them for newness. This is exactly what exile had done in their hearts. The faithful work of God exposes idolatry and unveils more clearly his covenant promises with his beloved people. Regardless of their current situation and momentary circumstance, God promises to move in and begin a work from the inside out.
The promise was a new heart, with new desires, to receive new blessings.
"I will remove your idolatrous, inflexible, cold heart of stone, and give you a new tender, receptive, and spiritual heart of flesh."
A new disposition.
A new posture.
Partakers of a divine promise and divine nature in order to be a blessing to the world. To show the world who their God is and how their God loves.
So in all of our circumstances and in all of our situations, in all of the tragedy and all the victory, God is working out His purposes perfectly and through His Spirit renewing hearts and minds for His glory.
This is the promise of the gospel.