“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.” This is the promise God gave to Israel way back in the time of Ezekiel and was fulfilled at Pentecost as recorded in the second chapter of Acts. This is an awesome promise and it is worth looking at a little closer.
Keeping a long list of laws in order to please God was never his intention. I believe God gave Israel a list of laws in the hopes that they would see how far from him they were and would cry out to him for help. The problem was Israel (we) was so hardheaded and stiff necked they didn’t get it. Jesus himself said these people come near me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. All along God wanted a relationship with us, his creation, made in his image.
It seems as if it takes trial after trial and struggle after struggle to wear us down. Once we are sufficiently broken He can come to us with the offer of a new way. This is where the new heart and spirit come in. God all along knew we couldn’t keep his laws, but we didn’t. We at first are so proud and sure of ourselves. I mean how full of yourself do you have to be to think you can please a perfect and Holy God in your own ability?
According to God’s promise he will give us a new heart and spirit and will cause us to walk in his statutes, and keep his judgments. What! are you kidding me? He is going to obey his own laws through us. Do you mean all my struggling and striving to keep God’s laws and trying to please him isn’t necessary?
It is true Jesus Christ did in fact pay the price to make that new heart and spirit available to us. It wasn’t free, it cost God everything he had. He gave his only begotten Son to die that we might live. In doing this he opened the way for us to receive the new heart and spirit. As the old Hymn says “Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain he washed it white as snow.”
I can say that he did in fact give me a new heart and mind. The result is that we love what he loves and hate what he hates. I know this is what has happened in my life. Since coming to know Jesus Christ I can drink all I want to, I just don’t want to. I can chase all the women I want to, I just don’t want to. I can fight all I want to, I just don’t want to. So you see God can change your want to’s. In fact that is the only way you will ever be pleasing to God. In the flesh (our own ability) we cannot please God. Thanks be unto God he has given us a new heart and spirit.
Written by Louie