And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.
We need this today.
The church; the bride of Christ is in confusion in the Western world. Some who call themselves Christians condone actions which our Lord expressly condemned. Some are like the church at Ephesus that Jesus wrote to and are doing good works, but have lost our first love. Some are like Laodicea and are neither passionate about Christ nor blasé, but some middling bit of nonsense that is utterly objectionable. We need one heart: God’s.
It seems that no two churches are marching to the same cadence or moving in the same direction. One church is passionate about one thing and another is passionate about another. While some of these are merely variations in being passionate about those who do not have Christ in their lives and, like us, desperately need Him, there are other differences that are like chasms. While the Holy Spirit and those moved and guided by Him are compared to the wind — no one knows where it came from and no one knows where it is going (no offense to meteorologists, but they cannot tell me the exact spot where a given wind was born) — winds move in the same general direction. I grew up in a place that got winds every year and we knew generally which way the winds would blow. We did not know when the winds would arrive or how intense they would be — sometimes very intense — but we had a general idea of which direction they would blow. So, too, should those moved by the Holy Spirit be somewhat predictable and somewhat unpredictable. The world should be able to give a general direction of which way we will go based on God’s Word. Other than that, there should be much room for speculation.
While these verses are an apt description of the process of salvation — God takes away my sinful heart and gives me a new one that is in tune with His own and fills me with His Spirit (new spirit) so that I am able to obey Him — it is also, I feel, a call for me to pray for my fellow believers. We are not all of one heart here in the West. We are not all guided by the same spirit. We are a chaotic mass instead of a disciplined, orderly unit. And this simply should not be. Rather than a license to go off on lengthy internet tirades about how far the church has fallen or how confused we have become or anything else, I see these verses and hear these words as a call to pray for my brethren. We need one heart and we need a new spirit that is in lockstep with the Holy Spirit. Then we will be His people and He our God. Then the world will see the difference that God makes.
Father God, begin with me. Give me a heart that beats in time with Your own; that aches for the things Yours aches for; that breaks for the things that break Yours; that burns with Your passion. Fill me anew with Your Holy Spirit that I may not only see the way and know it, but walk in it. Please.