May 10, 2004

Heart Transplant
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in 
you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and 
give you a heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26).

Last week we looked at our need for spiritual heart 
surgery . The Bible calls this "circumcision of the 
heart." The natural state of our hearts requires the 
cutting away of the hardness that prevents us from 
being all that God intends us to be.

Once we allow God to cut away at our hearts, we will 
likely discover that our hearts are in a far more 
desperate state than we thought.

When we refer to the heart in this way, we do not mean 
our physical hearts, of course. When the Bible speaks 
of the heart it is referring to the core of our beings 
or the centre of our personalities. The heart is the 
place of desire; it is where our true values dwell. It 
is the heart that drives us, consciously and 
unconsciously.

When we get in touch with our hearts, we may be 
shocked to find out what is really there. Many people 
think they know their own hearts, but the prophet 
Jeremiah said that it can't be done:

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond 
cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9).

It is through the pressures of life that we begin to 
see what our hearts are really like. We shouldn't 
think that difficult circumstances are to blame for 
our inability to cope with life. Hardships, tragedies, 
disappointments, and so on cut away at our hearts' 
protective covers and reveal how truly weak and sinful 
we are.

It is at this point that we might realize that we need 
much more than just heart surgery. We may need a 
completely new heart.

The people of the ancient world had no idea that 
physical heart transplants would ever exist. But in 
our day we have a wonderful illustration of this 
spiritual need. To think that many people are alive 
today because their failing hearts were replaced! To 
receive a physical heart transplant, you need to give 
up on your original heart. You need to accept that to 
keep the one you were born with will only lead to your 
death. The same is true spiritually. The condition of 
our hearts are such that they will lead us to death. 
If and only if we allow God to replace our original 
hearts with a new one of his making can we truly live.

The good news is that God is willing to do that for 
us. That's why he has been cutting away at your heart 
in these days. He is not trying to destroy you; he is 
showing you your real need.

It's time for a heart transplant.