May 10, 2004
"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
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
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.