“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.” — Ezekiel 11:19
Life sure tries to beat us up. Would you agree?
Can you recall a time when you faced significant surgery as a result? Did a good doctor bring you great repair? Did you get a much-needed win?
God performs surgery too. His specialty is the heart, and He does it well. Today’s scripture makes this clear. These are His aims:
1. UNDIVIDED HEART GRANTING — God wants to eliminate our wayward, loose living. He wants our hearts no longer wandering from Him. And so He tightens things up between us and Him. (That’s where Jesus comes in.) A dual life robs us and kills Him. He wants us satisfied in Him alone. One is better than two.
2. NEW SPIRIT GIVING — All of us carry a spirit of rebellion inside us. It often gets us in trouble. God gives us a new, better one. His! His Spirit installed gets us running right.
3. STONE REMOVAL — When unconfessed sin and unrepentant living builds up in our lives, our hearts grow rock-hard, calloused, indifferent. That’s no way for a man to operate. God knows how to find stones and remove them. Let Him.
4. FLESH RESTORATION — Our hearts were designed to be soft and supple towards Him, not hard-hearted. God is committed to restore the heart-tenderness we need to live long and well. What a needed operation and fantastic restoration!
This Doctor sure has skills. May He operate well on us. May we let Him have our hearts.
Taking you to the operating table for a moment more, may I ask:
— Is your heart divided just now? If so, what or who is getting in the way? What surrender struggle might you be having?
— Have you asked the Lord lately to remove any stones, any unnecessary rough build-up in your life, your heart? What confession and repentance needs to go on?
— Is God’s Spirit infusing and filling you with freshness? Pause and ask Him for renewal and restoration. He’s great at operating in these moments.
O Lord, thank You for your amazing promise and commitment to care for my heart. Operate there. Bring Your terrific surgery. Get me healthy. Keep me healthy. I don’t want my heart divided from You, no stony indifference or rocky rebellion building up there. Replace stone with flesh. May my spirit rejoice in the newness Yours always brings, and may my heart be ever-tender toward You, just like Jesus.
— Coach Morris Michalski, Athletes in Action
If you would like to submit a reader devotional, please email all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.