“ I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”
Ezekiel 36:26 NLT
Every human born has been born with a heart problem. The symptoms begin as a very young child and gradually get worse with age and experience. The symptoms include, narcissism, unbroken ego, stubbornness and little remorse for wrong-doing.
In Bible terms, we are all recipients of potential ‘stony hearts.’
Jeremiah the Old Testament prophet said that the human heart “is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick.” Jeremiah 17:9 ESV Solomon came to know personally the results of this challenge he made in Proverbs 16:5 ESV “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”
God is not pleased with a stony heart, but instead looks for “… a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart.” Psalm 51:17 ESV And according to the verse at the beginning of this devotional, He is more than ready to perform this ‘heart transplant’ on anyone willing to allow him access to our hearts.
In a day when we easily put ourselves before others … when we tend to bend rules so they favor our advance through life … when doing the wrong thing is cheered by so many around us that we assume it must be all right, moving into ‘stony heart’ territory gets easier and easier. Even when unintended.
Even if we don’t sing the words to “I Did It My Way” but simply hum the melody, we allow the spirit of this day to begin hardening our hearts and clogging our spiritual arteries. Pride builds and at first we feel it celebrating our independence and ability to take charge of life, but soon that self-reliance turns into pride and God is stuck with a ‘hard-hearted’ saint.
Let’s make it a point to resist an arrogant, stubborn and wayward heart. Choose rather to please the Father and put down selfish preoccupation with yourself, regardless of how far it’s taken you.
Choosing the warmth of God’s favor beats forever the chill of living only for yourself!
“I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word.”
Isaiah 66:2 NLT