“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
This was the great and glorious promise the Lord gave to Israel under the Old Covenant through the mouth of His prophet Ezekiel. God was going to restore His people, but in a new and refreshing way. He was going to place in them the drive and desire to listen, obey and serve the Lord by giving them a new undivided heart and a new revived spirit. Through this work of grace, God’s people would be eager to live for Him.
It takes a new heart and a new spirit to truly serve God. Through Christ, sinners become a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). By faith in Him, we can receive that new heart and new spirit which is not only means our merciful salvation, but means we have the high privilege of serving Him. We owe the Lord an undivided heart. Our salvation cost Him His own Beloved Son whose heart was not undivided in His sacrifice for you. Let us then take our new heart and new spirit and wholly and undividedly give them back to Him.
“The life of a Christian ought to be adorned with all virtues, that he may be inwardly what he outwardly appeareth unto men. And verily it should be yet better within than without, for God is a discerner of our heart, Whom we must reverence with all our hearts wheresoever we are, and walk pure in His presence as do the angels. We ought daily to renew our vows, and to kindle our hearts to zeal, as if each day were the first day of our conversion, and to say, “Help me, O God, in my good resolutions, and in Thy holy service, and grant that this day I may make a good beginning, for hitherto I have done nothing!””
~ Thomas a’ Kempis
“And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.” ~ Ezekiel 2:1
God’s call on Ezekiel’s life was for him to go up to Israel and speak only the words that God would give him. Ezekiel was God’s mouthpiece; sharing with the people only that which the Lord revealed to Ezekiel through His own Words. Ezekiel was a faithful minister and did as God said. When we share our faith, let us only share that which comes from God’s Word. Opinions and feelings may change, but the eternal truth of Scripture and the power of God’s Word never does. Therefore let us read, study and pray as God’s speaks to us, and we in turn, speak to others.
“He who walks with integrity walks securely…” ~ Proverbs 10:9
Scripture often uses the concept of walking as a metaphor for our life. Our “walk” with Christ is literally our “life” lived in Christ. And as our Proverbs states here, he who walks, that is lives their life, with integrity, walks securely. Why is this? It is because God would have His people live by His character, His integrity. We should walk as “living sacrifices, holy and blameless” (Rom. 12:1-2). And as our life conforms more to Christ, there is safety and security knowing you’re walking in the will of God.
“If each year should see one fault rooted out from us, we should go quickly on to perfection. But on the contrary, we often feel that we were better and holier in the beginning of our conversion than after many years of profession. Zeal and progress ought to increase day by day; yet now it seemeth a great thing if one is able to retain some portion of his first ardour. If we would put some slight stress on ourselves at the beginning, then afterwards we should be able to do all things with ease and joy.”
~ Thomas a’ Kempis
“If we look upon our progress in religion as a progress only in outward observances and forms, our devoutness will soon come to an end. But let us lay the axe to the very root of our life, that, being cleansed from [worldly] affections, we may possess our souls in peace.”
~ Thomas a’ Kempis
“What doth it profit thee to enter into deep discussion concerning the Holy Trinity, if thou lack humility, and be thus displeasing to the Trinity? For verily it is not deep words that make a man holy and upright; it is a good life which maketh a man dear to God. I had rather feel contrition than be skillful in the definition thereof. If thou knewest the whole Bible, and the sayings of all the philosophers, what should all this profit thee without the love and grace of God? Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, save to love God, and Him only to serve. That is the highest wisdom, to cast the world behind us, and to reach forward to the heavenly kingdom.”
~ Thomas a’ Kempis
– 1 Thessalonians 5:24
What will He do? He will sanctify us wholly. See the previous verse. He will carry on the work of purification till we are perfect in every part. He will preserve our “whole spirit, and soul, and body, blameless unto the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ.” He will not allow us to fall from grace, nor come under the dominion of sin. What great favors are these! Well may we adore the giver of such unspeakable gifts.
Who will do this? The LORD who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light, out of death in sin into eternal life in Christ Jesus. Only He can do this: such perfection and preservation can only come from the God of all grace.
Why will He do it? Because He is “faithful”–faithful to His own promise which is pledged to save the believer; faithful to His Son, whose reward it is that His people shall he presented to Him faultless, faithful to the work which He has commenced in us by our effectual calling. It is not their own faithfulness but the LORD’s own faithfulness on which the saints rely.
~ Charles Spurgeon, Faith’s Checkbook
“Our daily life in the world is the test of our communication with God in prayer… Life is a whole. The hour of prayer is only a small part of daily life… The effective prayer of faith comes from a life given up to the will and the love of God. My prayer is answered by God, not as a result of what I try to be when praying, but because of what I am when I’m not praying.”
– Andrew Murray (1828-1917)