Reflections — Ezekiel 36:26

This afternoon I attended the Crossroads Chorale’s home concert of their choir tour! They made beautiful music while worshipping our Great Creator through each unique and special song. One song in particular, sung by the men of Chorale, touched my heart: “My Savior, Lest Your Mercy Free” (text and music by Brian Dunbar).
Here’s the first stanza:
My Savior, lest Your mercy free
Be trampled under foot by me
Bring to my mind Your wounds, Your pain
Which heal my own, my heart of stone.
This reminded me of a verse in Ezekiel (chapter 36 verse 26, to be exact) where God tells His people, “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” This has been a continuous prayer of mine which just took on a deeper meaning over the last few days as I’ve read the book “Revolution of Character” by Dallas Willard. In his book, Willard discusses what the nature of the heart is. He states that the heart is the seat of volition and will (the power to select what we think about) in a human being, the dimension which organizes our life (when rightly, around God). The heart is the source of our self-determination.
Meditating on this verse, I came to realize what this might mean. When God says that He will “give you a tender, responsive heart,” He is saying that He will mold our will and volition to listen to Him and to resemble His own. When we allow Him, He will remove our sinful, fallen will which is often divided, contradictory, and destructive. He will then begin to reform our character to become more like Him. This process involves surrender to His will in thought and intention (decision), abandonment to His will in action (all circumstances), and contentment with His will. This will lead to our participation in accomplishing His will, which is the most fulfilling step! By doing this we can experience peace, joy, and love unlike any we have ever known previously.
Only God can begin this transformation in us. He is the Healer and Perfect Physician, capable of performing even the most complicated heart transplants in the most difficult human being, as long as they allow Him access. The final stanza sums this up beautifully:
My Savior, lest Your mercy free
Be trampled under foot by me
Take my heart, so vile, so poor
And mend it to resemble Yours
This is my fervent prayer tonight, LORD Jesus. ♥
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