We see the Spirit of God introduced on the first pages of the Biblical narrative representing the creative power of God as his Spirit hovers over the chaotic waters and brings order to chaos (Gen 1). Throughout the Old Testament we also see the God of Israel tell of a time when his people would have their hearts of stone (hardened, immovable, resistant) removed and replaced with a heart of flesh (malleable, soft, supple), as he puts his own Spirit in his people.
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. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. - Eze 36:26-27
The Spirit of God, the same Spirit present in the creation of the universe that brought order to chaos, is the same promised Spirit that God says will one day be given to his people. That day is now. Now under the new covenant of Christ, the Spirit of God is still bringing order to chaos as he leads and guides us and helps us to overcome our flesh. This process of course is not without conflict (Gal 5:17), but God has indeed given us a heart of flesh and removed our heart of stone. He is shaping our lives as we walk with him and surrender our lives and hearts to him. We must remain malleable and supple as we walk with God's Spirit, paying attention to how he may be trying to bring order to the chaos.
God, through his promised Spirit, moves us to follow and obey him, but not against our will. We must submit and surrender to the Spirit's movement, otherwise we can harden ourselves and take up that immovable heart of stone again and again (Heb 3:13; 1 Tim 4:2). We do this, we surrender to the Spirit, but choosing to obey when the Spirit brings things to our attention. This can happen as we hear and read the word of God, as we talk with people, the small and quiet places that allow us to hear from God and his direction for us. The Spirit can move us in many different ways, but are we willing to be moved?
"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. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.." - Eze 36:26-27
Lord, thank you for giving me a new heart. Thank you for giving me your Spirit who leads me to follow you.
Where do you see your "heart of stone" tend to rage against the heart of flesh that God has given you through his Spirit? What can you do to act upon the heart of flesh, and not the heart of stone in that area?
Do you believe that God has given you a new heart? Why or why not?