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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Keep Me Open, Lord

“I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You’ll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!” (Ezekiel 36:26-28, MSG).

Have there been times in your life when you heart has suddenly “chilled” or grown “cold”? Perhaps you are aware of it or not. I'm aware when mine does. There is a sudden awareness that my openness to the Holy Spirit's guidance has diminished. Joy is fleeting. I feel like the wind has been knocked out of my spirit, and I'm standing on unsecured ground. My prayers feel like they have no power. Where there was once certainty and peace, I now have doubt and fear. I know that something is wrong spiritually within me. I must find it, and address it before my once God-willed heart becomes completely cold and self-willed.

Allowing what is wrong to be addressed means that I must surrender my will to His will. Often I will know exactly what needs to be addressed. Sometimes the Lord sends someone else to open my eyes. It may be a sin or a bad attitude. It may be something that God wishes to remove from my life or something He is trying to impart. Whatever it might be, He wants to change my heart, and put His thoughts about it into my heart and mind. If I do not want a coldness of heart to consume me and separate me from His presence, I must deal with whatever that problem is in my life. I must repent, seek His forgiveness, and willingly turn from it.

After Nathan came to David and revealed to him that it was his sin which separated him from God, David cried out for forgiveness. Then he asked for what he knew was so very needed. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalm 51:10-11). David wanted nothing to separate him from the Holy Spirit. He knew he needed a pure heart, and that he would need a steadfast spirit within himself to always remain open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. God gave David a new heart and put a renewed spirit within him. He can also remove my stony heart and your stony heart. He can remove unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, rage, anger, frustration, fear, and whatever separates us from God's presence.....if we will admit it, repent from it, and turn for it. 

A stony heart that is calloused and unable to be moved by the Holy Spirit, can be free in His peace and joy. If I live always with an open heart, He bestows His power where nothing which rises up to destroy, can destroy. He imparts the power to remain strong. Once opened my heart will never wish to return to that time of separation. It will rejoice in its freedom, and seek to remain open to His loving conviction for the rest of its life.

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