“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” (Ezekiel 36:26, The Message). “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, The Message).
For us as believers to have unity of heart, (Ezekiel 11:19) where no stoniness and hardness of heart keeps out His spirit, I must first, as an individual believer, (Ezekiel 36:26) have a new heart and a new spirit that receives life from Him. For the church to experience “an undivided heart”, I, as an individual believer and part of the church body, must experience a heart change that radically alters my life. This heart change is what I must bring to the body of Christ.
This first verse in Ezekiel speaks of this heart change that takes place within each one of us. The Holy Spirit does everything within His power to soften my heart. Through circumstances or relationships, He continually places me in a position where I either allow Him to move in my life or I turn away from His will. He desires to change my cold, unfeeling heart and give me one that beats with His love. If I will give Him the freedom to change me, the attitude of my heart will no longer be cold and withdrawn. Instead of being uncaring over the pain of others, my heart shall break for their suffering. My heart shall experience the divided state of their heart that they may not even know exists. My heart will understand with the flesh of the pain of my Savior. He will place His Spirit within me, and I will be consumed by His love. I shall have a heart that feels with the pain that He bore for me–yet loves with the hope of Resurrection promise.
When each of us allow Him to give us a new heart, and to put His spirit within us, we alone not only benefit from the change. The body of Christ will come to also have that new spirit within its own heart (Ezekiel 11:19). The church shall be set free to move into His presence as never before. It will be free of a stony heart that has judged and divided the body. Now it shall receive His life, because it has been freed from the tyranny of a stony heart. Our heart, where once it was hard and cold, shall worship Him with every breath of our life. And His Spirit will flow and bring a wholeness and unity of purpose that will usher in a newness of spirit never before experienced. We shall be totally set free to worship Him in Spirit and Truth. Our lives will forever be changed by His love.