Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
Ezekiel 11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the house of the Lord, which faces east. There, at the entrance of the gateway, were twenty-five men; among them I saw Jaazaniah son of Azzur, and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, officials of the people. He said to me, “Mortal, these are the men who devise iniquity and who give wicked counsel in this city; they say, ‘The time is not near to build houses; this city is the pot, and we are the meat.’ Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, O mortal.”
Then the spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and he said to me, “Say, Thus says the Lord: This is what you think, O house of Israel; I know the things that come into your mind. You have killed many in this city, and have filled its streets with the slain. Therefore thus says the Lord God: The slain whom you have placed within it are the meat, and this city is the pot; but you shall be taken out of it. You have feared the sword; and I will bring the sword upon you, says the Lord God. I will take you out of it and give you over to the hands of foreigners, and execute judgments upon you. You shall fall by the sword; I will judge you at the border of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord. This city shall not be your pot, and you shall not be the meat inside it; I will judge you at the border of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, whose statutes you have not followed, and whose ordinances you have not kept, but you have acted according to the ordinances of the nations that are around you.”
Now, while I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I fell down on my face, cried with a loud voice, and said, “Ah Lord God! will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?”
Then the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, your kinsfolk, your own kin, your fellow exiles, the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, “They have gone far from the Lord; to us this land is given for a possession.” Therefore say: Thus says the Lord God: Though I removed them far away among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a little while in the countries where they have gone. Therefore say: Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. When they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, so that they may follow my statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, says the Lord God.
Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. And the glory of the Lord ascended from the middle of the city, and stopped on the mountain east of the city. The spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision by the spirit of God into Chaldea, to the exiles. Then the vision that I had seen left me. And I told the exiles all the things that the Lord had shown me.
Ezekiel has a vision of the LORD’s judgment upon Israel’s leaders for conforming to the ways of the pagan nations around them. But, restoration is coming. God promises that the Israelites will return back from the scattered countries and Israel will be restored. God himself will change their hearts and put new spirits within them. Their hearts of stone will be transformed into hearts of flesh. The transformed hearts will follow the LORD’s decrees and keep His laws. “They shall be my people, and I will be their God (Ezekiel 11:20).”
Hard, stony hearts must be transformed by God before they can be used by God. Our hearts must be soft and pliable so that they can be worked by the Father’s hands. “O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8). Hearts of flesh are Godly instruments in the LORD’s hands.
What is my heart condition today? Is it a heart of stone – hard, cold, unchanging, unyielding? Or is it a heart of flesh – soft, pliable, warm, alive, malleable? Am I willing to let God transform me by turning my hard, stony heart into a heart of flesh?
LORD, my heart is yours. Refine me and transform me. I place my cold, stony heart into your hands. Mold me and shape me. Transform me into the Godly person you call me to be. Help me to turn from my sinful ways and yield to your ways.
Go with God!