Yesterday I met with the Girlfriends of Mountain Lake and continued a teaching series based on some of the lessons God has taught me….times God has spoken to me….ways He’s transformed my heart. This month I share a lesson I learned years ago about God’s abilities….about things only God can do.
Have you ever dealt with someone whose heart was so hard towards God that you felt they were a hopeless case? Maybe it was a family member, your spouse, or a dear friend. Or, maybe someone a bit more distant, like an acquaintance or colleague. I have certainly crossed paths with people like that. The closer I am to them, the more my heart breaks for their lack of belief in the One True Hope.
When I read the following verse, I grabbed my highlighter and went to town making note of it. Here it is:
Ezekiel 36:26 “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.”
When I read Ezekiel 36, I clung to the hope of what my God could do. He could change hearts! Even the hardest ones. God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel and clearly defined His role: He, and He alone, would draw people unto Himself. He, and He alone, would change hearts and minds.
Reading that passage of Scripture changed me. No longer did I feel the burden of debating every wrong theological thought. No longer did I feel the need to convince people of their need for God. That’s God’s job. Yet, I still have a job of my own:
2 Corinthians 5:18a-20 “And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
What’s my job? To reconcile people to God. To bring people to Him. That’s all. He does the rest. He convicts. He convinces. He turns a heart of stone into a heart of flesh. He produces a new spirit. My task is simply to live out my faith (focusing much more on my behavior and character than on that of others) and love people well.
Maybe you are broken-hearted over someone’s hard heart and their lack of belief. Know this: Our God is in the heart-changing business! Nothing is too difficult for Him. No heart is beyond His reach. Keep praying. Keep loving.
And, keep believing.