Can you think of a time when you knew what to do, but you didn’t want to do it?
This content is from OPEN, a new online resource that serves as a guided journey through the Bible.
The Promise of a New Heart
John’s credit card debt had spiraled out of control. His wife had insisted on him seeing a counselor, and so, reluctantly, he agreed to go. The counselor calculated his income and his expenses, and came up with a plan.
It would involve a radical change in John’s lifestyle, and it would take ten years to fix. John winced as he looked at the numbers. “I know what I need to do,” he said. “The problem is… I don’t want to do it.” This shows us why change is so difficult. Knowing what to do is easy; finding the heart to do it is hard. God has given us His commandments, showing us how we are to live.
The commands are not difficult to understand. The problem is finding the heart to obey them. But God has given us a promise that makes real, deep, lasting change possible. And that promise is a new heart.
Change My Heart
When King David repented of his sin of adultery, he asked God for two things. First, he said, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7).
David knew that he needed to be forgiven, washed, and cleansed. And then David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (51:10).
He knew that unless his heart was changed, it would lead him down the same sinful path again. So he prayed, “Lord, deal with the heart that led me to do this!”
If you are going to live the kind of life God calls you to lead, His law will need to be worked into your heart so that external rules become inward desires.
On one occasion, a highly respected man called Nicodemus came to talk with Jesus. “You must be born again,” Jesus said (John 3:7). The fundamental problem for this moral and religious man was that he needed a new heart.
Nicodemus was confused. How could a middle-aged man return to his mother’s womb and be born again?
Jesus explained that He was not talking about a physical birth but a spiritual one.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (3:6).
Nicodemus needed a work of the Holy Spirit within him that would give him a new heart. When you are in heaven, what is at the heart of you will become the whole of you. If God has implanted new life in your heart, your deepest desire will be satisfied.
In God’s presence, you will become the person you long to be.
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