“They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 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. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.” Ezekiel 11:18-21
The Israelites were taken captives when they were defeated by Babylonians. This was part of God’s judgment for they were turning away from Him and replaced their allegiance. Prophet Ezekiel was sent to these people to tell them that God was with them even in their exile. He also told them that they will return to Israel but there has to be change in their hearts. They will “remove all its vile images and detestable idols.” Several times, Ezekiel reminded them of what God wanted them to do. “Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel?” (Ezekiel 18:31). The heart was the center of human reason and decision. It is where our response to God comes from. Without God changing it through the cleansing work of His Spirit, it will be extremely deceitful. Without God changing our hearts, it will always be prone to wander. When His Spirit is in us, He will be the one to help us follow His will for our lives. “And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:27). It is the Spirit of God that knows the mind of God. “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you” (John 14:26). God wants from us to have an undivided loyalty. His greatest desire is that we will love Him with all our hearts. “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). If you claim that you have the life of Christ within you, then do not ignore the prodding of His Spirit. It is His Spirit who will remind you how detestable and loathsome are your sinful practices (Ezekiel 36:31). If sin will continue to prevail in our hearts all the more we become resistant to listen to His word. When heart becomes hardened we can easily give in to ungodly influences and overtime our hearts could grow cold in our love for Him. The only solution that could change your attitude towards Him and His word is when you accept the heart of flesh He gives. Unlike his predecessors, King Josiah has a heart of flesh that was willing to humble and follow the will of God. “You were sorry and humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this city and its people. You humbled yourself and tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord” (2 Chronicles 34:27). If your experience with God is not what it used to be compared with the first time you received Him in your life as your Lord and Savior, ask Him to renew you heart and to restore your devotion to Him.