Replace my heart of stone with a new heart
Scripture: Ephesians 4:17-28
17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Old Self: (v. 17-19)
In verse 17 Paul uses the verb “walk” which we can define as “live.” We are called to no longer live as gentiles, as those who do not know God. What does he mean?
The hardness and callous of our hearts come as a result of sensuality, which means to indulge in something that pleases our flesh. The more we indulge, the more our hearts harden and become callous. For example, for me to thrive as a guitarist, I must build callous on my fingertips. The way I build callous is by continuously playing guitar through the pain. The more my callous builds, the less pain I feel. In this same way, the Holy Spirit tugs at your heart before you intentionally commit a sin. This is the voice of God speaking inside of you. According to verse 17-18, the more you ignore God, the more your mind becomes useless and you darken your understanding of God’s will. The more you ignore the Holy Spirit, the harder your heart becomes until you no longer hear the voice of God, much like how you no longer feel pain when your fingertips becomes harden with callous.
Ezekiel 36:26-28 (MSG)
“‘For here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to take you out of these countries, gather you from all over, and bring you back to your own land. I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You’ll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
- In what ways have you hardened your heart and built up callous? What have you indulged yourself in? Admit that due to your selfishness you have chosen to ignore God’s tug at your heart. Ask God to break and remove your heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. Be specific*
(Ex. I know I shouldn’t be smoking, but I choose to do it anyways. I have ignored your voice reminding me to abstain from what is unclean. Forgive me and break my heart of stone so I can hear your loving conviction once again.)
(Ex. Others tell me I’m a geek freak (Supermodel), but the truth is, I’m always investing in the latest fad (Fashion) without a care about the way I spend my money. Cleanse me and replace my heart of stone with a heart of flesh so that I can feel the tug on my heart to no longer invest in selfish things but in your kingdom.)
- Confess that you have grieved the Holy Spirit because you have ignored his moving and conviction.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you once again. Make a commitment to listen to his voice and obey his commands.