An Undivided Heart
‘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.’ (Ezekiel 11:19)
In my early years as a Christian, it was verses from Ezekiel that greatly helped me understand the work of the Holy Spirit. In particular, I gained from this book the understanding that the Holy Spirit wants to give us a new heart, a new inner life that is responsive to God.
The truth is, all too often things come into our lives that we let harden us against him and his will. Things such as a spirit of criticism, the cares of this world, unresolved problems from our past, can all too easily come in and choke our new life in Christ and challenge our allegiance to him.
The way out of this isn’t by a ‘heart by-pass’ operation. No. What it needs, rather, is ‘open-heart surgery.’ King David grasped this when he cried out to God, ‘Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name’ (Psalm 86:11, NRSV). He desperately wanted to have a sincere, godly, pure inner life that was centred firmly on the Lord alone.
The opposite of being ‘undivided’ is being ‘double-minded’ (James 1:8), adrift and tossed about in the uncertain seas of life, swayed by this pressure and that pressure, by this opinion and that opinion. If we sense that this is how we have become, we need to turn afresh to God in repentance and faith, seeking him and his fullness, asking for a new heart. When we turn to him, he promises that he really will give us that new heart, a heart that wants to obey him so that our deepest desire is to delight to do his will. And he gives us what is best: a fresh vision of himself.
Let’s turn to him again right now; let’s seek him and ask him to give each one of us an undivided heart today so that he and he alone is our passion and our joy.
‘I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.’ (Jeremiah 32:39)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont