I’ve often wondered about the expression ‘an undivided heart’. It’s such an odd expression. It`s opposite must be a ‘divided heart’–which is presumably a heart wanting lots of different things and not deciding which one.
Well, God’s saying that He wants His people to love Him totally and completely. He doesn’t want them dithering all over the place. He looks for those who will intentionally dedicate their whole lives to Him and will love Him with all they are and have.
God seeks those who will love Him ‘with all their heart, all their soul, all their strength, and love their neighbour as themselves’ (Deuteronomy 6:5).
But I can’t do this! Yup. Absolutely right. What’s more, God Himself agrees. He knows that we can never ever do this. His radical solution is to give us completely new hearts.
‘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.’
This is so amazing! This really touches the issue. We have stone hearts!
Stone is hard to the touch, totally unresponsive, no feelings. It’s cold, hard, dead; good for walls, barriers, buildings. Stone stops fire spreading. Stones make good weapons to hurl.
A stony-hearted person is one with no ‘milk of human kindness’, we say; someone who can’t bend the rules to help another or show compassion to those in need. Stone has no feelings. It cannot love.
And the heart of flesh? God has to give a new heart –because stone is stone is stone. You can weather it to pebbles, chip it, sculpt it, metamorphose it - whatever, but it’s still stone.
God gives a new heart. It’s by exchange - a heart of flesh. It is warm. It is beating; a heart of love and compassion – because God gives us His Spirit, enabling us to become different people as we choose to follow Him and to love Him with all we have and are. He longs for us to be showing His character, His love, His mercy and His compassion in our lives, as we willingly surrender to His Way.
Prayer: Holy God, my Father, I acknowledge before You that I am naturally rebellious, selfish and stony-hearted towards You and towards others. I need that exchange in my heart that You give. Please fill me with Your Spirit and give me Your heart of warmth and love, that I might love You wholeheartedly and show Your love towards others in this world in which I live. I choose to submit to Your love in my heart and allow You to rule in my life. Amen.
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