How to Keep Our New Heart Pure, Loving, and Soft toward the Lord
The link below is for an article i read with the title of this post. I want to give this organization all the credit hence why their link is below. As i read this scripture and article I knew I had to share what they wrote.
July 09 2017 (I know today’s not the 9th, but this is when I saw this post and I saved it to further analyze it, reflect and savior the message before sharing). My commentary will be in bold.
Ezekiel 36:26New International Version (NIV)
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
My husband once told me I was heartless, I was cold I was stubborn. My response to him was, man had made me heartless, man had made me cold…. I was born stubborn. My past experiences made me put up my guards with a fortified fence. I used to wear my heart on my sleeve. I was used, abused and ignored, only to be called upon when in need of something.
The article I referenced stated(which hit home in so many ways):
Before we were saved our heart was hard and cold toward God. We wanted many
things, even sinful things, but not God. We felt little affection for Him and had no interest in the things of God.
This first intro paragraph hit home, hard. Got me thinking of the times my husband said I was cold and heartless. He didn’t know the girl I once was, he met the family oriented girl who put her families needs above her own, he met the girl who’s been through betrayal, by friends and what at the time I felt by God. He met a girl who believed in charities but no longer had the will to fight or help. He met a girl who always believed in God but had gone silent and stopped praying. He had met a girl who has become stone cold, upset and turned her back on everyone whom has offended her, used her and showed they didn’t care. If they ever read this, they may not even realize it’s them I’m talking about. These people are so self absorbed that nothing matters but me. I can’t live like that, or associate with self absorbed individuals …. so I walked away…. a lot of things combined led to me going cold. My flame, that fire I once had was no longer igniting. I can resonate with this post…. let me continue with what the author says.
But God wants to have an affectionate relationship with us. So when we were born again, God not only forgave us and cleansed us of our sins, He also did something in our heart. Ezekiel 36:26 says,
“I will also give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.”
God renewed our heart of stone and made it soft, “a heart of flesh.” Now
our new heart loves God and is inclined toward Him and responsive to
Him. With this new heart, God wants us to enjoy all He is in a
relationship of love.
Since we all received a new heart when we were saved, why is this loving
heart evident in the lives of some but barely detectable in others? How
can some of our hearts seem to have become cold and hard, like they were
before? How can we keep our heart in its new soft and loving condition?
Yes this is a question I constantly face and struggle with. How can we keep our heart in its new soft and loving condition? Why is my loving heart detectable with some and not others? Why am i cold and hard to some, yet warm and bubbly with others. Why no matter how hard I try, I always kee my guards up?
The article continues:
Medical science tells us that for our physical heart to be healthy, we need to
exercise, even vigorously. But exercise doesn’t come naturally or easily
to most of us. Consider what it takes just to put on our athletic shoes
and go for a run. Even while we’re running, we have to exert ourselves
to keep going and not quit. And exercise isn’t a once for all matter; we
have to do it over and over again. But working out regularly isn’t
optional if we want a healthy heart.
Similarly, if we want our new heart to be kept in newness, that is, to be kept
loving, soft, and responsive toward the Lord, then regular, continued
spiritual exercise is needed. This is what makes the difference between
whether our new heart remains in newness or goes back to its old
Ha! if we are basing this on how health our heart is, then here her goes my answer, the most exercise I get is walking from my house to train, and from the train back.
The article continues with some very good suggestions:
So what is this regular exercise for our new heart? Since our heart is composed of our conscience, mind, emotion, and will, the “workout” our heart needs involves four parts.
1. Exercising our mind to turn our heart back to the Lord
Second Corinthians 3:16 says, “Whenever their heart turns to the Lord, the
veil is taken away.” Everything begins with turning our heart to the
Lord. When we were saved, we first repented and received Christ to begin
our Christian life. To repent means to turn, to have a change of mind
and direction. We realized we were sinful, and we turned to God.
But even after we’re saved, we still need to keep turning. Our minds are
easily distracted and can cause our hearts to turn away from the Lord.
Whatever turns us away from the Lord becomes a “veil” to us, keeping us
from seeing Him. Similarly, Matthew 5:8 says,
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
To be pure means to be unmixed with anything else. When we’re turned away from the
Lord, our heart is impure toward Him. Our focus is split between the
Lord and something else. We have two goals in mind, two aims
our heart longs after, and we can no longer see clearly. Our future, our
career, even our work for the Lord can begin to compete with God in our
heart and occupy our mind.
So we need to exercise our heart by praying, “Lord, I turn to you right
now.” In fact, in the course of a single day we need to turn repeatedly
to the Lord. For instance, we might be thinking about a certain thing
and suddenly find we’re away from the Lord, so we need to turn. Later,
we might see a billboard that sticks in our head, and we have to turn
again. Then we begin to have negative thoughts about someone close to
us, and we have to turn yet again.
Again and again, when we realize we’re turned away from the Lord, we need to
turn our heart back to Him. It takes regular exercise. When we turn our
heart from all other things back to the Lord, we’re made single and pure
again, and the veils are taken away. This is a daily workout we all
2. Exercising our emotion to love the Lord
For us to have an affectionate relationship with the Lord, we need to
exercise the emotions of our heart to love Him. We may not think we’re
that capable of loving the Lord, but we can remember, He gave us a new
heart specifically to love Him! And according to Romans 5:5, His love
has been poured out in our hearts. He even told us in John 15:9, “Abide in My love.” Our heart is ready to love the Lord; we just need to start exercising it.
One way we can daily give our heart a “love workout” is by telling the Lord out loud
that we love Him. What an enjoyable workout! Just as a spouses want to
hear these words from each other, the Lord wants us to tell Him, “I love
You”—the more often, the better. How wonderful it would be if we were
to begin and end each day with, “Lord Jesus, I love you!” We can even
say it all throughout the day.
Telling the Lord we love Him not only makes Him happy, it also helps to nurture
our own love for Him. Exercising our heart this way keeps us in the
sweetness of His love and refreshes our love for Him. We enjoy Him and
sense His nearness.
We can also exercise our heart to love the Lord by singing to Him. As we
sing to Him, our heart warms and we love Him afresh. For example, we can
try singing a song like this. (You can hear the tune here.)
Give yourself to love the Lord.
No other way is so prevailing
And no other way, no other way is so safe.
Give yourself to love the Lord.
No other way is so rich,
And so full, oh so full, of enjoyment.
Each morning we must rise up and say to Him,
“Lord Jesus, I love You.”
Give yourself to love the Lord.
Do not care for anything else;
Just love Him! Do not care!
Give yourself to love the Lord!
We are not our own, Lord;
All we have we give to You.
Lord Jesus! Lord Jesus!
Lord Jesus, we love You!
3. Exercising our will to obey the Lord
We also keep our heart new by exercising our will to be obedient and
submissive to the Lord. We do this by saying “Yes” and “Amen” to the
Lord when He speaks to us in our daily life.
Perhaps the Lord speaks to us, “Don’t go to that place.” If we ignore His
speaking and go anyway, we disobey Him. Repeatedly disobeying God
hardens our heart toward Him. But if we go along with Him and say, “Yes,
Lord, I won’t go there,” we obey Him. This may be difficult, but when
we obey Him, our heart is kept soft and submissive. We enjoy Him and He
becomes so real to us, not in theory, but in our actual experience.
4. Exercising our conscience by confessing our sins
We exercise our conscience by confessing our sins to the Lord. Confessing isn’t saying, “Lord, I won’t do that again.” It’s saying, “Lord, I agree with you, that was a
sin. I sinned. I was wrong. Forgive me.” Confessing is simply agreeing with God when His light shines on something.
We shouldn’t be afraid to confess, nor should we try to hide our sinful
selves from the Lord. A strong believer is a confessing believer. We may
have years of unconfessed sins on our conscience, clogging our
spiritual blood vessels and resulting in poor circulation; we’re
“sickly,” that is, spiritually weak and lacking in God’s life.
Accumulated sins on our conscience can make us insensitive to our
conscience, causing us to lose the proper feeling toward sin. Our heart
becomes hardened, callous toward sin and unfeeling toward the Lord.
But confessing clears everything away; God forgives us and the blood of
Jesus cleanses us. We’re restored to fellowship and enjoy the flow of
God’s life in us again. Because our conscience is clear, our heart is
untroubled and peaceful, and we can have unhindered fellowship with the
Lord. We desperately need this regular exercise of confessing our
offenses to the Lord.
Paying a price to exercise
The thought that we can live any way we like, do whatever we want, and
still experience Christ as our life is harmful to our Christian life.
The experience of Christ is something precious; it has a price. In
Revelation 3:18, the Lord counseled the church in Laodicea, “Buy from
To buy something means to pay a price for it. It’s a spiritual reality
that to gain the precious experiences of Christ, a price must be paid.
Our own wishes, desires, and decisions are the price we pay when we
exercise our heart to keep it in newness. But by daily exercise, our new
heart is kept pure, loving, right, and submissive. When our heart is in
this condition, all the riches of Christ are ours to experience. And
the more we go on, the more we realize the price we pay is actually a
bargain for the unsearchable Christ we enjoy in return!
If you want to learn more about our heart, take a look at these additional posts: What Is the Heart in the Bible? and What Does It Mean to Love God with All Your Heart?
Father God I thank you for sending this message. As usual the timing was perfect. I feel love for some, and loved by some. I am warm and fuzzy to some and cold and hard to others. I need your help to keep turning, to keep your veil, to keep my heart warm and soft at all times, regardless. Lord I thank you yet again for this message which reached my inbox. I know I needed to share this, I know i needed to read this. Help me utilize the tools you have presented before me to be a better person. Amen.