Ezekiel 36: A new heart (part five)

This is week three of a series in Ezekiel 33-37, about God’s promised reboot of his people. If you’ve just joined, you can either go to the start of the series, or simply begin the new chapter with us starting from Monday’s post.

Today, we’re finishing off our look at Ezekiel chapter 36: the new heart God promised via Ezekiel, and then delivered in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We saw that if we’ve joined God’s people, we’ve been given that heart transplant, too.

Living with our new heart

So what are the post-operative instructions? How do we make sure our body doesn’t reject the transplant?

Simply this: get on board with what God is doing.

This was the message to the exiles in the book of Ezekiel as they waited for that new heart. And it’s the message for us today, as successful transplant patients. There’s nothing we can add to it: just as we couldn’t fix our old heart; just we couldn’t operate on ourselves; neither can we prevent our body rejecting our new heart. That, too is God’s job. We just get on board.

As Paul says in Galatians:

Galatians 5:16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Galatians 6:8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

What does “walking by the Spirit,” or “sowing to please the Spirit” look like? It’s like how you’d live if you’d just received the gift of a heart transplant.

  • You’d live forever thankful to the person who donated it—and want to take good care of their gift.
  • You’d remember every day what made your old heart stop functioning, and not want to go back to that way of living.
  • You wouldn’t resist the doctor’s instructions, thinking you knew better than him. But listen to the Spirit’s promptings, and obey.
  • You’d follow the post-op care instructions carefully, regularly reminding yourself by reading them daily.
  • You’d surround yourself with a support group of other transplant patients, knowing that there’s strength and encouragement in numbers.
  • And you’d ask for help when you needed it—from your support group, and from God himself in prayer. 

You can’t stop your new heart being rejected. But you can follow the plan by which God says he’ll do it.

Remember what you’ve been saved from: following worthless idols. And embrace what you’ve been saved for: a new life, the way God intended. And what that new life is all about—well that’s chapter 37, next week.  

Take care of your new heart. Jesus gave his life so you could have it.

To think about

What post-op care are you ignoring at present? What steps can you take today to care for your new heart?

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