“…’Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.’ And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”
In my twenties, I had a strong distaste for God. I was a “smart” college student being enlightened by “brilliant” professors, and I knew religion was just something Man made up to control people. It might have had some nice things to say about how we should treat one another, but it also caused so much violence and animosity between people that it just didn’t seem like something I wanted to participate in. Things went along fine in my “intellectual” life for a few years, and then things got dark for me. I was wandering without purpose and had nothing to ground me. Nothing was meaningful… It was all pointless… Nothing I did mattered… No one was going to remember me… I might as well not even exist. These were the thoughts that invaded my mind constantly until one day I felt compelled to pray. It was awkward because I hadn’t prayed in years, but as I prayed, my dark room filled with warmth and light. I had glimpsed, for one precious moment, the appearance of the glory of God.
From that day forward, I have never stopped following hard after God. Long ago, God promised Israel through Ezekiel to gather a remnant to Himself, to replace their hardened hearts of stone with hearts of flesh that yearned for the goodness of God. And most importantly, He promised they were His people, and He was their God… personally, intimately. We are children of the same promise through Christ, and I know because I’ve lived it. I was in Babylon, exiled from the presence of God in despair… I was witness to the glory of God, and it transformed me… My heart of stone was replaced with a heart of flesh.
Daily Battle Order:
Yesterday, we touched on God’s glory and today, I’ve told my story of encountering the glory of God. What’s yours? Post it online and tell your brothers in arms. The work of God in our lives is the victory song sung about the battle for our souls. As warriors, we can never lose sight of where we’ve been and what we are fighting for.