It’s amazing, man took eons to learn how to heal a heart, a physical transition from illness to becoming healthy. But, there are two types of heart surgery. ~ Lisa Blair
The heart surgery in Ezekiel 36:26 ESV is speaking about a spiritual heart surgery. This is not specific to a physical failure of the heart, the muscle is fine, it is speaking about our transition from our old way of living to our new life. Ezekiel was a priest and prophet in the Old Testament who foretold the coming of Christ. Barnes’ Notes informs us that we (individuals) would move from the letter of the law to the spirit of the law, or to put it another way, we will move from the Old Testament Law to the Gospel of Christ. For new Bible readers, we moved from the Law of Moses to the Law of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary explains, our new heart creates a change in mind and will. It changes our spirit, our motives and principle of action. He further explains, a“stony heart—(is) unimpressible in serious things; like the “stony ground” (Mt 13:5, 20), unfit for receiving the good seed so as to bring forth fruit.
“(A) heart of flesh—(is) not “carnal” in opposition to “spiritual”; but impressible and docile, fit for receiving the good seed. In Eze 18:31 they are commanded, “Make you a new heart, and a new spirit.” Here God says, “A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” Thus the responsibility of man, and the sovereign grace of God, are shown to be coexistent. Man cannot make himself a new heart unless God gives it (Php 2:12, 13).”
Spiritual heart surgery opens our hearts allowing the Holy Spirit and the individual (you) to live in relationship, to coexist together in our physical being. Our heart becomes a new house, it becomes a home. As with any home, there is family and a head of the family. Our head is the Holy Spirit who guides us, directs us, and corrects us. It is the quiet voice that we here saying, go this way, do not stray, do not go to the left or right, follow me.
Other Posts on this subject. lisasdailyinspirations.com
Our Lord sacrificed his life to free us from sin. The crucifixion can be considered an emergency rescue.
~ Lisa blaIr
This can be the day of your emergency rescue. Emergency, as defined by the online dictionary, has two meanings, both of which apply here. The first definition is a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action; the second is a state, especially of need for help or relief, created by some unexpected event. There is a time in life when we were comfortable in our sin and then something unexpected happened and we were seeking a way out. We were looking for relief that was often created by an unexpected event that compounded the sin and caused excruciating pain.
When we feel lost one of the first things we do is cry out to God, please help me, save me from those things that are attempting to destroy me. We are asking for an emergency rescue. One that the Lord through his grace and mercy will provide because we have received him as our Lord and Savior.
Why an emergency rescue may ask? When Adam and Eve ate the apple and were evicted from the Garden of Eden that was the onset of sin. We became, at that very point, sinners doomed to a life of eternal sin. God’s love for us was greater than sin and thus the birth of Christ, who would become our rescuer through his death.
I would venture to say, all rescues are the result of unknown human calamities. The loss of our health, loss of a job, the loss of a home, the loss of a family member, the loss of your wallet, loss in general. The calamity may be an accident, it may be an animal, such as a cat, stuck in a tree. The calamity is defined by its action that is not a norm. These are temporary life events however, when Christ was crucified, the rescue was not of a life event, but rather an eternal event. Christ rescued us from eternal sin to that of eternal life.
At some point in the life of each Christian, when we received Christ as our Lord and Savior, we were crying out, ‘rescue me Father from a life of eternal sin to that of eternal life in your presence’.
Crying out for rescue is no small thing. It is a cry that separates you from death to eternal life. Our God is an awesome, gracious God. Receiving Christ as your Lord and Savior is the beginning of the most loving relationship you’ll ever experience. If you have not received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can recite the scripture below and He will receive you this very day.
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. (https://bible.com/bible/116/rom.10.9-10.NLT)
God’s promises are eternal. Theywill never fail, fade away, or end. He is not a man and cannot lie. His truth is forever.
~ Lisa Blair
I am studying the Book of Genesis this year at BSF, Bible Study Fellowship, and have come to realize that Genesis is so much more than what we learned in Sunday School or Church. It is a deep and lengthy study. One of the most profound things is that God established a covenant with Adam and Eve after they were expelled from Eden. God made a similar covenant with Noah after the flood subsided. The covenant was God’s promise that He would continue Adam’s genealogy to give life to Christ through Mary and save us from eternal sin through the resurrection of Christ.
All of God’s promises stem from His love for us. Each promise has a purpose and is true today just as it was when He made them. God will never forsake us or leave us. He will lay His eyes upon us. His Word will always be good, and it will always just.
This is the fifth and final installment of the series, God’s Promises Shape Our Lives. The focus of this installment is the Promises of the Holy Spirit. This series highlights some, though not all, of God’s promises. The Holy Spirit intimately knows the worst of us and the best of us, yet He remains faithful even when we persist in rebellion against Him. He protects us and walks with us, even when we sin. There is nothing in this life that we cannot share with Him. The Holy Spirit resides in us, and the blood of Jesus reigns over us. We are completely encapsulated by the Spirit of God. The lyrics to one of Tasha Cobb’s songs says, ”He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own… No fire can burn me, no battle can turn me, no mountain can stop me, ’cause you hold my hand. Now, I’m walking in Your victory ’cause your power is within me, no giant can defeat me, ’cause you hold my hand. (Lyrics to You Know My Name. Tasha Cobb Leonard.) God’s promises protect us without failure or compromise because He walks with us as we navigate through this life.
Walking in the Spirit
Walking in the spirit means that when we were saved, we invited the Holy Spirit to reside in us. We no longer victims of this world driven by the lust of the flesh. We are no longer condemned to walk in our flesh, lusting for the things of this world, things associated with the external world such as riches, recognition, and possessions. The Holy Spirit indwells in us and through Him, we are free from sin. We have the power to turn away from temptation and the gift of repentance. We are renewed every day. Each day is a new day in the Lord. Each day His Spirit resides in us and strengthens us to walk in the Spirit.
Romans 8:1 NKJV
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Galatians 5:16 NKJV
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Galatians 6:8 NIV
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.
2 Corinthians 4:16 NKJV
Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
God is (forever) our guide. We can choose to lean on our own understanding or trust in the Lord to light our path and direct our steps, especially in times of grave difficulties. During these times of uncertainty, the evil one conspires to entice us, to weaken us, to separate us from God. God’s Word, His promises, strengthen us and are our tools to overcome the circumstances that may have afflicted us through no fault of our own, such as, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, eviction, critical illness, and ultimately loss of hope. Our strength is in the Lord and when we rest in His arms, His strength, the world looks different than when we resign hope and only see failure.
Psalms 18:28 NIV
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
Psalm 48:14 NIV
For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.
Proverbs 3:5,6 NIV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 16:9 NKJV
A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.
John 8:12 NKJV
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.”
John 16:13 NKJV
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
Praying in the Spirit
The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, sometimes our hopelessness camouflages what we should pray for, leaving us unable to pray for the condition or circumstance. When we do not know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit intercedes and prays on our behalf. He prays for us in the Spirit. However, He can only do that when invited, we must seek Him to help us.
Romans 8:26 NKJV
Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Praying for Wisdom, and Knowledge
As humans, we seek wisdom, though not always in the right places. We seek wisdom from peers, leaders, and fallen souls when we should wisdom from God through the Holy Spirit and His word. we should seek wisdom from God who gives it to us generously. It is His wisdom and knowledge that strengthens us to walk upright. It is His wisdom and knowledge that will refrain our conditions as we see them. It is His wisdom and knowledge that leads to our victory over our circumstances.
Ecclesiastes 2:26 NKJV
For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner, He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
Amos 3:7 NIV
Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plans to his servants the prophets.
Luke 21:15 NIV
For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
James 1:5 NIV
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
So, What does this all mean?
The scriptures highlight God’s love for us. They prove that He is trustworthy and will carry all of His promises out. He activates and fulfills all promises He has made. His promises will manifest to either take us through our current circumstances or deliver us out of them.
When we feel defeated, we cannot waiver but rather stand fast. We cannot compromise what God promised, choosing a quick remedy over His plan. We may feel our ways are more expedient, but experience proves they generally cost more than had we waited on the Lord to fulfill His promises for us. Only God knows where our path leads, and only He knows what is required of us to walk down the path. It’s important to always remember His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Always go into prayer before making life decisions.
Seek God and ask that He reveal the things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3) and do not make your own decisions on how to move forward without God’s input. As humans, we tend to believe that we should do as we please and then make amends. However, spiritually speaking, we are to go before the Lord, seek His Word and direction through faith, and move forward in His grace.
Developing an ATTITUDE of GOD FIRST in our lives places us on solid ground. The more familiar we become with His promises, the more quickly we can stop in our tracks when doubt and hopelessness try to invade and destroy us. His wisdom and knowledge lead us to acknowledge that God’s promises yield results. I personally find when I relinquished my will to His Will, His Word, and His Way, I find a place of peace that allows me to comfortably make decisions that align with His Word.
It is my sincerest hope that this series has helped you and me by reminding us that God is always with us, and we can turn to Him at any time in our lives. We can rest assured that decisions that align with God’s Word are the right decisions to make. To nonbelievers, our decisions may seem to be folly or misdirected, but to believers, we know that God is directing our steps, and God’s Promises are shaping our lives.
Update, God is so good. I completed this series last night, and felt something was missing. When I awoke this morning, God directed me to this devotional. It is the perfect closing for the study of God’s Promises.
Resources: Life Principles Bible by Charles Stanley, NKJV; Song-Apple Lyrics; Biblestudytools.com; biblegateway.com; He Whispers Your Name, 365 Day Devotionals, by Cherie Hill
God is patiently waiting for all of us to become like Christ.
~ Lisa Blair
“God’s purpose for His people is that we become like the Lord Jesus Christ.” (BSF-Bible Study Fellowship)
“For those whom He foreknew [and loved and chose beforehand], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [and ultimately share in His complete sanctification], so that He would be the firstborn [the most beloved and honored] among many believers.” Romans 8:29 AMP
God’s hope for our lives is to become more like Christ. This statement sounds easy, but is it really? The answer is YES and NO. Our mission as Christians is to read the Word, stay in prayer, and allow God to transform our daily walk. He expects us to treat people as Christ treated people, to spread the Good News as Christ spread the Good News, to become more than our sinful self-indulged selves. The more we read, study, and share, the more we become like Christ.
My Morning Routine
Reading is our responsibility, why because that is how we create gather the knowledge base we need to become more like Christ. We should read scripture every day. It may be a verse, a chapter, a book. Whatever works for you. I have several hardcopy Bibles – different versions, and parallel Bibles and commentaries. I also have several Bible apps and refer to scriptures and commentaries to dig deeper when studying. This has become the beginning of my daily practice. Daily devotionals also feed me each morning.
Praying is very important, I pray before I get out of bed, thanking God for another day’s journey and praising Him for who He is in my life. I also pray throughout the day and praise Him every time I see Him is something I see or am doing.
Thoughts on Transformation
I find that as I continue to mature in the Word, I notice my transformation and His activity that weaves through my life.
As we become more knowledgeable, most of us experience the need to share what is going on in our lives. The light of the Holy Spirit breaks through our continence. People recognize a difference in us. we begin to shine as we beccome more Christ-like.
One thing I have found, as well as those who shared the same experience, is that as you recognize God’s love, and your relationship with Him grows, He expects more of you. He will put you in positions and situations to pray for others; you will see Him orchestrating your life more and more. And, for some of us, He invites us to become spiritual leaders in some capacity. If this happens, it’s easier to say, Yes Lord,” early on. He will not stop asking. He knows what we need to grow and become more like Christ. And He will continue to move you in the direction we should go.
One of my many stories about my Walk.
God will always provide the game plan for your life if you ask, or when He charges you with new responsibilities. Most of us doubt our readiness; Moses doubted his ability when God charged Him to save His people. Moses was just one of many. We never really feel we are ready. But when God calls, He immediately tells us how to go about the task. He will train you. All you have to do is be obedient. For example, many years ago, one of my Boardmembers told me about BSF and invited me to attend. I said I did not have time. God is patient. He waited awhile and introduced another person who invited me to join BSF. I said, once more, I do not have time, thank you anyway. The third time he asked, he arranged for me to be free of excuses, and I agreed to go with the third friend that asked. That was three years ago. In my second year, the Lord put it on my heart to sign up as a leader. I did, hesitantly, not because I feared becoming a leader, I had been one throughout my career. Not because I felt inadequate, I had served as a teen Bible Study teacher. I was hesitant because this was a new level of serving Him.
This past year the pandemic hit, and the world began to shelter-in-place. Well, my 11-year-old Granddaughter lives with us, and this year she is attending Virtual 7th grade through our district; the schools have not reopened in California. With this in mind, I declined to serve as a BSF Group leader this year, using the excuse that I may have to become a home-teacher. This was in June. In late July, God shared He wanted me to lead a BSF group this year. I said I have other responsibilities with my granddaughters’ education this year in addition to other commitments. BSF takes a lot of time. After I finished making excuses, I said, ‘okay’ and contacted our head administrator. She shared that many leaders had withdrawn for one reason or another (all pandemic related, including many were not comfortable with the ZOOM format) and that she was happy the Lord encouraged my return. The bottom line, God knows what we can handle. I have sixteen people in my group and a lengthly lesson each week, as well as leadership training, and my other commitments. When I was done making excuses, He immediately told me I needed to be very disciplined this year and laid out my weekly schedule. He provided time for every aspect of my life. God is truly an amazing, attentive, and yes, a demanding Lord.
Walking with Christ is very rewarding.
As children of Christ, we are blessed to have a relationship with Him. We are blessed to have the opportunity to become more like Christ. We are saved and have the opportunity to: confess our sins, repent – asking forgiveness, being forgiven, and renewed. Our walk is not easy, we have a sin nature that works hard to derail us. Our salvation is a daily endeavor because once we give in to sin, the struggle becomes more of a battle to get back to who we are in Christ. He patiently observes our actions and is pleased when we say, enough, your will and not mine. Our journey on this earth is ongoing until the day we transition to heaven.
Surrendering is one of the most fulfilling things you can do in this life. His hope is that we will accept Him as our Lord and Savior and walk down the path God placed us on long before we were born.
Do not allow your mind to reduce the strength of the Word of God.
~ Lisa Blair
This scripture, Philippians 4:13, keeps surfacing in my mind. Life at the moment is going well, and then Holy Spirit told me, this is not an emergency verse. It is how I want you to live every day.
I think we often view scripture as a way of life, but often do not apply the wisdom to our everyday lives. We classify scriptures by type and apply them to certain situations. Gods plan does not categorize the Word. His Word is living and applies to a multitude of situations and circumstances we encounter, including the best of days.
The truth is, He strengthens us every minute, hour, and day of our lives. It is through this strength that He connects with us and leads us down the path of holiness.
Life is our time to learn, discover, and recover from things known and not known. When we rest in His strength, we are resting in His peace, His will, His Word, and His Way.