My heart, and God’s fingerprints there.
Ezekiel 36:26 – I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you.
I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
When I came across this verse again this morning, I saw this truth happening in my own life. God has been working on my heart … again.
With expectation over the last year or so, I prayed often for clarity and truth, to be open to what God has for me next. I prayed for his will and next steps. With each prayer, I knew eventually he would reveal something or point me in the right direction, so I kept my eyes open. Occasionally, I tried to figure it out on my own, but I felt like I was in a vat of molasses, slow and ineffective. I felt purposeless and concerned at times in the midst of quarantine and chaos.
For a while, I have expected a new season, but to finally discover God’s fingerprints in my life and on my heart is exciting.
In fact, lately, I see evidence all around me that he is at work. I feel his presence. He has led me past the burning images of the daily news and replaced my concerns with peace.
When God is present and working in our lives, it appears on our faces, comes through in our conversation and our focus. Clearly how we answer questions or respond to triggers reveals much about our prayer life and state of our heart. So I began to notice it when I felt less angry, more empathetic with a song on my lips. I began to smile more, laugh more, and dream dreams.
Now, in my newfound moments of joy, I am more able to reject things that make me feel conflicted and weighted down and choose prayer instead.
Is it not true that joy and prayer are both God’s handiwork?
In God’s mercy, I feel peaceful, less worried.
As a result, I may not know the answers, but I feel them coming.
From my own experience, I know that calm clarity comes to the praying man or woman eventually. When we are able to see the next step or at least truly feel God’s presence, it is life altering.
But, to get there, to God’s presence and a place of clarity will take prayer. Your two way communication with God is vital to your heart’s well being, purpose, and clear thinking.
Though we may not know exactly what we are looking for, when we seek him, we will find him. (Jeremiah 29:11,12,13)
Additionally, though we are fallible, human, and willful, all it takes is the willingness to let him in to do the work, a small crack in our stubborn shells.
Then, when we choose his ways, he undertakes to remake us in his image with humility, goodness, kindness, and discipline. In his mercy, he also strengthens us to stand against great evil, and prompts us to be vigilant.
He stirs his own attributes within our hearts, and brings us to our knees in prayer.
Incredibly, we are changed from within when we truly seek his face. We are changed from the inside out. We both soften and become more compassionate, and harden, to become steely eyed warriors.
However, the process is not simple, nor particularly comfortable, but it is necessary.
To become more like Jesus is not for the timid.
To transform our hearts, he has to clean out every corner of our minds and shed light deep into the fissures of our hearts, rooting out self centered focus, anger, bitterness and malice. He shows us our jealousy, our crippling hurts.
With truth, he brings us to our knees. Then, if and when we miss the mark, he works on us again chipping away at the old junk, so he can reveal the beautiful.
Finally, even when we miss the plan and go off on a tangent, if we are in prayer and seeking his will, God will lead us back.
The remaking of our hearts is both the profound instantaneous experience when we find God, and it is an ongoing makeover that brings out Jesus in our everyday lives. It is the work of our Creator to create in each of us a clean heart.
So, when you miss his presence, get down on your knees and seek him. You will be found.