10/8 Ezekiel 36:26-27

26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

This was the promise of God through Ezekiel to the Israelites in captivity. He promised to bring them back and give them a new heart and a new spirit. God would remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. He would put his own spirit within them and cause them to live according to God's commands. We can read about the return and all the continuing problems of hard hearts toward God's Word. Four hundred years later, Jesus rebuked their descendants for the hardness of their hearts. Finally, on the day of Pentecost, it came to pass.

After the work of the cross and Jesus' ascension, a way was open for the Holy Spirit to descend on the 120 gathered in the Upper Room. We had to be sanctified vessels before we could receive the Spirit. Only the blood of Christ could accomplish that. From that point in time, the Spirit was no longer upon God's servants, but within them. Their hard hearts were replaced with hearts that were sensitive to the Spirit and willing to obey. They were born again.

The same thing has happens ever since to those who come to God by faith. The return is not from a nation that has held us captive, but from sin that has enslaved us. Our desires actually change. The power of the Spirit helps us obey what our new spiritually sensitive heart is discerning. We want to obey because His love has been poured out on us. God's Spirit leads us on to sanctification as we conform, not to the letter, but to the Spirit of the law.

Consider: Have you asked for God to do that work in your heart? If you haven't, there is no time like now. If you have, thank Him for His wonderful gift! Never take it for granted.