Terrific Surgery

“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them. I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 11:19

Life sure tries to beat us up. Agree?

Can you recall a time when you faced significant surgery as a result? Did a good doctor bring you great repair? Did you get a much-needed win?

God performs surgery too. His specialty is the heart. And He does it well. Today’s scripture makes this clear. These are His aims:

  1. UNDIVIDED HEART GRANTING. God wants to eliminate our wayward, loose living. He wants our hearts no longer wandering from Him. And so He tightens things up between us and Him. (That’s where Jesus comes in.) A dual life robs us and kills Him. He wants us satisfied in Him alone. One is better than two. 
  1. NEW SPIRIT GIVING. All of us carry a spirit of rebellion inside us. It often gets us in trouble. God gives us a new, better one. His! His Spirit installed gets us running right. 
  1. STONE REMOVAL. When unconfessed sin and unrepentant living builds up in our lives, our hearts grow rock-hard, calloused, indifferent. That’s no way for a man to operate. God knows how to find stones and remove them. Let Him. 
  1. FLESH RESTORATION. Our hearts were designed to be soft and supple towards Him, not hard-hearted. God is committed to restore the heart-tenderness we need to live long and well. What a needed operation and fantastic restoration!

This Doctor sure has skills. May He operate well on us. May we let Him have our hearts. 

Taking you to the operating table for a moment more, may I ask:

  • Is your heart divided just now? If so, what or who is getting in the way? What surrender struggle might you be having?
  • Have you asked the Lord lately to remove any stones, any unnecessary rough build up in your life, your heart? What confession and repentance needs to go on?
  • Is God’s Spirit infusing and filling you with freshness? Pause and ask Him for renewal and restoration. He’s great at operating in these moments. 

O LORD, thank You for your amazing promise and commitment to care for my heart. Operate there. Bring your terrific surgery. Get me healthy. Keep me healthy. I don’t want my heart divided from You, no stony indifference or rocky rebellion building up there. Replace stone with flesh. 

May my spirit rejoice in the newness Yours always brings and may my heart be ever-tender towards You, just like Jesus. Amen

Towards a healthy heart, 

Coach Mo

Provoking Jealousy

“The Spirit lifted me up…and took me to Jerusalem, to the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes jealousy stood.” Ezekiel 8:3

Have you ever been provoked to jealousy? Have you ever had someone’s wonderful attention, strong devotion, and great loyalty only to watch it threatened, compromised, weakened, and walking away? Did someone choose another team or another mate after being with you? Did your jealousy burn? Did you hurt badly?

If so, you understand the heart of God. Our idols provoke His jealousy. He waxes hot for our love and devotion. So anything else that moves in on Him and His turf gets Him incensed. 

An idol is anything that subtly rivals or clearly usurps God’s rightful place of first and foremost in our lives. It moves in on God’s territory in human hearts and makes us believe that having Him is simply not enough. Most of the time an idol has something to do with power,  approval, comfort or control. These four come in all different forms and snakebite people all the time. They constantly offer us things they are powerless to fully deliver. They get us bowing down and Him burning up. 

Like Ezekiel, God exposes idols in our world, in our lives. He does it because He’s beautifully jealous. God reveals our spiritual adultery and pursues us still. Building something super special in us and through us remains His aim. His Spirit sees to it. 

So may I ask…

  • Does God’s jealousy for you move you deeply? Does your jealousy for God stand alone, unrivaled?
  • What competing idols might you be entertaining right now?
  • Are any of the following possibly personal idols or symptoms of ones: winning, work, sex, popularity, fame, money, title/entitlement, independence, specific possessions, certain relationships, coveted positions?

Spirit of Christ, lift me up so I can see what provokes my Father’s jealousy. It’s everything else I put on a pedestal with You or whatever I build altars to besides You. Help me eliminate the idols of my heart and believe that to have You is to have enough.  

Forgive me, Father, for chasing worthless things. There is always stuff that needs toppling in me. May Jesus live unrivaled in my heart, chaste and pure, full and whole. 

Thank you for loving me so jealously, relentlessly, passionately, perfectly. You alone are best! Amen

Be strong. 

Stand for truth. 

Live for eternity. 

Coach Mo

Bonus coverage: Check out Psalm 119:33-40; Isaiah 44:6-11; Acts 14:8-18