Cleansing


Grizzly Falls, originally uploaded by Laura Travels.
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
Ezekiel 36:25-27

These verses are so profound. They speak of God's renewal and point to a time when God's Spirit would fall on all flesh. We are now living in that time! It may be easy to take it for granted, but in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was given only sparingly to those who were assigned special tasks. Now, He is poured out on all who ask. (Luke 11:13, Acts 2:38).
God's concern here is also to rid us of our idols. We may not have statues made of wood or silver and gold, but as surely as we have a sinful nature we will tend to make idols and gods of 'things' in our lives. It might be a relationship, a possession, food, drink, money or a job; the list is endless and personal to each one of us. Notice in these verses that the solution to the problem lies in the changing of our hearts. When God's Spirit comes into our lives, our focus changes and we are aware of His Presence. We see more clearly what the important thing is and suddenly it is easier to loosen our grip on those treasured things that distract us from Him. Come Holy Spirit!

Comments

Angie said…
Praise God! Wash over and cleanse us, Lord. In You Abba, we live, and move, and have our being. The world behind me, the cross before...no turning back...no turning back...
Amrita said…
this was a verse which gave me great hope and reassurance when I wandered away from God and returned home.
A heart of flesh, and not one of stone- that's what I keep asking God to give me. The Church so struggles with insecurity over the heart because we know it is deceitful, that we go after idols. Yet He also promises to give us the desires of our heart.

This is a great theme to explore further!
Suz said…
you know what I love about these verses? it's the reassurance that HE is the one making things new. HE is doing the changing. yes, we have role to play...but the renewal is his mysterious work.
SuzyQ said…
This verse contains something so wonderful.
It contains hope:0)
Thanks be to God:0D
Blessings to you today!
Suzy
Love your posts, Mike!!
Susan
Kim S in SC said…
I love these verses. He doesn't just change our heart, HE gives us a new one! ONE that is sensitive to the touch of the Master! Hallelujah! Praise HIM!
Gudl said…
You are so right.
Yes, Praise God and thank Him for his Holy Spirit and that he gave us a new heart.
Andrea said…
Another great post and the picture is so beautiful.
Sicarii said…
Amen!

I learned some time ago, with reference to idols, that we can also make the mistake of thinking of God in our own ways. In other words, we can make the mistake of making God, so to speak, in the image that we want Him to be, thereby practising idolatry.

The only way to not do that is to know God intimately through His Word and constant fellowship with Him in prayer.

Shalom.
GrandmaK said…
I found this to be so appropriate as I read this on the eve of the celebration of the Baptism of our Lord. It is really very touching and inspiring. And Jesus being the PERFECT example. "...and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens saying, 'This is my belove son, with whom I am well pleased.'" Matthew 3:16-17. Have a glorious Sunday!!! Cathy
michaelonbass said…
Mike, every time your page loads I am blown away. That is a striking photograph. Beautiful scripture. Profound discussion. Beautiful!

I was struck with this thought in reading: "...and gives meaning to all those things in our lives." Suddenly, we realize all aspects of our lives are blessings from the Lord and our actions should be service to Him. Without Him we have nothing and are nothing. With our heart fully guided, everything we do is in His service, even if it is seemingly mundane work in our trade or profession, and every interaction with others a message of love.

Peace!
Sidharth said…
Hallelujah! Gods work of sanctification is wonderful!

Sidharth
Wanda said…
Oh what a lovely picture of "cleansing" in photo and in word. Pastor Mike....You bless me every time I visit.
Gudl said…
On a different note, what happened to your other blog?
Gudl said…
Mike, thanks for your answer on my blog. I already thought that this might be the reason for stopping it.
It is true, that blogging is very distracting from other, more important things!!! Like reading the bible.... I am sure God is pleased with you.
Gardener Greg said…
What a great blog Mike. Very inspiring. This is my first visit to your blog. I found you through several of your readers and dropped in today to check it out. I am glad I did.
Barbara said…
Only the life of Christ in us can keep us - what a gift we have been given as we start to believe that and not rely on our own self effort.
ChrisJ said…
Mike: I just came to your blog through Wanda's blog. My husband is a 'retired' pastor and originally we are from the UK. He attended Cliff College and I was saved through Cliff College (near Sheffield). Your posts are wonderful -- especially the video
"Before the Throne of God above..."
This is our favorite Christian 'song', so I played it for my husband as he leaves tomorrow on ministry to pastor's on the tiny island of Micronesia.
I also identified with your Christmas Day comments. If you are interested and have the time, I posted a poem on my blog about those sentiments. I am adding you to my regular reading list. (Please ignore the nonsense stuff about chickens on my blog. I try to do fun stuff and then drop a seed or too.)
Steveunohoo said…
Too true.Thanks fr your ministry. Possession is spelt thus. 4 s's not 3.
What a beautiful post. This is the first time I have visited your blog and I have enjoyed reading it. If you have time, I would love you to come over and answer the question on my current post!