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.
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!