How many times have I prayed for God to change the heart of my husband, or my mother, or any of my loved ones? Too many times to count I can assure you. Working through Step 12, I realize that my recovery does not hinge on God changing the hearts of those I love. My recovery depends on God changing my heart.
It’s so easy for me to fall into my old patterns of trying to control other’s lives. I have to be aware of how I could relapse. A new betrayal could be the trigger that Satan wants to use to send me in the wrong direction on my recovery road. God has brought me so far on this journey, I simply cannot allow Satan to ruin all that God has done.
In today’s Scripture, we see how God promises to change us despite our circumstances. God is speaking to the Israelites through the prophet, Ezekiel. To give just a little context, Ezekiel’s message to God’s chosen people was given after the first Jewish exiles had been taken captive from Judah to Babylon. It is a warning to the prisoners not to believe the false prophets of the time period. He is offering them a message of hope for the coming Messiah.
As you may already know, the Israelites have struggled with their faith in God up to this point. Through Ezekiel’s prophecy, God is letting them know how He will redeem their suffering. They only need patience and set their eyes upon the Lord and not become bitter and resentful. Sounds simple enough, right? One would think so. But I ask you this, how often have you allowed your bitterness and resentment to hardened your heart? Especially if you are in a personal prison. Confession, I have many times. God is telling us there is hope, we just have to be acutely aware and patient.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
The day I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior was the day this prophecy became a reality. Now, don’t get me wrong it is an ongoing process, but having the tools of recovery has helped me see how bitterness and resentment not only harden my heart toward people who betray me but also toward God. That is the hope Ezekiel was telling the people of Israel. Here it is in a nutshell, we live in a fallen world. People will hurt you. People will betray you. There will be crimes committed, disasters will happen, and disease will exist.
Our suffering in this world has already been redeemed. Jesus suffered and was crucified on the cross in our place. He was buried and rose again on the third day to sit on the throne for eternity. Once I accepted this as the truth, I said goodbye to my hardened heart. God replaced it with a new one. I have a new spirit within me, just as He promised. This is how I know God can be trusted.
Take me to the next post in the series.
Think About It:
How often do you pray for God to soften the heart of a loved one?
How often do you pray for God to soften your heart?
Recall a past or present betrayal. What do you feel God is teaching you through this trial?
Journal About it:
Follow along in the My Journey Journal© (subscriber password required) and write about how the questions and scriptures today resonated with you. As you write, thank Him for showing you the way in your journey.
Pray About it:
As you think and write, say this prayer with me.
Thank you for removing my heart of stone and replacing it with a heart of flesh. I praise you, Lord, for redeeming my past and the promise of a great future. I ask you to continue to work on my heart so I may glorify Your Name to all I come in contact with.
In Jesus' name,
Talk About it:
I would love to hear from you! I enjoy connecting and keeping in touch. Do you feel as though you don’t have anyone you can share with confidentially? Your anonymity is protected. Do you feel you are the only one struggling with the after-effects of growing up with an alcoholic parent? YOU are not alone! It’s time to break free from the shackles of your controlling habits, trust issues, co-dependency, guilt, self-blame, hurts, regrets, and heartaches! Your NEW Normal starts NOW!
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