“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 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. 26 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. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. 30 I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. 32 I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel!” (Ezekiel 36: 24—32)

In this word of God to the children of Israel who were in captivity through the prophet Ezekiel, He spelled out what he will do for them. The first thing God said he would do was to TAKE THEM OUT OF THE NATIONS. This step follows by many more “I WILL STATEMENTS” of God. God longs to do all good things for his people, for he longs for a genuine relationship with them.
God will go to any length to draw us into a relationship with him. This list of I WILLs of God reflects the sense of his heart for a relationship. First, there must be cleansing. People cannot approach a Holy God with sin. But God took the initiative to make it possible, so He started by cleansing all our impurities from idols. Idols are anything that we prioritized and put before God.
A relationship with God requires a new heart and a new spirit. A heart that is not hardened like stones but soft and flesh. So often, hearts are hardened toward God. Sin makes our hearts hardened, and it becomes an idol. A new spirit is needed. I can’t relate to God with a sinful heart and a wayward spirit. Both the new heart and a new spirit are from God. God also said he would put HIS SPIRIT in them and move them to follow his decrees and be careful to obey his laws. God continues to declare blessings over the Israelites…there will be an increase with their fruit-giving trees, and grains will be plenty.
God declared all these blessings and good things for Israel, not because they deserve it. He showed them his kindness and goodness and what HE WILL DO for them. However, God’s purpose for showing them what he will do is to make them REMEMBER how evil and wicked their deeds are. It reminded them that they had missed it because of their wicked ways.
God shows his kindness and goodness as a way for the Israelites to loathe or hate themselves for the way they have been living. God is NOT doing this for them. God’s promises are there before them, but they must hate their sins enough to make a change. As good as God’s promises before us, HE will NOT decide for us. The decision is up to me to choose what God has offered, for he will NOT make that decision for me. Thus, GOD said, I DID NOT DO THIS FOR YOU. The way God chose to speak to the Israelites about how bad their choices of lifestyle were, was to show them how much they were missing out in their relationship with him.

I am often like the Israelites who miss out on God’s good promises because of my poor choices. Today, I choose God’s way and commitments as I journey in my relationship with Jesus. I desire a new heart and a new spirit. I want to be cleansed by Jesus’ words. I desire to have the Spirit of God dwell in me always. I repent of all the idols that I put before Christ. I repent of my pride for choosing my ways over God’s promises.

Jesus, teach me to obey your ways. Thank you for all the good things that you promise for your children. I ask your Spirit to continue leading and guiding me into your purpose and will. I as for a new heart and a new spirit.
Remove from me the heart of stone but ask that you give me a heart of flesh that responds and obey you. I choose to follow you today with a new heart and fervor. Thank you for your kindness and grace. Amen!