Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.” Ezekiel 19: 31

Several years ago my sister-in-law (who shall remain nameless) was driving from New York City to somewhere in Pennsylvania. Now this can be a long, lonely ride and to top it off, she was all by herself. To pass the time she was listening to a book on CD. At one point she pulled off the road at a rest area to use the facilities. Afterward, she got in her car, turned the book back on and set off again on her journey. The book must have been very good, because about an hour later she happened to finally notice a sign showing the miles to New York City. Wide-eyed and screaming, she finally realized that she had gotten back on the interstate going in the wrong direction and hadn’t noticed for over an hour! With frustration she realized that she had just added two more hours to her trip and she made a U-turn at the next available exit.

Have you ever done something like that? While I haven’t gone an hour in the wrong direction at 60+ miles per hour, I have certainly had my share of times going the wrong way. I once turned down a one-way street in the wrong direction and I have certainly been led astray by my GPS a couple of times and had to back-track to get where I was going.

These instances can be metaphors that teach us about our spiritual life. What direction are we heading in: toward Jesus, or away from Him? Are we following Him on the Narrow Road, or cruising away from Him on the Wide Road? All of us sin, but what Jesus is asking is for a total change of direction in our lives and a complete exchange of our cold, hard hearts for new hearts that seek only to know Him, love Him and serve Him. Where is your heart right now?

Lent is a great time for us to take stock of our lives and look into our hearts and see what direction we are heading. Have we gotten on the wrong road or are we going in the wrong direction? Have we missed the “road” signs or warnings that Christ has put before us? Are we listening to God’s voice in our “GPS” for our direction, or are we listening to the voices of others that are misleading us from our intended final destination (heaven)? Are we going the wrong way on a spiritual one-way street? Does our life need a U-turn?

There is no half-way with God. It is all or nothing. Of course we will still sin, but the important question is this: where is our heart? Do we desire to love God above all else? Do we HATE sin? Do we do all we can to avoid the near occasion of sin? Are we living for God? Is He the reason we awake in the morning, work each day and go to sleep again at night?

He sees and knows the desires of our hearts, even when we fall. If our lives have been given completely to Him, if we have made a U-turn or a “180” from our lives of sin, from our old heart, and we have asked Him to make within us a new heart, He will. And each day we journey on the right road, in the right direction, the stronger this new heart will beat for love of Him. And as this heart beat grows stronger, we desire to see all people have the same heart beating within them. This Lent may we turn completely around from our desires for sin, or comfort or ease and allow Christ to create a new heart within us, a heart that desires only Him. A heart designed for greatness.

Dear Jesus, take any part of my heart that is old, cold or hard and replace it with new life. I desire to follow You Jesus. May the new heart You fashion within me beat with such love and passion for You that at every moment I profess Your glory and show Your mercy to everyone I meet. Amen.

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