A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
1 Samuel 7:3-4
3 And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.
4 Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only.
The sanctification experience involves God taking away your old rebellious heart and replacing it with a heart of flesh that enables you to do His will without being forced. This is enunciated in Ezekiel 36:26:
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
If you still struggle to obey God on any matter, it is doubtful you have received this new heart. If you are always out to do what you want, how you want it, when and where you want it, then this new heart is missing. If you are not yet broken, it is because you lack this heart. If you are still arrogant or boastful over your accomplishments, you need this new heart. If your speech is not seasoned with salt to heal its hearers, or you don’t know how to speak acceptable words to people, you need this heart of flesh.
The heart of flesh makes you to enjoy and not endure the service of God. It enables you to give without being cajoled. In the olden days, when it was time for offering, we needed nobody to exhort us on giving. The one who was to take the offering would simply ask us to prepare our offering and we would pray in one minute because giving was part of us. We gave joyfully because we saw it as a great opportunity to give something to God. Our hearts were focused on Christ and we appreciated our salvation, as a result, we were willing to spend for the One who saved us. We had the heart of a sheep and not that of a goat. In those days, you would not become a worker in the church until you were sanctified because when a worker comes to church on Sunday morning, he would not know when he would go back home. But today, immediately after service, some ministers take off even without telling their pastor. In those days, you could not leave until your pastor released you. Visitation was compulsory then. We were few, so we knew each other. When we arrived at church on Sunday morning and discovered some brethren were absent, we would send workers to go and find out why they could not come. It is time we returned to the old way of service!
One of the keys to rapid church growth is effective follow-up of first timers.
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