Last week, I was in the Smoky Mountains with my family enjoying time away as well as soaking in God’s beauty. Looking out over the mountains from my cabin taught me many lessons about vastness, courage, redemption and grace. The beginning of the week started out sunny with blue skies so clear that you wondered how the mountains got their name. Two days in, the mountains lived up to their name as rain came in and left behind a smoky veil. Eventually the sun pushed through and provided a beautiful backdrop against the green covering the hillsides. The most dramatic picture came after a drenching rain throughout the third night. The morning dawned bright and clear and the sky was washed fresh with a brilliant blue. The landscape before me had been given a “do over”.

smoky mountains

There are so many life moments that beg to be washed clean – the chance to be given a “do over”. Can you think of a time when all you wanted was a “do over” to make everything better?

Ezekiel 36-26

But God is the God of relief and a new creation, if only we take off our blinders and look around us to find Him. God promises to give us a new heart and to wash clean the landscapes of our lives. God promises to work in us and through us as we open our hearts to receiving the gifts that He has promised.

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. Ezekiel 36:26

I learned last week that while God promises a new heart, we have work to do to make this happen.

We must…

Let go of the old

The NIV Life Application Bible asks “why try to patch up your old life when you can have a new one?” By accepting God’s promise, your sins are washed away and you are open to receiving a new heart from God filled with His spirit.  There is no reason to hold onto the clouded vision because God has transformed our hearts.

Accept the new

Once the old has been removed, the new is here to stay. There is no looking back and no reason to carry the baggage of the past forward into the new creation. Praying the prayer of David in Psalm 51 opens the doors to letting God take up permanent residence.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:10-12 

Surrender our past mistakes for a new heart

As I gazed out over the mountains and immersed myself in their beauty, my heart was filled with gratefulness for the gifts that God graces us with in our world. My mind knew that in order for my heart to be renewed, I needed to not only say the words “I surrender all”, but allow a space in my heart to hold onto God’s promises exclusively.

God fills us with the promise of tomorrow and gladly carries the burden of our past. He opens our heart to transform us into His new creation. We are renewed by His spirit and loved with an intensity that we need only embrace.

Is this a promise you need to reach for today? Will you surrender all to be renewed in the spirit with a new heart?

With open hearts and a willingness to let go of the past, we humbly come before you today, Lord! Create in us a clean heart!

Mary

This is another post in the series of God’s promises. Click here to read them all and thank you for joining me today.

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