Things That Are Higher And Nobler
Read Ezekiel Chapter 18
Eze 18:30 “Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit.
No, this is not another devotional about repentance. It could be. Over and over in both the Old and New Testaments our Lord calls men to repentance. But there is another hidden lesson, which can get overlooked because of the passage’s bold statement about repentance.
Note what God told Ezekiel to tell the Israelites to do after their repentance. He ordered them to “get a new heart and a new spirit.” Most of us who wrestle with same-sex attractions have spent a lot of time wondering what we can do to gain control of this area of our lives. This instruction gives us an answer which is a huge key step toward solving our problem. Anyone reading this has had their initial moment of repentance when we believed in Christ. Now we need to go the next step; to develop new hearts and new spirits.
A new heart is developed and nourished through our fervent seeking after an intimate relationship with Christ. For the remainder of our lives, we are to pursue Christ-likeness and get closer and closer to Him. I’ve heard men say, “I don’t love God. I don’t know how to develop love for Him.” Here’s the solution to that problem; get to know Him. It is impossible to NOT love Him as we learn more about His character, His love for us, and just how much He has done in our behalf. Getting to know Him is as simple as reading and meditating on His word and gaining His wisdom throughout the pages of His word. I must add, here, that we must also accept what He says as applicable to our lives. For many years, I learned facts, without believing they applied to me. Delay no longer, if that rings true for you.
A new spirit is very similar to a new heart. As our heart for God increases, our spirit reaps the benefit of a heart in tune with Him. Our spirits will rejoice more, be more at peace, and desire to obey Him in the realm of our SSA attractions. Our spirits will learn that an unhindered relationship with our Savior is more desirable than anything our same-sex actions can provide us.
Our final note: we find ourselves repenting over and over because we haven’t yet done what it takes to develop and nourish our new hearts and spirits. After each time of repentance, we gain another opportunity to strive for that new heart and spirit. This time, let’s get it right. It’s time to go beyond the new heart and spirit, and get on with the work of spreading hope to other SSA men and women who desperately need encouragement from us. They won’t get it from the world or its false teachers. Then we can say, as this songwriter wrote over one hundred years ago, “Things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight.”
“I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world’s delight; things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight. I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free, Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.” – Palmer Hartsough, 1896.
Prayer: Help me, and every man and woman, to perfect our new hearts and spirits. Speak to us as we read and meditate on Your word. Your ways and will are much more desirable than our enemy’s snares and traps, designed to lead us to despair and hopelessness.