God, through the prophet Ezekiel, told the people of Israel that in time He would bring them back from their exile. He said that He would prove to the nations that He is the one true and living God, that He alone decides the fates of nations.
He went on to say that when He brought the people of Israel back to the land He had given them, He would restore them by removing the heart of stone that filled their being to replace it with a tender and responsive heart, willing to yield to Him.
How many of us are living in exile right now? Not held captive in another land by another government, but in exile from His presence because we continue to entertain sin in our lives? Isaiah said that our sins cut us off from God, causing Him to turn away and not listen to us.
God will bring us back out of that exile if we choose to leave it. He will call to us, woo us, draw us, and invite us to leave the sinful choices behind to return to His presence again.
When we make the choice to return to Him, God is so gracious and kind to remove that old stony heart from us and replace it with a heart ready to respond to Him in obedience.
A heart of stone is one that is unyielding, even when wrong. It is set in its own ways, refusing to even consider that there is a better path. That stony heart is certain that it needs no other, no help, no advice. It is defensive and critical and love does not exist in it.
Are you there in exile today? Does your heart lean to being stony? Do you hear the Father calling to you to return to Him, to restore your relationship with Him?
What’s keeping you from Him?
We are told in the book of James that if we draw near to God, He draws near to us. No matter how far our exile has taken us, turning to Him, taking that one step then another toward Him initiates His move toward us. Not in anger, not in condemnation, just total and unconditional love.
Come home from your exile my friend. It’s time.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
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Faye Bryant is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals escape the lies of the enemy, live into God’s truth, and build a better life by first feeling, dealing, and healing their way through a stuck future or an abused past, toward a deeper path of purpose, and into the unhackable life of their chosen legacy. Hers is a story of resurrection: from death to life!