Heart Of Stone

I know a lot of people who have been deterred from church due to being hurt. I can personally attest as I grew up (was raised, basically lived) in the church as a youth. When I became a little older, I had some serious issues with the actions of some of my old church members towards my family. I let this anger drive me away from the church, and ultimately my relationship with God, for years. 

Since that period of time, I have grown to be a man and head of my own family. I have let a lot of that anger go. I heard this minster speak a sermon the other day that reminded me of this situation. It caught my interest as I always speak about people focusing on their relationship with God, versus religion. I thought this preacher used a good analogy (fossilization), so thought I would share. Keep in mind I am paraphrasing:

“People have been turned off of the church because they have been mixing religion with relationship. I had all the outer appearance right (according to what my religious organization called being saved). Until I got older, and I began to recognize underneath all that religious paraphernalia was a heart that was not purified. Was a person who struggled with sin. I still sung in the choir, and what happened was it became a struggle to live two lives…because what you are doing practicing schizophrenia…teaching yourself to become perfected as two different people. I realized how close I was to the image people said (saved), and how far I was from a relationship with God.

“Later on in life I was preaching, and praying to God telling him people aren’t getting it. Then he revealed this to me. He brought me to the 11th chapter of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 11:19). It says will take out of you the heart of flesh, and put withiin you a new heart…which is a heart of my spirit. That heart will become sensitive to My wills and My ways.

“So initially I didn’t understand, and God spoke to me. He told me that I will take out of you the heart of stone. You see the anatomy of stone is not the anatomy of human body. Stone can not be penetrated. What’s been happening is all these people trying to get through Me through religion, through church, through religious organizations, and they still have a heart of stone.

“When they hear the preacher preach, it is like a fossil impression. You hear the Word, and the Word is falling on a rock. We have fossils because (e.g. dinosaur age) something dead laid on the rock long enough and it left an impression on stone. What is happening is the Word of God is being preached, but peoples lives are not transformed for several reasons (not preached with power, anointing, etc.) So what is happening is people are hearing Word, but it is not penetrating. The Word is laying on them like a fossil so they have the image that they are they saved, and the image that they are changed, but in everyday life behind closed doors, they are not being changed.”

 

 

 

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