“My child, pay attention to what I say.
Listen carefully to my words.
Don’t lose sight of them.
Let them penetrate deep into your heart” (Proverbs 4:21 NLT).
When I read these words this morning, I began to wonder just how deeply God’s Word penetrates our hearts. My immediate thought was, “Not very. Not very deep at all.” If that’s true, then my spirituality is embarrassingly superficial. God’s Word just skims the surface of my life. I may do what He says, but one doesn’t have to give much thought to obedience. I may trust His promises, but I can go for an entire day without them coming to mind. I can dig deep and find all kinds of fears, doubts and regrets inside myself. How can God get a foothold in there, deep in my heart?
As I pondered this question, a few images came to mind. One was from Ezekiel, where the Lord declares that He will replace hearts of stone with hearts of flesh (Ezek. 36:26). I can understand the need for that. It’s very hard to penetrate stone. I’ve tried. Even with a masonry bit and a large drill, it takes time to make a hole for an anchor to hang up a shelf in the garage. I can penetrate flesh much easier. I’ve done that, too, as the assortment of cuts on my hands attest. When God’s Spirit brings us to life, our hearts become penetrable once again.
Next, there is the promise from Jeremiah of a new covenant God make with his people, writing His law on their hearts (Jer. 31:33). That new covenant comes when God forgives, a promise fulfilled by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ, the blood of a new covenant. Our Lord’s words no longer skim the surface when we eat and drink His body and blood. The reality of His grace indeed find room within us, replacing the fears, doubts and regrets with forgiveness, life and salvation.
As I thought of and wrote about the above, I’m amazed and thankful that these images surfaced. Obviously God got through to me somewhere and somehow. I guess I’m still learning just how deep His love is (Eph. 3:18).