“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26 NKJV)
Amaziah, the king of Judah, was undoubtedly one of the most unpredictable and unstable kings in the Bible. The Scripture records that “he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a loyal heart.” (2 Chron. 25:2 NKJV).
Sometimes Amaziah would listen to God’s voice and obey God’s law, but at other times he would despise, disregard and disobey God’s voice.
On certain occasions, Amaziah would gladly serve and worship the true and the living God, but at other times he would choose and set up his gods.
No one could accurately predict the next step or action of Amaziah – whether he would obey or disobey God or serve God or idols.
Sadly, many people today, like Amaziah, are unpredictable and unstable in their walk with God and service to God.
The Scripture rightly diagnosed Amaziah’s inconsistency and instability in his walk and service to God as a heart condition or disease. He was said to possess a disloyal or imperfect heart.
2 Chronicles 25:1-2 – NKJV
1 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.
2 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a loyal heart.
No one can walk with God steadfastly and serve God faithfully without a loyal heart and a willing mind.
This is why David admonished his son, Solomon, to serve God with a loyal heart and a willing mind.
1 Chronicles 28:9 – NKJV
9 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.
What are the symptoms or manifestations of an imperfect or disloyal heart?
Let us examine the life of Amaziah!
The first noticeable symptom of an imperfect heart in Amaziah was his selective obedience to God’s voice.
Amaziah chose when he wanted to hear or listen to God’s counsel, rebuke, correction, or warning.
Before going to the battle against the Edomites, Amaziah listened to God’s counsel from the mouth of a man of God who said to him, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the LORD is not with Israel-not with any of the children of Ephraim.” (2 Chron. 25:7 NKJV).
Although Amaziah had paid a hundred talents of silver to one hundred thousand mighty men of valor he hired from Israel, he obeyed God’s voice and discharged the troops to return home. That was an occasion when Amaziah obeyed God. But it wasn’t his lifestyle!
If obeying God is not your lifestyle or usual practice, your heart is imperfect!
However, after the LORD had given Amaziah victory over his enemies, he had no more interest in hearing or obeying God’s voice, counsel, or rebuke.
Even when God sent a prophet to Amaziah to rebuke and correct him for his foolishness in setting up and bowing to the gods of the people he had defeated in the battle, he would not listen.
Instead, Amaziah rudely retorted, saying, “Have we made you the king’s counselor? Cease! Why should you be killed?” Then the prophet ceased, and said, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not heeded my advice.” (2 Chron. 25:16).
You cannot obey God’s Word continually without a loyal heart and a willing mind!
Like Amaziah, people who don’t have a loyal heart and a willing mind are selective in their obedience to God’s word. They choose when and what to obey from God’s Word.
They quickly turn their ears away from sound doctrines, truths, rebukes, and corrections. They love and crave fables, flatteries, and eulogies of sycophants.
If your heart is not panting for the whole counsel of God’s Word, it is a glaring symptom of an imperfect heart!
The second symptom of an imperfect heart in Amaziah was his partial devotion or consecration to God.
Amaziah fought against the Edomites in the name of the LORD God of Israel and with great faith and confidence in God.
Although God gave him victory in the battle as He had promised, Amaziah returned home to worship the gods of the people he had defeated in the battle. What foolishness!
Foolishness is bound up in an imperfect heart!
The Scripture records, “Now it was so, after Amaziah came from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up to be his gods, and bowed down before them and burned incense to them.” (2 Chro. 25:14 NKJV).
Like Amaziah, many people today have made gods out of victory, wealth, riches, the job, ministry, the partner, children, the promotion, success, or breakthroughs that God has given them.
That is a direct manifestation or expression of an imperfect heart!
It is an imperfect heart that is responsible for your spiritual apathy, lukewarmness, complacency, or indifference to the things of God after your heart’s desires or prayers have been granted by God.
In an imperfect heart, Jesus Christ is not the only Lord; instead, there are multiple lords or masters. This is why people with imperfect hearts are unpredictable and unstable. You cannot tell which master they will choose to obey in a situation or time.
Beloved, it is indeed wise to pause now and critically examine the kind of heart you possess. God wants you to walk with Him and serve Him with a loyal heart and a willing mind (1 Chro. 28:9).
It is a futile exercise to seek to walk with God or serve God with an imperfect heart that will always cause you to be selective in hearing, listening to, or obeying God’s Word and cause you to fashion a god for yourself out of whatever God has given you.
As seen in the life of Amaziah, an imperfect heart impedes pursuing and accomplishing God’s purpose. It will ultimately result in death – eternal separation from God in hell (2 Chro. 25:27).
But how do you receive a perfect or loyal heart to walk with God acceptably?
Through the New Birth!
A new and perfect heart is God’s gracious gift to the believers in Christ!
Friend, if you turn humbly and wholeheartedly in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ today, believing and confessing Him as your personal Lord and Saviour, the Holy Spirit will carry out an instant spiritual transplant on you. He will remove your old and imperfect heart and give you a new and perfect heart.
A new heart is one of the blessings or benefits of the New Covenant.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 – NKJV
26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Hebrews 10:16 – NKJV
16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.”
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I receive today the gracious gift of a new and loyal heart that You offered me in and through Christ Jesus, in Jesus’ name. Amen.