A Flatlined Faith

Jon Burgess


“When the people return to their homeland, they will remove every trace of their vile images and detestable idols. And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart,” ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭11:18-19‬ ‭NLT‬‬


God was speaking hope to His exiles whose faith had clearly flat lined. Even their own prophet Ezekiel cried out to God despairing that anyone would make it out of this exile alive. Israel had let God down because of their sin and rebellion and were keeping their distance. Nothing makes a heart flatline faster then being caught off from oxygen and blood. God's people were no longer living with God. God's creation was living separate from its Creator. Their heart had grown hard and cold. Distance from God had become death to their faith. Lack of intimacy with God was the death knell to a life of purpose in God. Just as the piercing sound of a flatlined soul seemed to indicate a permanent fate... there was a small spike on the monitor... and then another one... then a bigger spike then before... then consistently building to regular heart beats again! They had let God down, but God would not let them down. They were distant from God, but God was calling them home. Just when it seemed that the doctor would call "Time Of Death" on Israel He called "Time To Live"! He performed emergency heart surgery just in time! When Israel opened her eyes she looked into the eyes of the One who made her, saved her, and called her His own!


Why do we keep our distance from God? Why do we let our faith flatline? It's usually because after so much sin we pull an Adam and Eve and hide ourselves in shame from the One we used to walk with. God does not back away, we do. Our sin doesn't rock God off His throne. It grieves Him. He hates what sin does to His children. There are circumstances that follow sin that we will be facing, but we do not need to face them alone. Just as God pursued Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden after they had eaten the forbidden fruit, He does so with us. Just as God called His exiles home again even when they had worshipped idols again, He does so with us. Will we cut our heart off from the very source that gives it life? God won't. Will we allow sin to have power over the very relationship Jesus restored on The Cross through His sacrifice? It's actually quite arrogant to assume that we let God down. We can't let God down because we weren't holding Him up in the first place! In fact, if we allow Him, He will lift us up and out of our sin and give us a new heart again! All we have to do is refuse to isolate and insulate our heart from intimacy with God! He will restore our flatlined faith when we repent and then He will give us a responsive heart again!


What a beautiful picture of hope and restoration in the middle of a hopeless situation. You have crushed the lie of the enemy that keeps my heart at a deadly distance. You have given me a new heart again! Thank you for doing this for me and for each of the 78 souls who were water baptized on Sunday! I saw with my own eyes those whose faith had flatlined coming alive through You Jesus Christ!

Devotions for August 30

Ezekiel 8,9,10,11
Revelation 4

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