For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.
As we have already established, the Word of God is an essential part of restoring one to the original image. It is the instruction manual, the blueprints for being all God intends us to be. One Old Testament hero, Ezra understood this and shaped his life around the Scriptures. The first thing Ezra did was to set his heart.
I recently heard someone say, “I need to get my head back in the game.” I appreciate what they meant but I’m always a little suspect of that saying. It sounds like obligation, duty, or being under compulsion. I believe a person’s head is where their heart is. The objective is not to change just my mind but to change my inner most desires as well. I want my heart in the game.
Jesus gives us good instructions on how to perform this spiritual heart surgery. He says, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt 6.21). The key to changing my heart is to change my treasure. What are the things most valuable to me? Is it my relationship with God? Is it His Kingdom? Is it bringing glory to God as I was originally designed to do? If these things are my treasure, my heart (and my mind) will quickly follow.
But eternal things are sometimes an acquired taste. I remember the first time I wanted to drink coffee. I had been working outside all night and it was cold, rainy, and miserable. Coffee was the only warmth available. I had tried it before and was not impressed. But now in my circumstances, I appreciated it so much more. When I reflect on my sinful state and how absolutely broken I really am and how His Word can change my life, my circumstances drive me to the Book of Restoration. It is no longer a chore to read the Scriptures, it is my great desire.
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