O God, Seize My Heart!

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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So I’ll seize the hearts of the house of Israel, whose idols have made them all strangers to me. (CEB)

Ezekiel 14:

Ezekiel 14 begins with a revelation to the prophet concerning the elders of Israel. They have chosen on their own to set up idols rather than to worship God and God alone. Their hearts wandered away from the Lord and became snared in spiritual adultery. Their persistent unfaithfulness has brought upon the elders and the people of Israel God’s righteous judgment.

But chapter 14 shows another aspect of God’s response to the unfaithfulness of his people. When the leader who has practiced idolatry approaches a genuine prophet, the Lord will hold him accountable for his sin (14:4). Yet this is not merely about divine justice, for the Lord adds, “So I’ll seize the hearts of the house of Israel, whose idols have made them all strangers to me” (14:5). The verb translated as “seize” is not a gentle one. It suggest that God will grab onto his people in order to pull them away from their idols.

Moreover, the Lord is angry because the idols have made all of the Israelites “strangers to me” (14:5). When he seizes his people, taking them away from their idols, he does so in order to restore relationship. God’s ultimate purpose is to be in a permanent, intimate relationship with those he has called to be his people. Thus, only a few verses later, he looks forward to the time when “They will be my people, and I will be their God” (14:11).

I have been a Christian for almost five decades. And, though I have never set up literal idols to worship, I have at times chosen to become enmeshed with that which takes me away from the Lord. Thus, my desire is that God might seize my heart, wrenching me away from that which makes me a stranger to him.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What are the “idols” in your life that keep you away from an intimate relationship with God? Has God ever “seized you heart” so that you might have a renewed relationship with him? From what might God seize you today?

PRAYER: Seize my heart, O Lord!
From all that keeps me away from you, seize me!
From all that I value more than you, seize me!
From all that I love more than you, seize me!
Seize my heart, O Lord, that I might know you truly, intimately, joyfully. Amen.