After Jesus’ ascension into heaven, the disciples return to Jerusalem and devote themselves to prayer as they await the promised indwelling of the Holy Spirit (verse 14).
As they waited in prayer, they discerned the need to replace Judas, the one who betrayed Jesus. After Peter proposed the qualifications, the community put forward two people, Joseph and Matthias.
And then they prayed:
“Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen…”
They know that if someone is going to be a witness to the risen Jesus the most important thing is that they have the right kind of heart.
How is your heart today?
Following Jesus has never been about following certain rules. Following Jesus has always been about having a certain kind of heart, hearts aflame with love for God and neighbor.
In his book
Renovation of the Heart
, Dallas Willard writes, “The greatest need you and I have—the greatest need of collective humanity—is renovation of our heart. That spiritual place within us from which outlook, choices, and actions come has been formed by a world away from God. Now it must be transformed. Indeed, the only hope of humanity lies in the fact that, as our spiritual dimension has been formed, so it can also be transformed.”
God’s great desire is the transformation of your heart. Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah God said,
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Jeremiah 26:25-27)
This renovation of heart, hearts of stone replaced by hearts of flesh, is a gift God gives us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as we continually yield more and more of our lives to God.
It is a gift God gives to all who truly desire it.
The question is, do you want this gift? Do you want God to transform your heart?