Heart transplants, though, have been going on for thousands of years. God has always required them. What is repentance but the removal of an old sinful heart and the replacement of a completely new one? . And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God, Ezek 11:19,20.
Too many times repentance is only skin deep. We force ourselves to stop the old life and struggle every day to live the new one. God wants us to rip out that old, stony heart and replace it with one that not only performs righteous deeds, but wants to perform them, wants to please Him, and wants to live as a follower of His Son. It is so much easier to do right when the motivation is righteousness itself.
But let’s be practical. Sometimes the zeal wanes. Sometimes we hit rough spots in the road and our desire to do right falters. Temptation can overtake even the strongest. Does that mean I have not made a new heart within me? Not really. How does that heart feel when it realizes it has fallen? Maybe that is the telling point. In his psalm of repentance after his atrocious sins David says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise,” not long after he begs God to, “Create in me a clean heart,” (Psalm 51:17 and 10). It seems even a completely new heart can gather a little grime once in awhile, so do not be conquered by depression when you fail.
If, however, you have not replaced that old heart with a new one, if you find yourself not only giving into temptation often but looking for the chance to and caring only whether or not you get caught, maybe you still have an old heart. Maybe your soul rejected the new one.
God knows whether you had a heart transplant or not, and whether that surgery achieved its goal. It may often be a painful operation, but it has a great record of success. Lots of folks live forever.
Cast away from you all your transgressions, wherein you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him who dies, says the Lord Jehovah: wherefore turn yourselves, and live, Ezek 18:31,32..