Monday, November 14, 2016
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I met this 87-year-old man one day who had been given a whole new lease on life. His heart arteries were so clogged that his health was deteriorating rapidly. But then the heart surgeon went to work on him and gave him a quadruple heart bypass. In a sense, the doctor created four new arteries and plugged them into this man's heart so his heart could once again get the blood it needs when it needs it. I mean it's totally amazing the difference a skilled heart surgeon can make.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Master Heart Surgeon."
If God was a doctor, I kind of think He'd be a heart specialist. Actually, He is a heart specialist. I mean, look at how He has changed my heart and your heart. And you may be facing a situation right now that will only change for the better if someone's heart changes. There may be someone out there whose heart, whose attitude, is standing in the way of something you believe God wants done. It's time for heart surgery and one of the most powerful prayers you can learn to pray.
God's heart-changing work is graphically illustrated in our word for today from the Word of God. It's in Ezra 1 beginning in verse 1. Now God's people, the Jews, have been in captivity for 70 years, but now it's time for them to go home and build God's temple in God's land. Problem: they are under the control of a pagan king named Cyrus, who just happens to be the most powerful man on earth at that time. Actually, not a problem-for God, that is.
Here's what our word for today says. "In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord...the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus, king of Persia, to make a proclamation throughout his realm." Now the proclamation said this. "The Lord...has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build a temple for Him at Jerusalem in Judah." Wait a minute! This is amazing! This is a pagan king. Who would have guessed? "Any of His people among you-may His God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem to Judah and build the temple of the Lord." He's going, "You guys, it's okay with me. You go home. I want to be a part of you building the temple of the Lord." He didn't even believe in Him as far as we know. Isn't that amazing?
God wants something done. A king stands in the way. God changes his heart. Later in this same book there is another pagan king in power who stands in the way. But Ezra tells us, "The Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king...so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God" (Ezra 6:22).
Now, in many of life's situations there is some "king". You know, a king person-the gatekeeper. That's the one whose permission is needed. That's the one who's in a position to decide whether this is a yes or no. And here's what God tells us about those people in Proverbs 21:1. I love this. "The king's heart" (whoever is the most powerful guy around) "is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases." Even if he's far from God, even if he's the most powerful man in the world.
So one of the most powerful prayers you can pray is, "Lord, change her heart. Change his heart." Through fervent, consistent prayer, you just focus all of God's unlimited power on the heart of the "king" in your situation. Like a skilled heart surgeon, God has the ability to open up a clogged heart-to move an unmovable heart, to change that stubborn heart. In fact, in Ezekiel 36:26 God says that "He will take that heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh and put a new spirit within us." What a promise!
So exercise the authority you have in prayer-the authority to enter the throne room from which billions of galaxies are governed and aim God's power at one heart on earth. It is amazing the difference the Master Heart Surgeon can make when He changes a heart that no one on earth could move.