In the midst of visions of destruction and judgment, there is this hopeful word given by the Lord to Ezekiel,
I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, so that they may follow my statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 11:19-20)
The Lewis quote linked with these verses in the C. S. Lewis Bible is one of my favorites….
Christ says “Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.” (Mere Christianity, Book IV, Chapter 8, paragraph 4)
That is the only way that we can become the people God intended for us to be in creation and redemption. The Lord himself must perform heart surgery. He must remove our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh. We must hand over the whole self to him to perform this surgery. This handing over involves trust. Furthermore, it is not something we do simply one time, in one great act of commitment. This handing over of the whole self to God is something that is required of us every day. Being a Christian means giving as much as you know of yourself to as much as you know of Christ every, every moment. We may not perform this handing over perfectly at first. We may get frustrated with ourselves over how many times we pull ourselves back from the Lord and from his purposes for us. No matter. We must simply give ourselves to him again, and keep on giving ourselves over, until that day we stand before him, and he purges us of all sin, and makes us perfect, whole, complete in his presence.