And I will give them one heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh, so they may follow My statutes, keep My ordinances, and practice them. Then they will be My people, and I will be their God. – Ezekiel 11:19-20
Israel, as a people, failed miserably in their attempts to obediently adhere to the law of God, but they should at least receive an “E” (somewhere between a D and an F) for their efforts. While their hearts were often in the right place, they were simply made of the wrong stuff. Flesh beats stone (in the heart department) because flesh allows for the presence of the Holy Spirit. Flesh also allows a broken, shattered tenderness that is necessary for God’s entrance and residence.
Apart from God’s divine habitation, mankind could not succeed at obedience any more favorably than Israel. Successful obedience to God has never been achieved as the result of one’s will, but rather (always) by the presence of One Person’s life … the One and only life of Christ.
My dear Jesus, my Savior, is so deeply written in my heart, that I feel confident, that if my heart were to be cut open and chopped to pieces, the name of Jesus would be found written on every piece. – Ignatius of Antioch