(November 18, 2015 - Wednesday)
(November 18, 2015 - Wednesday)
The hard heart you have is like a callus. After blistering at one spot on your hand repeatedly, it will form a callus. The person’s feeling is blocked at the spot one’s hand to prevent your for more hurt. God gives a new heart for those newly saved who has a tender heart that so easily affected. That new heart for new Christian responds to the words of God. On the other hand, a hard heart is like a callus and will not respond to God.
I- SYMPTOMS OF THE HARDENED HEART
A. WILLFUL DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD
Exodus 4:21 “And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.”
Here, we can see the willful disobedience of Pharaoh. Whosoever disobeys God willfully, will get hard heart. God will allow you to have a hard heart if you freely and willfully disobey God.
B. FORGETTING THE BLESSINGS OF GOD
Deuteronomy 8:6-20 Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass. When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.
In this passage, the children of Israel forgot the Mercies of God and take for granted the goodness of God. We must be careful in taking the blessings of God for granted that will give us a hard heart. They forget Him who blesses them and consider themselves the author of their wealth. It’s easy to disobey God when we forget that it is God who blesses us.
C. DISCONTENTMENT AND DISCOMFORT
Psalm 95:8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
The Israelites continue murmuring to their leader Moses and questioning why they were daily receiving manna, comparing their food in Egypt with the daily heavenly provision of God. They were not thankful but discontented and boldly complain about their discomfort in the hand of God in the wilderness.
Once you blame God and start complaining about those bad things happening in your life that will lead you in having a hard heart.
D. REJECTION OF PROFITABLE REBUKE
Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
According to this verse whosoever were corrected repeatedly will make hard hearts. If needed be, often rebuke from God, from Parents, from a boss or from a Pastor will gives you a callused heart. Stiff necked people are hard hearted people.
E. REFUSAL TO HEAR
Zechariah 7: 8-13 And the word of the Lord came unto Zechariah, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts. Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts:
Refusing to listen to the Word of God and to the voice of the Holy Spirit can cause
a loss of Spiritual hearing. Once a person use to avoid listening to preaching, teaching of the Holy Scriptures, and do some excuses or alibis can results to their hard heart.
F. FAILURES TO RESPOND
Matthew 13:10-15 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
In this passage, the children of Israel had reached a point of hardness because they were
listening to instruction of God but without intention of obeying Him. Consequently, Israel hardness of heart produces an inability to obey. James warns us “be doers of the word and not hearers only deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22)
II- SOLUTIONS FOR HARDNESS OF HEART
A. PURIFICATION OF THE HEART
Psalm 24: 4-5 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
One thing we should do to mend that hard heart is to read your Bible daily. The Bible is pure and can cleanse our inner man by trusting its power. A pure heart was blessed by the Lord and protects hardening of the heart.
B. PREPARATION OF THE HEART
Psalm 139: 23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Let God tells you the condition of your heart. May you be honest to accept God’s evaluation of your heart and willing to repent from your sins? You must pray to God consistently to be well prepared as first aid for hardness.
. PROTECTION OF THE HEART
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Don’t compromise but stay away from evil. Flee from evil and do what is right. Avoid those wrong and sinful practices that influence your heart to be hard.
D. PRACTICE OF THE HEART
I Timothy 6:11-12 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
There must be practical exercise of our spiritual heart to maintain a well pleasing and God honoring life. There are lots of good things that you need to follow after. There was no way for hardness of the heart to those who practice righteous and godly living, living by faith, walking in love, exercising patience and showing meekness toward any circumstances.