MM00080 Do not harden your hearts
Mentoring Manna: Do not harden your hearts
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
Hebrews 3:12-15 “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts....’”
There is great danger in hardening our hearts to the voice of the Lord in our hearts. Hardening makes something rigid and solid. Hardening our heart toward God brings severe consequences. We harden our hearts by ignoring, resisting, and rejecting the voice of the Lord. The consequence of hardening our hearts is that we become callous and beyond feeling. Where we once were convicted, moved, and stirred by the Lord, now we are unmoved, rigid, and without conviction.
The writer of Hebrews warned those who believed in Christ not to harden their hearts to the Lord. Hardening takes place through a wrong attitude and response to God. Unbelief and unrepentant sin can callous our hearts and make us dull in our ability to hear and know God. Hardening our hearts leads us progressively into a condition of blindness and deafness to the Spirit of God. Hardness can lead us into tragic deception as we begin to feel that the waning level of conviction in our life is actually God’s understanding and approval of our sin!
Hardness is a judgment from God. In Isaiah’s vision of the Lord, God commissioned Isaiah saying, “Go and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed.” When God sent Moses to Pharaoh, God knew that Pharaoh would not heed His command to let the people of Israel go. Over a process of ten confrontations with the word of the Lord, Pharaoh hardened his heart. And yet, the Bible tells us that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. How does God harden a person’s heart? God hardened Pharaoh’s heart by forcing him to choose between obeying or rejecting the voice of the Lord. Every time Pharaoh rejected the word of the Lord, his heart grew harder and more stubborn. In his hardened pride, Pharaoh refused repentance and was judged by the Lord. Rejecting the dealings of the Lord in our lives brings upon us God’s judgment of a hardened heart.
The writer of Hebrews exhorted believers to continue in the same confident that they had when they began with Christ. They began with a submitted and obedient attitude toward the Lord. He warned them not to allow the process of hardening to begin in their life through unbelief and sin. He encouraged them to maintain a good heart toward the Lord by responding to the Lord “Today.” Today is a NOW word. Don’t procrastinate your obedience to the Lord. Don’t grow dull of hearing the word of the Lord. Respond to His voice “Today.”
Application: Have you heard the voice of the Lord speaking to you today? Is God dealing with your heart? Are there priorities that God is commanding you to change? Is there unrepentant sin in your life? Is there unforgiveness in your heart? Have you heard the voice of the Lord telling you to give your heart to Jesus and to submit completely to His lordship? Has God been dealing with you about His will, calling, and purpose for your life? Do not harden your heart. The more you ignore, resist, and reject the voice of the Lord speaking to you “Today,” the harder and more unfeeling you will become. Tragically, many have resisted until they are now beyond conviction. They have become stubborn and determined in their unbelief and sin. Don’t allow your heart to grow dull. Do not harden your heart. Heed the voice of the Lord speaking to you “Today.”
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, forgive me for hardening my heart to You. Forgive me for ignoring, resisting, and even rejecting Your voice. I repent of this sin. I embrace Your dealings and determine to respond to Your voice in my life TODAY. As I do, I ask You to begin softening any hardness that has come into my heart so that I might become completely sensitive to Your voice. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
 Isaiah 6:9-10 NKJV
 Exodus 8:32
 Exodus 7:3; Romans 9:18