Text: Hebrews 3:1-18, Psalm 95:1-11
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness…”
– Hebrews 3:8-9
We can read in Scripture that a hard heart will bring you much pain. We see that a hard heart will darken our understanding and alienate us from a life of God (Ephesians 4:18). In the wisdom book of Proverbs, we read that a hard heart will bring calamity in our lives (Proverbs 28:13-14).
We can read in many stories, from the Pharaoh to the prophet Isaiah, that a hardened heart makes it difficult to really hear and really see what God is doing. A hard heart scrambles our understanding of heavenly happenings. It seems to almost bind our minds to the fallen ways of the world. I know in my own life, when my mind is bound to what is earthly, I am filled with worry.
Oswald Chambers says, “Don’t take the pressure of forethought upon yourself. It is not only wrong to worry, it is infidelity, because worrying means that we do not think that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything else that worries us. Have you ever noticed what Jesus said would choke the word He puts in? The devil? No, the cares of this world. It is the little worries always. I will not trust where I cannot see. That is where infidelity begins. The only cure for infidelity is obedience to the Spirit.”
To be obedient to the Spirit we must have eyes that can see and ears that can hear. In this Hebrews passage, we are told that we ought not have an unbelieving heart but hold true to our original confidence. We need to cling to the Good News of Jesus that we believed in the beginning of our faith journey.
When we first believed in Jesus, it was because He changed our heart of stone into a pliable heart of flesh.
We surrendered our rock-hard souls and allowed Him to make a heavenly exchange on our behalf.
When we first believed, we had confidence in His power and authority to make such a daring switch.
We must not desire to reverse this redemptive process and exchange the new spiritual heart we were given. We must not allow ourselves to seek out our old, hard heart that had no spiritual understanding at all. In doing so, we would rebel against Jesus and forfeit His good gifts for us.
Let’s keep soft hearts, friends. Let’s keep listening —really listening— to God the Father, and really seeing the work He is doing in us and around us. His Word promises that He is always working, that His Spirit is working on our behalf, and that we need to abide in Him.
If we abide in Him, we will find rest.