SOFTEN YOUR HEART
(Eze 36:26) "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Do you ever feel your heart getting hard? It’s a terrible feeling isn’t it? Things we go through may not only give us thicker skin but harder hearts. You know the feeling. You’ve been hurt. You’ve been ripped off. You’ve been mistreated and taken advantage of. Life has been tough. Your goals have been frustrated. Your spirit has become agitated. Your emotional Molotov cocktail is a mixture of anger and bitterness and it’s ready to explode at any provocation. Then comes apathy when you really don’t care anymore. You stop fighting your dark side and let yourself slip into the shadows. Welcome to the zone of a heart of stone!
The classic example of a hard heart is Pharoah. God said through Moses and Aaron to let His people go but Pharoah refused. (Exo 7:13-14) And Pharaoh's heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the LORD had said. 14 So the LORD said to Moses: "Pharaoh's heart is hard; he refuses to let the people go.
But can God’s people harden their hearts also? Yes, unfortunately they can. (Heb 3:15) while it is said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." Things happen. We misunderstand what God is doing or what He has allowed to happen. We fail to trust in the Lord, so our hearts get rebellious and crusty.
So, what is the result of a hard heart? It’s a life of pain and tragedy. God deals heavily with us when our hearts get stiff and we turn from Him and get bitter towards others. We just can’t win in that wrestling match with the Lord! (Pro 28:14) . . . But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity. Even that first layer of hardness is required of by the Lord. (Mark 16:14) Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
What do we do when we are tempted to let our bad and vile attitude be ensconced in the granite graveyard of a griping grudge? (2 Tim 2:3) You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. We are to endure hardness when it comes into our lives. If not, we’ll think we’re entitled to a problem-free life and end up with a big dose of reality and a boulder for a ticker!
What do we do with a diagnosis of a hard heart? God has to give us a new heart and a new spirit. The Lord has to do surgery on us and literally take that heart of stone out of us and give us a heart of flesh . . . one that is soft and pliable. Then we need to keep in fellowship with God’s people as a preventive. (Heb 3:13) but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Life can be hard but don’t let it give you a hard heart. Soften your heart and give God something to work with . . . not against!