Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.
What is the remedy for a hard heart? The first defense against a hard heart is a careful examination of your heart. The writer of Hebrews said, “Take care” (3:12). Every now and then, we need to do a spiritual EKG to see if our spiritual heart is functioning as it should.
Here are three diagnostic questions to determine if you are in danger of developing a hard heart:
- Is your heart cold? Do you find yourself unmoved by the worship service? Are there a thousand other things you would rather do than read God’s Word or talk to God?
- Is your heart critical? Do you criticize other people instead of dealing with your own faults? Do you find it difficult to overlook or forgive the offenses of others?
- Is your heart cynical? Are you always questioning the motives of others, especially spiritual leaders in the church? Do you consistently joke about sacred things?
These are the warning signs of a heart that is hard toward God.
The second remedy for a hard heart is exhortation. Hebrews 3:13 says, “Encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today.’” We have a responsibility to come alongside and correct fellow Christians when we see them in danger of developing a hard heart. To remedy a hard heart, we should listen to the counsel of those who come alongside us and warn us.
Early in my ministry, an older woman said to me, “I believe God has a great future for you, but there is one thing in your life that if you don’t take care of, it is going to destroy your ministry.” She was dead-on right. I thank God that she was willing to tell me what I needed to hear. Do you have people like that in your life? Thank God for them, and listen to what they have to say. If you do not, then you are in danger of developing a hard heart.
The writer added, “So that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (3:13). Those who refuse to examine their hearts and listen to the exhortation of others will eventually be hardened by sin. In 1 Timothy 4:2, Paul described people whose hearts are seared as with a branding iron. If you put your finger on a hot stove, it will hurt at first. But eventually, it will destroy the nerve endings in your finger so that you can no longer feel any pain. That is what happens when we harden our hearts to God. There comes a time when we can no longer feel the Spirit of God moving in our lives.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Danger Of Unbelief” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.