|Bind the Word to your heart|
Do you notice how easy it is to get a hard heart? God's value system is so often in direct contrast to the values of our world.
God knows that our hearts will be pulled in directions away from Him. He also knows that when we go with that pull we will find our hearts hardening. We will become aware of a nagging sense of dissatisfaction and impatience with life and with those around us. He cautions us...
"See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness" (Hebrews 3: 12 & 13).
Many times we don't even notice the hard crust that settles around our heart. We compromise in "little" things and think it won't matter. Yet for the believer, there is inner frustration when we allow things into our hearts and minds that we know are in contrast to God. When we ignore that we find our heart moving toward unbelief. God calls us to be vigilant about keeping our heart soft. It's not always easy but it is always worth it.
1) Keep tabs on sin in your life. It slows down your reflex to God.
Be sensitive to the nudging of the Holy Spirit in your life. Don't cancel out the warning when your conscious bothers you. It's easy to justify "small" wrong doings as we live in this world's economy. Yet the toll it takes on a believer's heart is simply not worth the momentary satisfaction.
2) Guard your heart against unbelief.
If you find yourself justifying wrong doing and telling yourself it's just small or it's justified because of someone else's actions toward you ... be careful. This path will take you down a road of unbelief. The joy and blessing comes in the obedience to the ways of God. He warns us that these compromises are deceitful and the end is a hard heart.
3) Don't blame God in the midst of hard times.
Run to God when the storms of life blow. Let His arms of comfort enfold you. Let His Spirit empower you with wisdom and help from God as you ask Him about each step in the midst of difficult days.
4) Give encouragement daily and seek it as well.
We sharpen each other's faith as we share together.
Keep my heart soft. Don't let me allow sin to slow down my reflex to You. I need You in my life. Increase my faith and help me to encourage someone else today to stay firm in their faith too. Guide me and hold me close to Your heart. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.
Questions: When you find yourself justifying wrong doing, how can that lead to hardening of your heart? How does sin in one's life slow down one's sensitivity to God's warning signals? How can we keep our hearts soft?
Warmest thoughts and prayers,