The author of Hebrews words, “Do Not Harden Your Heart”, offers a touching reminder of the spiritual journey we navigate daily.
In our world today, our hearts face various distractions including persecution and temptation. This coupled with the make and belief lifestyle of many, most are drawn to chasing after the wind – where we harden our hearts.
This devotional serves as a gentle guide, urging us to maintain a tender heart in the face of life’s challenges.
Key Takeaway to Do Not Harden Your Heart
- That a softened heart allows for divine transformation and deeper connection with our Creator, and a hardened heart leads to destruction
Anchor Bible Verse of the day (Hebrews 3:7-8 (NKJV)
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness,
The author quotes Psalm 95:7-8, which is a call to worship and a warning against unbelief. He also exhorts them to heed God’s voice and not harden their hearts like their forefathers did in the wilderness.
The author wants to convey to his readers, who are Jewish Christians facing persecution and temptation to abandon their faith. He reminds them of the example of their ancestors, who rebelled against God in the wilderness and missed out on the promised rest. He urges them to listen to God’s voice today and not repeat the same mistake.
- As in the rebellion: It refers to the Israelites’ historical disobedience during their wilderness journey, highlighting the peril of a hardened heart that shuts out God’s voice.
Reflection on Do Not Harden Your Heart
What does it mean to harden our hearts? It means to resist, ignore, or reject God’s will and His word. It means to be stubborn, proud, or unrepentant. It means to be insensitive, indifferent, or cold toward God and His love.
Why do we harden our hearts?
- Sometimes, we harden our hearts because of sin. We love our sins more than God, and we don’t want to repent or change.
- Sometimes, we harden our hearts because of doubt. We don’t trust God’s promises, power, or goodness.
- Sometimes, we harden our hearts because of fear. We are afraid of what God might ask us to do or what He might allow us to go through.
- Sometimes, we harden our hearts because of pride. We think we know better than God, and we don’t want to submit or obey.
How can we avoid hardening our hearts? The answer is simple but not easy:
- We need to listen to God’s voice and obey it.
- We need to read His word and apply it.
- We need to pray and seek His face.
- We need to humble ourselves and repent of our sins.
- We need to trust Him and follow Him.
- We need to love Him and worship Him.
The Bible gives us many examples of people who hardened their hearts and faced the consequences:
- Pharaoh hardened his heart and refused to let the Israelites go, and he suffered the plagues and the destruction of his army (Exodus 7-14).
- The Israelites hardened their hearts and rebelled against God in the wilderness, and they were denied entry into the promised land (Numbers 14).
- Saul hardened his heart and disobeyed God’s commands, and he lost his kingdom and his life (1 Samuel 15-31).
- Judas hardened his heart and betrayed Jesus, and he ended up hanging himself (Matthew 27:3-5).
But the Bible also gives us examples of people who softened their hearts and received God’s mercy.
- David softened his heart and confessed his sin with Bathsheba, and he was forgiven and restored (2 Samuel 12; Psalm 51).
- Nineveh softened its heart and repented at Jonah’s preaching, and it was spared from destruction (Jonah 3).
- Peter softened his heart and wept bitterly after denying Jesus, and he was reinstated and empowered (Luke 22:54-62; John 21:15-19).
- Paul softened his heart and surrendered to Jesus on the road to Damascus, and he became a great apostle and missionary (Acts 9).
Today, the choice is ours:
Will we harden our hearts or soften them? Will we resist God or yield to Him? Will we face His wrath or receive His grace?
In Hebrews 3:15, we read again: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” Beloved, let us heed this warning and respond with faith and obedience.
Call to Action
Throughout the day, consciously reflect on the state of your heart. Is it easily influenced and open to God’s leading, or has it unintentionally hardened? Take moments for prayer and self-reflection, allowing the Spirit to soften any areas that may have become rigid.
Embrace the challenges of the day with an open heart, trusting that God’s guidance will lead you.
Prayer Points for Today
- Lord, soften my heart: Pray for God to give you a soft heart, receptive to His voice.
- Wisdom in challenges: Ask for wisdom to navigate today’s challenges with a heart attuned to God’s leading.
- Spiritual resilience: Seek strength to maintain spiritual resilience, rooted in an open and receptive heart.
Our Father, guide us today as we strive to keep our hearts open and tender. May Your voice resonate within us, preventing any hardening in the face of life’s trials.
In the precious and mighty name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
My prayer for you today: I pray that your heart remains soft and open to God’s guidance, navigating the day with resilience and grace.