Do not harden your hearts

That is why the Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness. There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years... Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. Hebrews 3:7-9, 12-13

From the text, the author of the Book of Hebrews was giving a warning to everyone who claims that they belong to God. The warning was about not taking for granted what the Holy Spirit says. It is through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that we obtained God’s word. So, the admonition is to take seriously what was said in God’s Word for it is relevant as it was spoken in the past and as it is today. People in the Old Testament disobeyed when clearly God had spoken and they were not willing to follow. When we turn a deaf ear to what God is saying we are guilty of hardening our hearts. This malady is not new for it was manifested by Pharaoh when Moses came to him and asked him to release the Israelites from bondage. But when the Israelites were released and had their freedom, they themselves immediately forgot what God did and they too hardened their hearts. Hardening of the hearts takes place when we start to doubt God and His word. Once we allow unbelief to settle in to our hearts, we will turn into having deaf ears. The Lord Jesus Christ rebuked His disciples when they doubted God in His promise of resurrection. Despite the fact that God promised in His word that He will rise from the dead, the disciples did not belief. “Still later he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. He rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief because they refused to believe those who had seen him after he had been raised from the dead” (Mark 16:14). We realized that just like the eleven disciples, we are susceptible to unbelief that could lead to the hardening of the hearts. But just like what the author of Hebrews said, “Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God.” We should not allow the enemy of God influenced us in our thinking and be deceived to commit sin. We are exhorted to take courage and find our hope in the assurance that God will keep His promises. Always be ready to commit yourself in loving “the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind’” (Matthew 22:37). Do not waver in your trust and take God at His word. Remain faithful in serving God for everything you do will not be in vain. “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Blessings,

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