Have you ever heard someone called hard hearted? Have you ever seen someone who was just plain stubborn, I mean stubborn beyond belief? I bet you have. I have and I hope it has never been applied to any of you. There are people in our world who are obstinate and hardheaded. God calls it something else and that something else It is called a heart problem. At the root of it is self centeredness. It is a problem as old as mankind itself.
In the Bible we see it so clearly in Exodus when the Bible describes Pharaoh as having a hard heart. Despite being warned and told by God to change his ways, he refused and each time his heart became more hardened. The lesson there is that the more we reject God’s warnings and outreach, the more our heart can become stubborn and hardened and obstinate. Pharaoh saw Moses perform miracle after miracle and never changed. God tried to reach him and again and again, he refused to shed his pride and willfulness to his own destruction. He had to have it his way.
In our world today, countless people refuse to submit to God through that same kind of attitude. Many more refuse to see plain truth when it is clearly presented to them in non spiritual matters as well. When we refuse to submit to God’s wooing and standards we go the same way and when we refuse to see truth in even every day life and reject help and outreach, we isolate ourselves and bring about our own heart hardening and even demise. Our too often desire to control every situation and have things our own way can bring us into conflict with others and with God. It almost seems like some people prefer destruction than submission and wisdom. Refusal to act on truth again and again, time after time, corrodes the heart of people and even believers. In Romans 1:21, Paul warned that people who do this become, “Futile in their thoughts and their hearts are darkened.” He went on to say in verse 28 that when people continually rebuke the Lord, He will give them over to a debased mind. I fear we are seeing that run rampant in our society today when more and more people refuse to follow Biblical standards and “write their own Gospel to suit them.” It accounts for the debauchery we see everywhere.
The point comes then where God says, “OK, have it your way.” That result is never good and the Bible shows us account after account of the results of that. We can avoid all of this if we do certain things. One, we need to make a concern for spiritual things paramount in our lives. Secondly, we had better in our spiritual walk and our secular walk, not ignore the testimony of facts and of other people who care about us. A third thing we need to do is to not fail to recognize our own hardening and refuse to deal with it and make some course corrections. The danger of not making course corrections can lead us into a perilous situation if we do not wake up and can the pride. Another sign to avoid a hardened heart is that we need to deal with pride. The idea that we know better than anyone else or are smarter than anyone else is diabolical. We think we are always right and everyone else is wrong. Bad problem.
C.S. Lewis wrote that “God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” George MacDonald, a great Christian writer said this, “In whatever man does without God, he must either fail miserably or succeed more miserably.”
Every one of us need to guard against having it our way so much that our heart is hardened and unreachable. We need to say yes ot God and learn as well to say yes in our best interests in our every day life instead of acting like someone who is 2 years old and wanting what they want, when they want it regardless of how it affects them, let alone someone else. Stand watch over your heart and if you see it headed in the wrong direction, remember that He can replace our calloused heart with a new heart of flesh from which you will always know because of the attitude change that comes to you. Until next time, grace and peace.