Out of Dry Ground
Harden Not Your Heart
One of the most valuable lessons learned in the 80s was to be alert at all times to the condition of my heart. Whether it's the world, the flesh, or the devil as the cause, nothing can cause the Christian more difficulty than the hardening of our hearts. Of course, it takes constant hard work, but knowing what to look for is vitally important.
The warning given to us from God's Word is in Hebrews 3:7. "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts..." (Hebrews 3:7, 8) The key to knowing the state of your heart is hearing the voice of God, which includes how we respond to it.
When we combine three verses, being careful to use them properly from their meaning in their original context, we discover a valuable reality. The first one is the importance of observing consequences or the lack of them. "Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil." (Ecclesiastes 8:11) With a space of time from the dirty deed our hearts will say to us, I guess everything is ok. In the temporal sure, but not so much in eternity.
The second and third verses validate our first point. The pre-flood earth allowed men to live long with God tinkering with their genetics. "So all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died." (Genesis 5:27) Because men lived so long without feeling the full effects of doing evil, the condition of men's hearts was extremely evil. "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of mankind was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5)
The way to avoid a hard heart is to keep it on a tight leash. "Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts..." (Hebrews 3:7, 8)