News and Articles
5 September 2019
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion.”
The writer of the letter to the Hebrews is warning his readers by reminding them of Israel’s rebellion after God had brought them up out of Egypt. In the Bible, when individuals are not living in the ways that God wants them to live, their actions are often related to the state of their hearts: whether their hearts are hardened, callous, stone or rebellious. It’s a reminder that God is not looking merely for right behaviour; He wants the loyalty and responsiveness of our hearts towards Him.
James Musson reminded us in a blog post recently, ‘From Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, the existence and content of the Bible shows us that God’s desire is to communicate with the world and the people He has made.’ God loves to speak! The challenge for us is how we will respond.
In Hebrews, the writer goes on to highlight that ultimately the people harden their hearts because of their unbelief. There is clearly a connection between what we believe and how we behave – we need a greater understanding of the greatness of God, His love for us and His love for others if we are to soften our hearts and be attentive to Him.
We want our hearts to be soft, meaning that we want to be positively responsive to God. But we also want our hearts to be soft to others, even when it’s so easy in our world with the various challenges and heart aches to switch off from the world around us and shut of our emotional attentiveness.
Spend some time today reflecting on these questions:
- Am I turning to or from God in the various situations of my life?
- What is on my heart for intercession today?
- Am I experiencing intimacy in my relationships?
Let’s be praying that God would:
- Soften our hearts in order that we would be responsive to Him
- Bring healing where pain or unforgiveness is causing us to withdraw
- Soften our hearts that we would be more responsive for others
- Give us a spirit of intercession and cause us to seek Him for the world around us
- Give us more compassion for our friends, neighbours and communities
God is capable of bringing about complete heart change. Speaking of rebellious Israel, God promised that after their return from exile He would give them a new heart.
‘I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.’