Isaiah 6:9-10, "You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I will heal them."
Proverbs 29:1, "He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his heck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing."
Reprove means 'correction'. Proverbs 29:1 tells us that hardening our hearts is a result of rejecting repeated warnings - pushing aside all truth. As a result of our constant rejection, our hearts become hard and then they become impossible to cure. Obviously, this is to the Church and it's people. It cannot be to the world because the world has not accepted Him. Christians are the ones who sit in the Church each WEEK or possibly everyday listening to sermons of reproof but continue to ignore it. Such people, this verse says, refuse to allow God to correct them and as a result, the hardness begins to set in and in the end, they cannot be cured.
So, a hard heart is one that resists the word of God or resists obeying the Word of God. Then it becomes impossible to convict them against the warns of the Holy Spirit.
Are YOU developing a hard heart?
1. How many times have you heard and read messages about the neglection of daily prayer and bible reading?
I am so guilty of this because life gets so busy but you listen to a message on the importance of daily prayer and bible study BUT you find it so hard to pick up the bible and spend 5 minutes speaking to God. If you neglect the closet at home, if you think praying once a week will take care of your needs, then you will never survive the troubled days ahead. If you have ignored the call of the Holy Spirit to draw you to the secret closet for intimacy, then you have taken the first step towards the hardness of heart. You should be able to have a personal relationship with Him - that's the only way to prepare for what is coming.
Prayer is important! I think I need to take this on too. Gah!
2. How many times have you been warned about gossip?
Sometimes, we listen to a message on gossiping, then we go out into the world and continue gossiping again. Remember how the gossiping and murmuring cost Israel everything. They were continuously warned about the dangers of gossip but they continuously disobeyed the Lord. Continuing to gossip despite the messages you have heard leads to a hard heart.
3. How many warnings have you heard against harbouring a secret sin?
What about that secret sin you battle with. When a preacher preaches against a certain sin such as cursing, lust, sexual immorality, but continue to live in such...isn't that a hard heart? When you do not allow the conviction to sink IN. That leads to a hard heart. The Lord both endues us with overcoming power through His Spirit, and puts a will in our hearts to do right.
Hebrews 3:7, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, 'their hearts are always going astray and they have not known my ways'. So I declared on oath in my anger 'they shall never enter my rest'."
So, the hardness of hearts comes from those who HEAR God's voice but ignore it. Everyone is in danger of becoming hard hearted. Because we go on to worship God, praise Him but we do not mature. We gossip, we sin but we love to listen to God's word, we just do not obey it. We are hard hearted.
Israel listened to the Prophet Isaiah, BUT they continuously justified their sin. That's why God said in Isaiah 6:9-10, "You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I will heal them."
God KNEW the Israelites were not willing to lay down their sin. They loved their fleshly pleasures too much. In the end, the Lord just told Isaiah that, 'You know what, these people are not going to change their hearts. I won't speak a word to them.'
In Psalm 15, which I just read and it convicted me, David asks the Lord, "Lord, who can reside in Your presence? Who can come to before You? Who can come to Heaven?"
He lists down a few things about how we should act, how we should speak. He says, we should be sincere in our ways, righteous in our walk, we should do the right thing. We should speak the truth, not gossip about others, our friends, we must stay faithful to them. If we make a promise, we should be able to keep that promise. We should hate and despise sin, not hate sinners, but pity them. We should not look with approval on anything that is vile before God. If we do all this, we will stand firm in Him.
For those who are Christians, do you remember what first brought you to God? What first brought you to repentance? When your heart gets cold...hard, you have no feeling. You cannot be moved, you cannot be broken. Remember when Pharaoh's heart grew hard, even with the afflictions he faced, death was on his door, sickness had befallen Egypt, but all he said was, "Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice? I will not bow my neck, neither will I do his will. I am my own master and I will have my own pleasure and my own way. I will not yield to God."
May the Lord melt your heart and mine.
I hope this message blessed someone...I know it blessed me.
When The Holy Spirit Depart - Pastor David Wilkerson