The Danger of a Hard Heart
When we go to church and hear God’s truth, we’re responsible for how we respond to His instructions and convictions. It’s easy to accept and practice things we find effortless or enjoyable, but if the Lord convicts us about a truth we don’t like, we could be tempted to rationalize our disobedience. Perhaps we decide that a certain command doesn’t really apply to us or that God understands there are good reasons why we can’t comply.
All excuses are displeasing to the Lord. A willful refusal to obey His Word has a hardening effect on the heart and, over time, can make us less receptive to the stinging conviction of the Holy Spirit. This may seem to make life more pleasant in the short term, since we don’t feel as guilty. But the end results are painful.
The next time you’re tempted to ignore a divine commandment, remember the cost of Israel’s hard-hearted disobedience. Instead of trusting God, they refused to enter the Promised Land. As a result, they missed settling in their own homeland and instead wandered in the desert for 40 years until that generation died. Let’s learn from the Israelites’ mistakes and pray for softened hearts that are open to the Lord’s voice.