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Heart Disease

Monday, July 19, 2010

Category: Attitudes, Character, Spiritual Life, Your Walk With God

Psalm 95:6-8 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.

Medical professionals estimate that as many as 80 million people in the US have some form of heart disease and 720,000 die every year as a result. It’s the No. 1 killer in the country. But something just as lethal threatens your spiritual life. It’s a blockage in your vital relationship with God that the Bible calls hardheartedness. Psalm 95:7-8 says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

My heart is hardened when I refuse to respond to God’s prompting to change a specific area in my life and instead put my fingers in my ears. It happens when He wants me to thank Him for something but I’m silent. I’m hardhearted when the Lord presses in closer to me to show me a bigger plan for my life, but I stiff-arm Him away. No further, God. You’re just asking too much right now. In a sentence, we harden our hearts not when we sin, but when we won’t let God deal with us about our sin.

We all have nifty tricks to rationalize our lack of response to God. One common way is procrastination. Tomorrow, God. If God could do in our lives all the things that we’ve already surrendered to Him, our lives would be on fire. Too often we say, “I won’t hang on to this sin my whole life; I’ll just struggle with it a few more days.” Is this true for you? Are you still battling with God about something you gave over to Him years ago?

You may ask, How do I know if I’m in trouble? What does a hard heart feel like? That’s the scary thing. It may be painful in the early stages when God is convicting you of what He wants to change. But if you say instead, “Hmm, I see what You mean, God, but I’d rather not go through all that pain,” then slowly, imperceptibly, you stop feeling anything prompted by the Lord. Hardheartedness has set in.

If you’re like me, you’re ready for the remedy. It’s simply this: Today, do something about your heart. At our church, we had Psalm 95:6-8 written on the back wall of our auditorium. We never want to be far from the reality that the condition of our heart is our responsibility.

In the most loving and urgent way I know how, I extend to you God’s invitation to draw near. Today, if you hear His voice, respond.

Hope Springs Eternal
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