The Hardened Heart

The heart is our inner man, our soul, the most sacred part of a human being; if we can see our spirit, it is the same with our body, it has eyes, ears, hands, but it is spirit.

 by Pstr Ovet Tamayo

 

 Heb 3:7-11 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:  "Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. 10 Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, 'They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.' 11 So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest.’” NKJV

 Heb 3:12-15  12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." NKJV

 God is ready to call us to make an account – an account for your money, marriage, family, church, ministry, business, etc. To whom much is given, much is required – He will ask all of us to make an account and you wouldn’t want to be out of balance – you know how God deals with the irresponsible!

 Matt 25:14 and 19 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. NKJV

 Periodically, God comes to check and probe our hearts and our motives why do we do what we do? We need to ask ourselves, what have we done with what God has given us? If you were hungry and thirsty for God, definitely you would have changed, you would have been transformed – you are not the same person as you were before because you dealt with your heart! If you change your heart, you change your life! This is the season where God is dealing with the heart – He is calling all of us into account, He is measuring our motives and intentions.

 God has set His plumb line, and to everyone who will pass this examination, God will renew your season because there will be an acceleration in the spirit! When the heart is clogged up, everything becomes stagnant; it releases a foul smell of bad attitude, evil thoughts, evil motives; But if the heart is changed, acceleration comes and there comes a greater move of signs and wonders, greater release of wealth and finance, greater manifestations of His Glory for the church and His people; But if your heart is wrong, then God cannot do this, you will be out of season, dry and stagnant!

GOD IS THE GOD OF THE NOW! HE NEEDS YOUR HEART TO DO IT – NOW!

 What is the heart?

It is the Greek word kardia or kardias,  it is the center and seat of spiritual life, the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors, it is our conscience. The heart is our inner man, our soul, the most sacred part of a human being; if we can see our spirit, it is the same with our body, it has eyes, ears, hands, but it is spirit. Out of your heart comes the attitudes, motives, intentions, and the most intimate thoughts of a man – good or evil, all originate from the heart.

Matt 15:18-20  But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.  19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies.  20 These are the things which defile a man ...NKJV

 Prov 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

 In Hebrew, this means how a man is in his heart, that’s the way he is, that’s the way he thinks; you don’t think to be, you are that, that’s why you think that way! Ex. Stingy

 Prov 23:7 for he is the kind of man who is always thinking about the cost. NIV

The state of your heart will always be the state of your life, your attitude in life is a projection of your heart – if you have a bad attitude, it’s because you have a bad heart! Until there is a change in your heart, there will be no change in your life – your marriage will not change, your finance will not change, even your children will not change! The bible speaks of the different conditions of the heart: there is a broken heart, an obedient heart, a disobedient heart, a worshipping heart, an offended heart, a humble heart, a proud heart, and a heart of unbelief.

But the one condition we are going to talk about today is the hardened heart;  No matter how good this message maybe, or how deep the revelations God gives, or no matter how good the speaker is, if the heart is hardened, it won’t sink, it only flows on top and then spill out! The heart is not just a branch of the person, it is the root, and everything that has a root will grow, it will even produce fruit! Almost always, the roots have been there ever since you were a child, often we take away the fruits, but they keep on coming back.

That’s why if God wants to create something new, He would have to rip the roots out until everything falls in place.

 Luke 3:9 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." NKJV

 If any preacher preach and don’t deal with the roots, they are just deceiving themselves;  If I preach to you and don’t expect change, I am deceiving myself – I am accountable to God as to what I teach to you because you are my responsibility!

 Even if you are given powerful principles, without a changed heart, you cannot keep that principle – but the power of God, His presence can change the heart, then you can keep the principle. If you have a hardened heart, everything is just leaking out, nothing is absorbed, and there is no change – like a muddied field! The biggest sins that offend God, are those that we don’t know about – you think you are doing what is right, but because your heart is hard, you don’t feel it anymore, conviction can’t penetrate! Often, people just brush off the voice of the Holy Spirit when He is talking to you – calloused!

 What Are The Causes Of A Hardened Heart?

After receiving our Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts, we were born again with a clean slate, free from everything, but then after some time, the heart begins to become hard because of:

 

1. SIN

Each time we sin, something dies in your heart. The sin that you don’t repent of, is the sin that will harden your heart, that’s why at some point, you keep on committing the same sin, which continues to make your heart grow even harder.

 Rom 7:20 and 23 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.

 2 Cor 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

 2. OFFENSES (offend)

This means to cause somebody anger or hurt, to insult or hurt the feelings of somebody, to be rude, to attack a person. All offenses don’t happen in the mind, they happen in the heart, they are the signs of the last days – church splits, members going away, backsliding, law suits, etc. We have all been offended, or feel we have been offended – they are not the same. One is caused by a real attack with the intention to hurt, while the other is caused by a spirit that makes you think you are being attacked; they are both demonic in origin.

 Some people have truly been hurt; they did what was right according to Gods Word, and still they were stabbed at the back – they think they have the right to keep the offense, they are wrong! Some people have offended other people, deliberately or not, they refuse to humble themselves and ask for forgiveness, they too are hardening their hearts – they hide in the guise that “I’m like this, so..” Often, even the offended refuse to open their hearts to release forgiveness to the one who offended them, it’s like a stagnant river that becomes dirty because nothing flows in or out of it, it just refuses to open making it hard!

3. WOUNDS

This happens mostly to pastors or other secular leaders – pastors wounded by their sheep, an Absalom who took your church, or a Jezebel who wounded your life, someone you fed then stabbed you in the back! Wounds in the family – the most painful wounds are the ones caused the people closest to you – office, school, even in the church. Maybe you have caused the wound but you refuse to ask for forgiveness; or maybe you were the wounded party that simply refuses to release forgiveness, they both harden the heart.

4. REBELLION

It’s when you are finding it hard to believe in God and His Word; we go further by saying it’s when you don’t believe in God! It’s when you make decisions in your life that totally contradicts the Word of God for you, whether willingly or out of peer pressure, it’s still rebellion.

 Isa 59:13 rebellion and treachery against the Lord, turning our backs on our God, fomenting oppression and revolt, uttering lies our hearts have conceived.

 5. DISOBEDIENCE

This happens after the people have heard the Word of God preached to them, yet they refused to believe and obey it, but instead they continue on to live in the way their hearts desire to live – by preference!

 Heb 4:6 and 11 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience.  11 Let us; therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.

 6. UNBELIEF

Heb 3:16-19  Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed c? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

 A non-believer is a person who has not heard of the Gospel of God shared to him, but an unbeliever is one who despite hearing the truth of the Word of God, still did not believe and did not obey, it resulted in a hardened heart.

 Rom 2:5-8  5 But because of your hardness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God "will give to each person according to what he has done." 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

 

How Do We Battle  The Hardened Heart?

 Jer 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, circumcise your hearts, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done — burn with no one to quench it.

Rom 2:29 and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.