This week, God has shown me a lot about what it means to have a hardened heart…in the process, He showed me myself. I’ve heard that term “hard heart” thrown around in church SO many times, but what does it even mean?? I didn’t really know before this week.
I’ve learned that when you have a hardened heart, you cannot perceive or understand God correctly.
And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?
Having a hardened heart means you can’t see, hear, or understand God.
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 would heal them.’
With a hardened heart, you don’t fear God as you should.
Proverbs 28:14 — Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
That verse also says “whoever hardens his heart” meaning it was his OWN doing. This was the ouchie….the fact that I can’t blame anyone else for having a hardened heart. It’s completely my own doing. It’s easy to blame other things or people…”I tried to pray, but *this* came up” or “I wanted to read my Bible, but I got distracted and did *that* instead…” Work, spouses, school, children, etc…there will ALWAYS be something that attempts to make us NOT do what we know we should do. Basically, I was telling God He’s not important enough to prioritize…such a terribly shameful realization.
There is such a personal responsibility in the hardening of your heart as well as in the purification of your heart. So then my question was—how do you purify your heart?!?
1 Peter 1:22 — Now that your obedience to the truth has purified your souls [or lives], you can have true love for your Christian brothers and sisters. So love each other deeply with all your heart.
Isaiah 1:16–Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
2 Corinthians 7:1–Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
You purify your heart by obeying the Truth and ONLY the Truth. The Truth is The Word of God from God. The Word of God cleanses. Having a hardened heart is the result of not following (sound) instruction, not obeying The Word of God, hearing and not doing, which leads me farther and farther away from God…to the point that I can’t even see or hear Him. That’s a pretty scary thought! How can I expect to be led by God in ANY area of my life if I can’t see or hear Him?? It’s impossible.
So, what does that mean?? I have to truly repent/turn from serving other idols (whatever has taken His place, whatever I have made more important than seeking God) and submit to God. Fully commit to HIS Word alone. Draw near to HIM. Turn away from everything that doesn’t agree with Him.
James 4:8–Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Drawing near to God and His Word, following His instructions, and putting Him first will purify my heart. And THEN…I will be able to truly see God.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
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