Hard Heartedness

Do Not Harden Your Heart - Some Final Words…

I have spent a lot of time on this issue because obviously this is something close to the heart of God. Warning after warning is given in His Word: “Do not harden your heart”. It’s the most passionate warning because it results in the most serious danger.

The warning is given so we don’t go down that road. Here are a few more things God wants you to know about hard-heartedness (Hebrews chapter 3).


You are never on your own in this battle. And when battling hard-heartedness, God has surrounded you with people who can help you. Did you see the “this is a group issue” mentality? Look at all the plurals:

fathers (v9), generation, they, they (v10), they (v11), brothers, any of you (v12), one another, none of you (v13), we, we (v14), all those (v16), they, those (v18), they (v19)

It is true that salvation is an individual issue, but Christians are called to be a part of a body. And part of the dynamic of being part of the body is group identity. We suffer together, we rejoice together (1 Corinthians 12:26). This can be a great thing, but the danger is when the group identity is being affected by negative things, such as bitterness (Hebrews 12:15) or hard-heartedness.

So what do we do, team? Verse 13: we exhort each other every day. Encourage each other in the word. A visit, a call, a text, and e-mail, a letter, smoke signals, whatever - we encourage each other in the Word of God. This is Who God is, these are His promises, this is who you are in Christ…

Notice, today…today, over and over in this chapter. Delay only results in a harder heart!


The Bible teaches that the proof of salvation is endurance - God gives us enduring faith. You want to cross the finish line strong? The only way is constant abiding in Christ.

Hard-heartedness is never on that path. Do you want proof of your salvation? Do you want proof that you are walking in victory? The answer is found not in what did you do, but what are you doing now?


The Hebrew writer hammers us with questions, five of them to be exact. What is he driving at? This is for the person that is saying, “I am a good church-goer. This hard-hearted thing can’t happen to me.”

Wrong - you are exactly the kind of person it can happen to.

These people referred to in the text, these were people that saw God work as no other group in history. Yet for all they say, they still chose not to trust God.

That can happen to you in the church. You hear the Word, you see lives changed, you witness people healed, marriages saved… and you walk away still not personally trusting God yourself. Bad place to be… the worst place to be, actually.

Ask God for a reality check today. Get humble and honest about it. Get invested in others… and allow others to invest in you. Ignoring the symptoms and denying it can even happen to you are the worst things you can do.

Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart.

p.s. - today, as in, NOW

Do Not Harden Your Heart! - Part 4

If you continue to test God, refuse to get on board when you see Him at work, and go astray in your heart, Hebrews 3 tells us you are hardening your heart. Why am I spending all this time talking about this one subject? This is the most dangerous thing you can do!

Hardening your heart will always lead you to a bad place.

Hebrews 3:11 says: As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter my rest.'"

Moses lead the Israelites through the wilderness to take them to the land God promised to give them. Instead of joyfully pressing on by faith, the people complained and doubted God! Their hard-heartedness reached this point: God said, “You’re done. You are not receiving this land. Your children will, but you won’t.” So nobody entered the land until the rebellious generation died out!

I wish the story had a happier ending for them, but it doesn’t. Their persistent rebellion didn’t take them where God wanted them to be. It took them to a sad, miserable end.

And so it goes with hard-heartedness. When you harden your heart (you DID read the last 3 blogs, right?), you aren’t heading anywhere good. No favorable result, no blessing, no joy has ever come from it.

God has provided perfect rest for your soul. It is in the person of Jesus Christ. Are you resting in Him? Are you keeping your eyes toward the ultimate fulfillment of rest: eternity in glory with Christ and His people?

If you have not received Christ, but insist upon hardening your heart, you are not going to win. You are not going to look back someday and say, “Yeah, rejecting God was the right choice. I am in a better place for it.”

Make today the day you cry out: God, forgive me for hardening my heart against you. Only you can change me from the inside out. Because Jesus died for my sins and rose to give me life, I can experience rest now… and for eternity.

p.s. - resting in peace

Do Not Harden Your Heart - Part 3

Do not harden your heart.

God’s Word is deadly serious about this. Hardening your heart against God and His ways is the most dangerous thing you can do on this side of eternity.

Previously, we studied from Hebrews 3:

  1. You harden your heart when you test God.
  2. You harden your heart when you see God at work and still won’t get on board.

    How else do you harden your heart?
  3. You harden your heart by going astray (v10)

God looked down on these Israelites, and His assessment was this: They always go astray in their hearts.

What is “going astray”? Quite simply, it’s when you know what you need to do, what’s right to do, and just choose to refuse to do it. This is called sin of omission. The other way is through sin of commission - I know what I am not supposed to do, and I do it anyways.

Sin is a choice. Every time. You have two paths before you, the one you know will honor God, and the one you should avoid.

I shouldn’t be in this relationship, but…

I shouldn’t feed this addiction, but…

I shouldn’t talk like that, but…

Usually after “but” is your excuse to do it. What really goes after “but” should be, “But I am choosing to go astray and harden my heart.”

What is God’s Spirit convincing you about your life right now? In what particular area are you going astray? The great news is God allows U-turns! Make today the day you mortify the flesh, and its excuses, and cease from waywardness. Get back to following the Shepherd! 

The danger of hardening your heart is the longer you put off getting back on track, the more difficult it becomes! Do it now!

p.s. - no excuses

Do Not Harden Your Heart - Part 2

Do not harden your heart.

God warns us in His Word over and over and over. The Lord is so passionate and compassionate about warning us, so we should stop everything and take a look at ourselves. Hardening your heart is the absolute worst thing you can do!

Previously, we saw:

1 - You harden your heart when you test God (Hebrews 3:8-9)

What does it mean to test God? It simply means demanding, as a test, to see if He can provide. You aren’t satisfied with what God has provided and start to insist upon more, different, or better, and it is up to God to prove Himself to you by giving you what you want. Doing this hardens your heart!

You callous your heart against God by saying “no” to Him on any matter. Then it becomes so much easier to say “no” thenext timeHeart gets harder, saying “no” gets easier.

For instance, you are sitting in church and the preacher is telling you about Jesus, and you think, “I should receive Christ, I should get serious about spiritual matters.” But you talk yourself out of it, that is, you tell God “no”. The next time the Holy Spirit gives you that nudge, it is much easier to say no. So begins the journey on the world’s most dangerous road.

So here is the next warning from Hebrews:

2 - You harden your heart when you see God at work and still won’t get on board.

Hebrews 3:7-9

says: Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. (emphasis mine)

Here is a sure and tragic way to get a hard heart: be right in the middle of what God is doing, but still refuse to allow God to be in the middle of you.

These people being spoken of here did not simply hear of God’s works, or read about God’s works… they saw His works! Firsthand, eyewitness, front row seats! And what would they have seen? The plagues of Egypt, water from a rock, manna from heaven, God’s glory leading the exodus, God’s judgment upon the wicked… we aren’t talking about minor things a skeptic could explain away. We are talking about earth shaking acts of God! And don’t think these were just a couple isolated incidences. They saw God’s hand actively at work for… 40 years. That blows my mind. I am 36 as of the time of typing this. I am trying to imagine seeing God at work for my entire life plus another 4 years! And then walking away doubting and disbelieving.

The problem is just that: disbelief. “I will not believe.” Unbelief never has enough proof. Even if God is standing in front of your face (literally: Matthew 12:38-41).

Think of everything that they saw and still would not believe. But what have you seen? Think of the exposure you and I have had to God at work. Lives changed, forgiveness offered, reconciliation in families, divorces averted, finances provided, health restored…

Come to a passionate worship service sometime. To see people, hands raised, crying out praise. To see the power of the Word at work in people. To hear the testimonies of changed lives…

God is still actively at work, and you do see it! But what are you doing about it? Have you responded in belief? Can you say, “I am seeing the awesomeness of God! I want to be passionately growing in Him and used by Him!” Or are you content to walk away unchanged, not because God is inactive, but because your heart is so hardened?

Do not deny Him. Get on board. Today!!!

p.s. - 40 years?! That’s, like, forever…!