There is one heart issue that is a deal breaker for God. This matter of the heart has the capacity to keep you out of your ‘promised land’. Your promised land is the dream deep inside that you long to see unfold. It is your highest potential and your greatest purpose.
Psalm 95:7b-11 reads: “Do not harden your hearts… as in the day of trial in the wilderness… I was grieved with that generation… It is a people who go astray in their hearts… So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’”
The children of Israel hardened their hearts. It grieved God so much that He closed the door to their promised land. This heart attitude hurt our Heavenly Father so much that He barred His beloved children from their original inheritance.
COLD AND CLOSED
A hard heart is a cold, closed heart. I could have a hard heart towards God or towards certain people. It is when I become disinterested, jaded and even somewhat callous.
In Exodus, the Israelites became hard towards the Lord. Deuteronomy 15:7 warns us not to close our hearts towards people: “…you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother…”.
HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?
It is simple. Life – with all its difficulties and disappointments – happens. There is a famous passage in Ezekiel 36 where God speaks about stony, hard hearts. Early on in this famous chapter we get some clues about the origins of hardness.
Ezekiel 36:3 says, “…They made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side… you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people.” This is a painful picture of rejection, humiliation and mockery. The people were isolated, abused and ridiculed.
THE ENEMY’S PLAN FOR YOUR PAIN
I don’t know what has happened to you. I do know that the enemy hates you and is hell-bent on your demise. Maybe you have been treated like a doormat by people who were supposed to take care of you.
Perhaps you have been humiliated by someone you held in high esteem. You may have been publicly humiliated. Whatever you have experienced, I know that it must have hurt.
The enemy’s plan for your pain is to cause you to close your heart. He knows that if he can make you shut down, he is a step nearer to getting you to harden completely.
This is why it is vital that we get healed of every one of life’s hurts. Job 5:7 says that man is born to trouble. People are going to be cruel (and they probably already have been). Friends are going to forsake you (and maybe you are feeling that pain right now).
Family members will fail you and loved ones will let you down. The natural reaction is to recoil. Perhaps you have pulled away from people and withdrawn. The danger is that we can become closed and cold.
THE FIRST STEP
That is why we all need to be healed. Why don’t you stop right now and talk to the Lord about how you have been hurt? Pour out your heart like water in His presence (Lam 2:19). It’s much easier to forgive when we have been healed.
Come (and keep coming) to our events and read our books. The more you allow the Lord to heal hurts as they happen, the easier it will be to keep your heart tender. There is a chapter in My Whole Heart about how to deal with a hard heart.