Summary: What kind of person comes to your mind when you think of a person with a hard heart? Do you think of a mean person who mistreats little puppies? A mean person with no consideration for man nor beast is no doubt a hard hearted person, but I’m going to te
What kind of person comes to your mind when you think of a person with a hard heart? Do you think of a mean person who mistreats little puppies? A mean person with no consideration for man nor beast is no doubt a hard hearted person, but I’m going to tell you something the devil doesn’t want you to know: a sweet little grandmother can have a hard heart. A preacher in the pulpit can have a hard heart. People can have a hard heart without those closest to them even realizing it. But God knows about it, and if you have a hard heart, He wants you to recognize it and repent of it.
How does a person become hardened of heart? It usually happens so gradually that you don’t even realize that it has happened to you, until you have a full-blown case of it.
REBELL AGAINST WHAT GOD TELLS YOU TO DO
Your heart will be hardened when you determine to continue on your own way in spite of what you know about the word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword...” The significance of a sword having two edges is that is able to cut both ways. The application of that in regard to the subject of a hardened heart, is that the word of God is always effecting you one way or another. It’s either drawing you in and softening you up, or it is cauterizing you and hardening you against its truth. Now, which one it is doing is dependant upon how you are receiving it. We are warned again and again, in the Bible, not to be a hearer only, but a doer of the word. In other words, we are to apply what we hear to our life.
In Exodus, chapters 8-10, the Bible tells about Pharaoh hearing a message from God, saying he would do it, then not doing it. The Bible says that he hardened his heart and did not hearken unto the voice of the Lord. His heart was hardened when he decided that he would do something else besides that which God instructed him to do.
Maybe you come to church and hear a message of tithing, and you know it’s God’s word, yet you continue not to tithe. Guess what happens to your heart? So, your heart can become hardened when you rebell against the word of God.
REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT GOD HAS ALREADY DONE
In Mark 6:45-52, there is the account of Jesus sending his disciples across the Sea of Galilee. They ran into some hard wind, and in the night Jesus came walking to them on the water. Verses 51-52 say that when He came up into the boat with them, “...they were amazed and marveled, for they had not understood about the loaves, because their hearts were hardened.” The implication is that they should not have been amazed, and they should not have marveled at this miracle, because they had already seen 5,000 people fed with a boy’s sack lunch, and after everybody ate, there were 12 baskets full of fragments taken up! They had the evidence that miracle working power was at Jesus’ disposal, but because they had not understood it, their hearts were hardened. That word, “understood,” is “considered” in the KJV. They had not put their minds on it enough to put it together, to understand the application of it. We are told to meditate on God’s word. Psalm 1, for instance, promises great blessing to the person who does it, saying, “...everything he does shall prosper.” But, here in Mark 6, we see that if we don’t do it, our hearts will become hardened.
RELY ON THE NATURAL WITH GREATER CONFIDENCE THAN THE SUPERNATURAL.
Jesus had been pouring a lot of teaching into these disciples concerning the power of the word of God. He had taught them that the word is a powerful seed, and when planted in faith, it will bring forth a great crop. He rebuked them in the latter part of Mark 4, because they became afraid in a storm. If they had perceived His teaching about the power of the word, they could have spoken to storm, themselves. Later, in Mark 11:23, He would tell them that they could speak to mountains and move them by faith. Now, Mark 6:48 says, “Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them...” The Bible doesn’t say it in so many words, but when you read this, you just know that they weren’t exercising the authority Jesus had given them, but instead they were just rowing as hard as they could.
I am confident that we miss out on many miracles, because we have become conditioned to depend on the natural with more confidence than we do the supernatural. A few weeks ago, my the doctors told my mother that she either had a blood clot or a malignancy, and she needed to come the following week and have some test to determine which it was. Now, this is the same woman who wouldn’t lay down when the devil tried to steal my hearing. She called for the elders of her church to come and anoint her with oil and pray for her, according to James 5:14. When she went to the doctor, he said, “Well it turns out that it’s just a calcium build up, nothing to be alarmed about.” Maybe that’s all it ever was, but it might just be that something supernatural took place.