Tuesday, August 25, 2009

God discards hard hearts

Good morning. Today’s scripture comes from Psalm 95:11 (NIV):

“So I declared an oath in my anger,

‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

God’s ultimate blessing is our eternal “rest” with him, here on earth now and later in heaven. So how do we tick off God so that we never enter our “rest.” Psalm 95 gives us an indication of the kind of things that anger God.

1) Ungrateful hearts (Psalm 95.2); 2) not worshipping or humbling ourselves before him (95:6); 3) hardening our hearts (95:8); and 4) testing God because of our stubborn doubts (95:9). The Israelites had hard hearts in the desert by constantly resisting God’s will (Exodus 17:7) after leaving Egypt. Hebrews 4:5-11 warns us not to harden our hearts and to reject worldly things that keep us from God.

No one wants to admit when their hearts have hardened. My step-son just went through a hard-heart period, and we prayed that God would soften his heart. God is working on him as we speak, and we’ve seen a big change in him. But I’ve had a hard heart toward God over the years, too. It’s easy get angry at God when things aren’t going our way. We want to blame God instead of taking responsibility for our sin, our mistakes, or our poor choices. I have to make a daily effort to love God and not be angry with him.

Hard hearts are like a lump of clay that has hardened. It’s useless and can no longer be molded into any shape. Hard hearts come from stubbornness; we don’t want to change our ways. Hard hearts don’t just happen overnight; it is a series of poor choices. Resist God long enough, and he’ll discard you like a hard, lump of clay. Yet God can change our hearts, so that he can use us. We must let go of our desires and seek God’s will. That means first humbling ourselves, worshipping him and having a grateful heart. It starts for being thankful for what we have and not being angry for what we don’t have.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to be thankful for what you’ve given me. Help me to look at my life as a blessing from you, and not what I think I should have gotten. Amen

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