Exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13
What does it mean to have a hard heart? To be insensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit within your life? This portion of scripture talks about how God’s people hardened their heart when they were in the wilderness. Because they were afraid to move forward in the direction He was leading them, they refused to go and as a result, they remain in a place of tests and trials for forty years.
I have had my share of wilderness experiences and although they were not all because of my hard heart, mostly, I just spent too much time holding back the power of God in my life. Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. Many times in my life I would sense a nudging in a certain direction, but I would say “I don’t want to do that” or “I don’t feel like doing that”. Mostly because I was afraid or didn’t want to exert the energy to do it. After many years of living life by the rule of “I don’t want to”, I began to recognize that these promptings were coming from the greater One inside me and my response should be. “Father, I’m not sure if I can do that, but if that is the direction you want me to go, I’m going to trust you to put my desire there and give me the strength and faith to begin to head in that direction. This is the same response the Israelites could have had and God would have led them step by step to their promised land. That is what ultimately happened to God’s people years later when the next generation was ready and willing to go.
Today’s verse says to exhort and encourage each other daily. Speak the Word and plans of God to your friends and family members to remind each other not to let your heart grow hard. It is so easy to become distracted by the pressures of life and the issues of today’s world. You can begin to wonder, “where is God in all of this?” The truth is He is right where He has always been, leading and directing your life by the Holy Spirit on the inside of you. However, it is up to you to seek the faith and grace to follow His direction and keep your heart from growing hard.
Today I want to encourage you to press into God your Father and turn over any hard areas of your heart to Him. Become aware of hidden and secret places you may be hiding from Him. Use the phrases “I don’t want to” or I don’t feel like it” to alert you when you are rejecting the Holy Spirit’s direction inside of you. Submit all your ways to Him and offer your life as a living sacrifice to do your part in His plan. Get out of any wilderness you may have found yourself stuck in by surrendering all to Him today.
Today’s scripture reading: Hebrews 3:7-15