Day 12 – Hard Rocks
Prayer Time Goal: 12 Minutes
The heart is the most important organ in our body. The heart indicates life.
When a woman goes for a prenatal screen of her unborn baby, the most important news she desires to hear is that a heartbeat is detected. When a person reaches the end of their life in the hospital, the dreaded flatline on the EKG monitor confirms that death has entered the room.
Just as the physical heart is the most vital organ in our body, signifying the essence of life, so the spiritual heart is the most vital aspect of our faith walk, signifying that spiritual life is detected. When the physical heart stops, the entire body stops. It’s final. When the spiritual heart dies or begins to die, it is an indicator that the spiritual life is in danger of dying. We are told that the wages of sin is death. Hence, the Word of God giving us tons of insight and instruction on having abundant life. His commands are more than what some perceive to be a system of control, it is a lifeline to guard us against being deceived and destroyed by the enemy.
The work of Christ is to mold us into becoming Christlike. The work of the enemy is to keep us from being Christlike – leading to spiritual death. One of the biggest lessons I have learned in the last year is just how sneaky and disastrous hardness of heart is. One thing to be mindful of is that when our hearts become hardened to others, it becomes hardened to God. The heart isn’t intelligent or compartmentalized enough to be hard toward people while at the same time remaining softened to God. No matter how skilled we believe we are as humans, there are deep nuances and emotional intricacies in the way we’re designed that are beyond our limited control. The danger with hardening is that over time, we become hardened even to God.
What are some signs that a Believer is hardening? Repeat disobedience, rebellion, a struggle or unwillingness to repent or stop the behavior(s), feelings of anger or being numb toward anything to do with God or being Christlike (apathetic); the inability to focus or be interested in anything pertaining to your spiritual walk (reading the Bible, praying, fasting, etc.). Not feeling convicted about sin anymore, etc.
What’s so subtle about hardening is that it doesn’t stay on the outer layer, it penetrates until it transforms the entire substance. Think of that tender steak. The more you cook it, the harder it becomes. Think of that ice tray filled with water. Stick it in the freezer and over time it begins hardening on the surface and then it works its way to the center. Leave some soft bread on the counter for a while. When you return, it feels hard to the touch, and if it’s left out really long, the staleness works its way through the entire slice. Hardness happens when something is left the way it is for too long. What you can’t see is how you are being frozen, becoming stiff and stale, and overcooking.
The appeal of a hardened heart for the enemy is that God is unable to work with it. Not because He is incapable, but because it is unworkable. A child can’t mold clay that is dried and hardened. No matter what he does to it, it won’t remold. The issue doesn’t lie in the person handling the substance (God), it lies in the substance itself (our heart).
The heart is the epicenter of our spiritual walk. It is the place where we ask Christ to cleanse and rework. It is the compass and core of our very being. How vital it is for this “life organ” to be workable and accessible. If Satan can destroy this core organ, then the bulk of his work is complete – killing our spiritual life and making all other strongholds possible.
This is something that every single follower of Jesus is at risk for. This isn’t for the new Believer, or a particular group. We have to constantly search and guard our hearts. Pray today that the Lord would search your heart and reveal any areas that have been left out too long. Ask Him to forgive you and to help you to become moldable again. This may mean forgiving someone, being kind, releasing your “rights”, apologizing, being humble, confessing fear or doubt – ask for the answer and strategy and wait for Him to answer.
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Proverbs 4:23 – Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Jeremiah 17:9 – The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
Ezekiel 36:26 – And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Matthew 7:7 – Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you
Romans 5:8 – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Matt 18: 21-22 – Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Matt 18:3 – And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Chime in: What did Jesus mean in Matthew 18:3 when He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”? Let’s break this down in the comments below. Please ask questions too if you don’t understand!
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