WEDNESDAY, MAY 5
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put Me to the test and saw My works for forty years.
Hebrews 3:8-9 (ESV)
BREAKING THE BARRIERS TO A LOVING HEART: BARRIER #1 – DENIAL
An old man, one day taking a child on his knee, entreated him to seek God now — to pray to him, and to love him; when the child, looking up at him, asked, “But why do not you seek God?” The old man, deeply affected, answered, “I would, child; but my heart is hard — my heart is hard.” (Arvine’s Anecdotes)
A hard heart is a sad thing. Hebrews 3:8 warns us about developing a hard heart toward God. We should learn from the biblical stories how to avoid the sins of those who lived before us and a hard heart was one of those sins. In this regard, it is amazing how many Christians never read the Old Testament. They are unfamiliar with the many stories of triumph and tragedy that are recorded there for our instruction in the faith. The story of Hebrews 3 is recorded in Exodus 17. Israel had just come out of Egypt through God’s mighty deliverance. Exodus 16 tells how God provided manna to feed Israel each day. You would think that after these gracious miracles, the people would have implicitly trusted God. But then you come to Exodus 17, when again they came to a place where there was no water. Rather than asking God to provide, the people argue with Moses, rebel against God and put God to the test. All as a result of having a hard heart.
The message of Hebrews 3:8-9 is that we should learn from our past mistakes and the mistakes of others. What sin or mistake in your past has God most used to grow your relationship with Him?
Thank God for using the failures of your past to grow you. Ask Him to keep your heart tender towards Him.