Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. ~Hebrews 3:12
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, resulting in 1 in 4 deaths. Cardiomyopathy is the hardening and weakening of the heart muscles. If we have heart trouble, we might describe our condition as a bad heart. Paul wrote to the Hebrew believers about the importance of having a spiritually healthy heart. In this passage, he refers to an evil heart and a hardened heart.
We see the reason.
A hardened heart can happen to every believer. The first step toward a hardened heart is through the deceitfulness of sin. It is when we are living under the power of sin that holds us as its captive instead of living in the power of a Spirit-filled life. Like plaque that accumulates in the heart, unconfessed sin can accumulate in our heart and harden it towards the things of God. The second step leading to a hardened heart is doubt and unbelief. If we become doubtful towards God’s Word and power in us, we tend to question God instead of trust God.
We see the risk.
A hardened heart reflects our lack of wisdom. Paul said, “They have not known my ways.” We make unwise decisions about our steps. A hardened heart reflects our weakness. We will be weak when temptation comes. We will be weak in our will power. Paul said, “They do alway err in their heart.” We will tend to fall victim to the same sins over and over again. Instead of saying no to sin, we easily give in and say yes. A hardened heart is wicked. Paul calls it an evil heart of unbelief. A hardened heart can be woeful. Hardening of the heart arteries can be fatal and kill us. A hardened heart kills the joy of the Lord, a heart for service, and a desire for fellowship with the Lord.
We see the restraint.
A hardened heart can be avoided. First, listen and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit. "To day if ye will hear his voice...." Like Samuel, we should be quick to respond to the Lord’s voice. Second, be vigilant and cautious. Take heed! Don’t be caught off guard. Third, hold your faith in Christ steadfast to the end. Be resolute and unmovable in your doctrine and devotion. Don’t let your love for Jesus become stale. Last, be accountable to other believers by encouraging one another. Have a teachable spirit if a spiritual leader senses you are slipping or showing signs of hardening.
We see the robust.
The goal is a healthy heart! A healthy heart reflects a healthy spiritual life. You’ll be fervently zealous. You’ll be lovingly compassionate. You’ll have a great appetite for the things of the Lord. You’ll devote the necessary time daily in building spiritual muscle in your life. A healthy heart indicates we are abiding in Christ. Abiding in Christ results in much fruit. It takes work to have a healthy and robust heart. "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."
Have a heart-healthy God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Esther 6-10