Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. ~Hebrews 3:12
Atherosclerosis, sometimes called "hardening of the arteries," occurs when fat, cholesterol, and other substances build up on the walls of arteries (MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia). When the plaque build-up in the neck or heart arteries is not dealt with, an individual is at a high risk for a heart attack or stroke. A cardiologist who specializes with the heart or arteries will give advice that needs to be followed. This morning, we see a passage of Scripture that gives us heart advice against a hardened heart.
We see the diagnosis.
The believers whom Paul wrote to had become hardened with unbelief towards the living God. First, there was a disobedience to God’s Word. These believers were not giving an earnest heed to the things which they had been taught. In addition, they did not submit themselves to the authority of God’s Word in their life. Second, there was a departure from exercising faith. They became cynical and skeptical of trusting in God in meeting their needs. Even though God gave them manna six days a week and abundant water from a rock, they complained instead of having trust. Third, there was a disinterest in spiritual things. When we combine these three conditions, we see a people who had hardened hearts towards the Lord.
We see the disease.
Paul calls out their disease as an evil heart of unbelief. Unbelief basically means we do not believe or have faith in God. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “Without faith it is impossible to please him.” Unbelief means we are walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit. The flesh is at enmity with God. Unbelief indicates that we pray little or not all. We see no need to pray because we doubt that God can answer our prayers. Unbelief indicates a heart of ungratefulness. We tend to be quick to complain and murmur when we should be thankful and praising God. Unbelief provokes God. It causes God grief. The worst thing is that unbelief chokes our spiritual life from being blessed and useful to God.
We see the defeat.
The good news is that an evil heart of unbelief can be defeated and corrected. First, we must deal with it today. Paul said, “To day if ye will hear his voice….” Let God speak to you through His Word and the working of the Holy Spirit. Second, we must confess the sins of unbelief and grieving the Lord. Third, keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. Separate yourself from the fellowship of people who are hardened. Fourth, we must exhort one another while it is called today. When you see hardness and unbelief in a friend or family member, exhort them about the importance of having a tender heart towards God. Exhort one another through a time of prayer. Exhort one another by going soulwinning and winning souls. Fifth, begin to pray for God to do great and mighty things in your life.
An evil heart of unbelief does not have to be fatal or final. Come to the Great Physician to diagnose and heal your spiritual heart.
Have a heart-healthy God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Jeremiah 14-17