What hardening of the heart does and costs you

What hardening of the heart does and costs you

By Tope Banso

HOW LONG WILL YOU CONTINUE TO HARDEN YOUR HEART?

“Then I said, ‘Lord, how long?’ And He answered: ‘Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, the houses are without a man, the land is utterly desolate, The LORD has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. But yet a tenth will be in it, and will return and be for consuming, As a terebinth tree or as an oak, whose stump remains when it is cut down. So the holy seed shall be its stump” (Isaiah 6:11-13 New King James Version).

The LORD had told Prophet Isaiah that He was sending him to a stubborn people, who would not respond to his word. “And He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ ‘Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed” (Isaiah 6:9-10 New King James Version).

Prophet Isaiah asked the LORD in verse 9, “Lord, how long? His question meant how long would the people continue to harden their hearts against the Word of the LORD he would deliver to them. God’s answer showed that they would continue until the nation was destroyed, remaining only a remnant.

“Then I said, ‘Lord, how long?’ And He answered: ‘Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, the houses are without a man, the land is utterly desolate, The LORD has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. But yet a tenth will be in it, and will return and be for consuming, As a terebinth tree or as an oak, whose stump remains when it is cut down. So the holy seed shall be its stump” (Isaiah 6:11-13 New King James Version).

How long will you continue to harden your heart? How long will you continue to reject the Word of God? How long will you continue to reject godly counsel? I pray that no reader of this message continues until the person destroys himself or herself, family, marriage, business, etc.

Many would not be in the condition they are today if only they had not hardened their hearts in the past. They rejected the Word of God from their pastors or their pastors’ counsel, saying they knew what they were doing. Some said they had prayed about certain matters and they were convinced about the decisions they wanted to make, which was contrary to their pastors’ counsel. But time proved these persons wrong. Such people now wished they had listened to godly counsel.

Some families are suffering today because some husbands hardened their hearts against the Holy Spirit. Some husbands hardened their hearts against the wise counsel of their wives. They said they were the head of their homes and they were the ones to take decisions! Against the godly advice of their wives, they took some decisions, which plunged the entire family into a season of hardship. Some women are suffering today because they hardened their hearts.

How long will you continue to harden your heart? Some readers of this post must repent and reconsider their positions on some matters they have rejected sincere counsels of some persons or the Holy Spirit. Must such people wait until their lives, marriages, or businesses are ruined before they realize their follies?

Proverbs 28:14 says, “Happy is the man who is always reverent, but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity” (New King James Version). This was the story of the children of Israel. They hardened their hearts to God; they rebelled against Him. The LORD said in Psalm 95:8, “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness” (New King James Version).

Zechariah explained to the Jews in Jerusalem, who had returned from captivity in Babylon, how the disobedience of their ancestors resulted in their captivity. He said, “Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 7:12 New King James Version). The Israelites were a stubborn set of people who hardened their hearts to God; and they suffered for it (Jeremiah 5:23; 9:14; 11:8; 16:12).

Those who harden their hearts against the Word of God will not escape the judgment of God. It may appear as if there won’t be any consequence for their actions, but they’re only storing up punishment for themselves. No sinner will escape the punishment of God.

Romans 2:4-6 says, “Don’t you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see how kind he has been in giving you time to turn from your sin? But no, you won’t listen. So you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself because of your stubbornness in refusing to turn from your sin. For there is going to come a day of judgment when God, the just judge of all the world, will judge all people according to what they have done” (New Living Translation).

Don’t harden your heart. Respond to the Word of God, the Holy Spirit and godly counsel. “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12-13 New King James Version).

When your heart is hardened, you can’t understand what the LORD is saying (Mark 6:51-52; 8:17; 3:5; Matthew 13:15). If you have hardened your heart, repent and receive a new heart. (Ezekiel 18:31; 11:19; 36:26). Give yourself completely to serving the LORD; don’t be stubborn any longer (Deuteronomy 10:16).

If you’re not born again, repent of your sins today and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Whoever comes to Him, He will by no means cast out.

PRAYER POINT: Holy Spirit, help me not to harden my heart against the Word of God, the Holy Spirit and godly counsel/ Father, I repent of my rebellion against You.

This is wisdom for living, and it’s worth sharing. Please share.

(For more inspiring messages, visit: www.cedarministry.org).

Banso, an Abuja-based minister and pastor, is the head of Cedar Ministry International, and can be reached at any of these addresses:
cedarministryintl@yahoo.com, cedarministryng@gmail.com; or on:
Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523 
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947

Featured Photo: Courtesy: WebMD

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