God repeatedly calls to His children, but the condition of each heart determines the result. Those with soft and tender hearts hear His voice and yield to Him in obedience, but those with hard hearts resist His warnings and instructions. Surprisingly, upon hearing the same voice, believers will have different reactions.
Since hardening is a slow process that is often accompanied by excuses and rationalizations, the danger signs may not be readily recognized. How do you respond when the Lord speaks to you through His Word, your conscience, or messages based on Scripture? Carefully consider the following characteristics of a hardening heart:
• Insensitivity or resistance to what the Lord says
• Refusal to put yourself under His authority
• Disobedience to what you know God is instructing you to do
• Justification of sinful conduct
• Resistance to the reproof of others
• Preoccupation with the things of this world (career, relationships, possessions)
• Little interest in spiritual matters
• Absence of private devotion (Bible reading and prayer)
• Avoidance of corporate worship (gathering with other believers)
A hard heart does not have to remain brittle. If you’ve discovered any of the above traits in your life, begin today to return to the Lord. Ask Him to give you a new heart and the desire to know Him (Jer. 24:7). Remember, He specializes in making all things new (2 Cor. 5:17).