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Living Faith in a Living God

Attitudes play an important role in our daily spiritual lives.

What is my attitude toward God?  The writer of Hebrews admonishes us, "Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God" (Hebrews 3:12).  

The author is addressing Hebrew Christians or “completed Hebrews,” and is encouraging them to keep their attitudes or heart tender toward the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is the “evil heart” that cannot believe and falls away from God.

Everything in the Christian life depends on the heart.  It is with the heart that man believes unto salvation (Rom. 10:9-10). “The heart of every problem is a problem of the heart.”  A “hard heart” results from an erring heart and a disbelieving heart. The “heart” is the center and seat of all spiritual life.  It is the soul or mind, the fountain seat of our thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors; the seat of our intelligence, will and character” (Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon). The heart is the place in man at which God bears witness to Himself (Mark 7:21; 2 Thess. 3:5; Phil. 4:7; Col. 3:15; James 4:8; 1 Peter 3:15; 1 Thess. 3:13; 1 Jn. 3:20; Lk. 16:15; 1 Chron. 28:9; Rom. 8:27).

The admonition is very strong. “Take heed constantly; be seeing to it constantly; keep a watchful eye ever open.”

The writer is concerned that his readers not show the same disobedience and distrust of God that their forefathers showed after they left Egypt (Ex. 17:1-7; Num. 20:1-13).  He is concerned that these Hebrew Christians do not lose their blessings. Let us take heed to the warning.  Faith draws us near to Christ and is fed and nourished by His presence. "Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness’" (Hebrews 3:7-8).

God has made known His will in His written Word the Bible.  He speaks to us as the Holy Spirit opens our heart, and we trust Him.  The hardening of our hearts in unbelief prevents us from hearing His voice. God’s word addresses the heart.

A tender heart is pliable and responsive to the Word of God and the pleading of the Holy Spirit.  A hard heart is unresponsive and rebellious.

Our hearts become hardened by sinful neglect when God’s Spirit calls us to faithful obedience. We become hardened toward spiritual growth when we disobey clear teaching of God’s Word. 

How tragic when we refuse to listen when God speaks, and we pursue other endeavors.  It is easy to fortify ourselves against the Word with prejudices and dislikes and resist it through a love for lusts and corrupt affections.

Difficult trials reveal the true state of our hearts.  John Owen asked, “Are our minds stayed upon the Lord, or are we complacently resting in His temporal mercies?  When the storm breaks, it is not so much that we fail under it, as that our habitual lack of leaning upon God, of daily walking in dependency upon Him, is made evident.  Circumstances do not change us, but they do expose us.”

It is always tempting to become occupied with our circumstances and walk by sight.  The crisis only manifests the true condition of our hearts.  Do we murmur and complain?  Are we making ourselves available to the Living God who sees and hears, feels, and loves?  He speaks and reveals Himself.  He is the living God, our Lord and Master.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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