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
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
Strongs 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
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
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. Gods 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 Gods Spirit
calls us to faithful obedience. We become
hardened toward spiritual growth when we disobey clear teaching of Gods 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.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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