Shun Hardness

But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamour of his sin may play on him]. (Heb 3:13-Amplified).

All of us must guard ourselves against the delusions of the three enemies of the Christian life: the world, the flesh, and the devil. Through the years I’ve seen those who were once strong in the Lord fall away into their former sinful lifestyles. It’s a grieving thing to see a precious saint of God become entangled again in bondage.

Backsliding as we call it, is a slow process. It’s the result of the little foxes (Song of Solomon 2:15) that are not dealt with daily. Small compromises eventually produce catastrophic effects. The small crack in the dam will eventually lead to its destruction.

Sin produces hardness. I’ve watched over the years as a seemingly wonderful person suddenly falls into adultery, or alcoholism, or greed, or into a lifestyle of selfishness and lying. But it wasn’t a sudden fall. It took a thousand little compromises to harden the heart to the point that adultery or fornication was no longer a big deal, or to the point that lying becomes a way of life. A callous on the hand is produced by repeated blows.

The key to a strong walk with God is maintaining a sensitive heart to the Father. That means when we’re tempted by whatever, we immediately tell the Lord about what tempts us, and ask for His mercy and grace to help us. And if we yield to any kind of temptation and sin, we immediately repent by confessing the sin and turning away from it. He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse if we’ll only be real and honest.

Another key to a strong walk with God is maintaining fellowship in a local church and with fellow believers. Isolation breeds spiritual weakness and compromise. A coal by itself will lose its heat. Coals bundled together in your grill will stay hot for hours. Every time I’ve seen a believer stop attending church, I know danger is ahead. We need the strength of mentoring and fellowship brought by the sense of community in a local church. And we need the constant exposure to the strong tangible presence of God available when we gather together and to the anointed preaching and teaching of the Word.

If you fail to see a fellow believer in your regular services in your local church, pray for them and then give them a call of encouragement. We need the Word, we need each other, and we need to be real with ourselves before the Father.

The closer we get to the return of Jesus, the more we will need to keep our hearts sensitive to the Father and to each other!

One thought on “Shun Hardness

  1. The words to the song "Slow Fade" by Casting Crowns go along well with this blog. The video link is:

    The words of the song are:

    Be careful little eyes what you see
    It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
    Be careful little feet where you go
    For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

    It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
    It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
    Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
    When you give yourself away
    People never crumble in a day
    It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade

    Be careful little ears what you hear
    When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
    Be careful little lips what you say
    For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

    It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
    It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
    Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
    When you give yourself away
    People never crumble in a day

    The journey from your mind to your hands
    Is shorter than you're thinking
    Be careful if you think you stand
    You just might be sinking

    It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
    It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
    Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
    When you give yourself away
    People never crumble in a day
    Daddies never crumble in a day
    Families never crumble in a day

    Oh be careful little eyes what see
    Oh be careful little eyes what you see
    For the Father up above is looking down in love
    Oh be careful little eyes what you see

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