When we have hardened our hearts, it’s difficult if nearly impossible for God’s Word to penetrate that tough exterior. In Acts 28:27, Paul used the term “calloused hearts” when dealing with the unbelieving Jews in Rome as he quoted Isaiah 6:9-10 to them. “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this peoples’s heart has become calloused.” Our hearts may acknowledge and even recognize that still small voice of the Holy Spirit…but when it comes time to heed His direction, we quickly turn away, refusing to obey out of rebellion and selfishness. And sadly, over time it becomes easier and easier not to obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit, for over time our hearts become more and more calloused. So if today you hear His voice, trade in your heart of stone for a heart of flesh.
A hard heart is a rebellious heart…one that allows unbelief to draw it away from the truth of God. That’s why we’re admonished in the Bible to not to harden our hearts when we hear His voice. (Hebrews 4:7 & Psalm 95:7-8) So the antidote to a hard heart, (and what we should be praying for all our unbelieving friends and family) is found in Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” A heart of flesh is alive and new…and it’s a place where faith can spring up.
Can I as a Believer have a hard heart? The answer is yes! Now I’m not talking about full-out rebellion against God…I’m talking more about apathy. For the road to a hardened heart starts simply with indifference and disregard to the Holy Spirit. We hear but we choose to ignore. That’s because we arrogantly think we know better, so we slowly toughen our stance…digging in our heels…holding on to old habits we’re unlikely to ever change. A hardened heart does not happen over night…it is rather an insidious and gradual process of resistance towards God’s authority in our life.