It’s not God that loads us down with guilt and shame about our past. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. For it tells us in Psalm 103: 8-13, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” It’s only God’s merciful kindness towards us that takes our sins and throws them all into the Sea of Forgetfulness. It’s only us that dredge them back up and torture ourselves with them.
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.
The prophet Micah had to make a very personal and difficult decision…be quiet and allow the greed and injustice he saw to continue…or speak out, denouncing the willful rebellion and habitual sinfulness he was witnessing. For Micah, the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit far surpassed any threat in the world…and the righteous indignation within drove him to openly condemn the ungodliness he saw. As Believers, we’re filled with the same Holy Spirit as Micah…the same knowledge between right and wrong…the same ability to bring light into darkness. I pray that a spirit of righteous indignation rise up among God’s people, causing us to boldly speak truth where there’s lies and deception.