Willful Hardening

Journal Entry // October 28, 2021

And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain.

Ezekiel 33:31 ESV

In my reading this morning, this passage was paired with Hebrews 3 which talks about the deceitfulness of sin in hardening our hearts. Which goes hand in hand with this passage from Ezekiel. For it’s the deceitfulness of sin and the hardening of my heart that brings me to a point where I am coming before the Lord to listen, but having no intention of obedience. Worse than that, I act out of my lust and desire for gain.

I am ashamed to really think about how often this is true about myself. How often do I come before the Lord to worship and praise or learn from him, only to have my heart hardened and set on selfishness? I come before God as I read his word and even meditate on it, but have my heart set against him. The deceitfulness of sin has hardened my heart, because I choose to act out of the lustful talk of my heart. I choose to put my importance ahead of anything God may be teaching me.

What’s the remedy for this hardness of heart? Truthfulness. Truthfulness with myself and with God. I must be relentless in the pursuit of Christ by mortifying and killing sin in my heart. Not every once in a while. Not only when it feels convenient. Not just when my sin is found out. I need to be constantly examining my heart for any indication of sin. And when I find this sin, no matter the size or heinousness, I take it to Jesus. I repent and believe.

Failure to do this will harden my heart and bring about unbelief. Sin is more deceptive than I understand. It so easily works itself into the very fibers of my heart. It infects the simplest areas that seem so innocent and not worth bothering with. But this simple sin grows and multiple and the infection spreads and rots.

But Jesus… He has conquered sin and I can take my sin to him at all times and he will make me clean. How often can I come before him? ALL THE TIME. There is no limit to his grace. It only takes humility, truthfulness, and faith. Give him everything. All my sin and shame. All my good works. All my self-righteousness. All my heart and soul and mind and strength. Never stop repenting and believing.

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