My first response is “of course not!” But when I go deeper and begin to understand what it means to have a heart hardened toward God I must stop and reflect on my actions and attitudes to see if my response is consistent with how I walk.
What is a hardened heart? Hardened in the Greek is the word skleruno which means to become obstinate or stubborn.
If we read Heb 3:7-17 we learn that when Moses led God’s people out from Egypt they tried and tested God. For forty years they saw all that God had done yet they still went astray in their hearts.
God’s people left Egypt and headed to a land that had been promised to them by God through the covenant He made with Abraham. (Gen 17) As the Israelites traveled through the wilderness toward that which was promised they began to complain about how hard it was. They were being attacked, they were hungry, they were thirsty and they were tired.
Even though God continuously provided for them, protected them and guided them they would not listen to His voice. They wanted to go back to Egypt, they wanted to worship other gods and they provoked God to anger.
So again, can my heart be hardened toward God? Well I can be stubborn. I can complain and whine when things start to get too difficult. I often begin that backwards track toward Egypt when things seemed easier. I have been guilty of seeking other people or other things instead of God.
I can have an unbelieving heart that is prone to fall away from God. An unbelieving heart is a heart that refuses to believe God. To have an unbelieving heart is to have a hardened heart.
I don’t mean to not belief God. But if I am really honest there are times I do hesitate to believe God because I want my own way or what God is calling me toward seems impossible.
So how can I guard myself against a hard or unbelieving heart? Read on in Hebrews 3 and God tells us. We are to watch our hearts (12). Take care that we don’t allow our hearts to wander away from what God has promised.
We are to encourage one another. (13) I love how it says while it is still “Today”, which means “this very day”. So today, right now, this very minute encourage someone to keep their eyes on God. To keep on believing that which has been promised to every believer. Encourage them to keep on keeping on.
We are to remind one another that if we are faithful to stand firm until the end, trusting God just as when we did when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. (14) We will receive the promise of heaven and eternal life with Christ if we stand firm and endure in faithfulness to the end.
Oh God help me to not have an unbelieving, stubborn heart. Forgive me for those time that my attitude is like that of the Israelites wondering in the wilderness. Forgive me for having a heart that so often takes my eyes off what you have promised, I begin to look at my circumstances and then begin to fall away from a firm belief. God help me to endure until the end with a firm faith in You. God help me to be aware of those around me who need encouragement to keep on keeping on in their faith walk.