CHANGE MY HEART, O GOD!
Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that He may come and shower righteousness upon you."
Hosea 10:12 NLT
When I was in college, I learned to play the guitar. At first, I could only play for a short while because my fingers tips were sensitive; pressing on the strings was painful. After a couple of weeks, the tips of my fingers became calloused and insensitive to the pain, so calloused and insensitive in fact that I accidentally ran them across my razor one day and did not even feel it until it was too late.
In the same way finger tips can get calloused and hardened, so too can our hearts. Although we can see God do great and mighty things in our midst, if we are not careful, we can get hardened and deceived by sin and become insensitive to God's still small voice. Has that happened to you?
King David allowed his heart to get hardened. He committed terrible sins, and then covered those sins over with deceit. As a result, his life was drying up inside. His vitality and zest for living was draining away. But in Psalm 51, he repents and gets his heart right with God. He says in verse 17, "The sacrifice You want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, You will not despise." Spiritual renewal and fresh fire from heaven only come when the heart is first broken and repentant before a holy God.
YOUR HEART CONDITION?
Is your heart soft and tender and broken before the Lord, or is it like hard ground?
There is only one thing that hardens your heart: sin. And only one kind of sin: your sin. My sin cannot harden your heart, and your sin cannot harden my heart. Personal sin is what brings the callousness. And the longer we continue in personal sin without getting honest, open and repentant before the Lord, the harder our heart becomes.
If you want to see how hard your heart is, ask yourself this question: Do the things that break God's heart break my heart? God's heart breaks over sin, does yours? God's heart breaks over pride and selfishness, does yours? God's heart breaks for those who are lost and on the highway to hell, does yours? God's heart breaks over broken vows, does yours? God's heart breaks over injustice, indifference, abuse, abortion and sexual immorality, does yours?
Maybe like me, you need to heed the call of God through the prophet Hosea and ask the Lord to plow up the hard ground of your heart. Ask Him to change you and open your eyes to any bitterness and pride and sin and selfishness that may be lurking within you. Ask Him to make your heart like His.
The time is now to seek the Lord - and to seek Him with a broken heart. We will be amazed at the awesome things He will do when we get our hearts in line with His.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.