Hardness of Heart
Story tell Feeding of 5000 from Mark 6:35-44
Immediately He compelled His disciples to get into the boat and go before Him to the other side. . . When evening came the wind was against them. About the fourth watch (3 a.m. – 6 a.m.) Jesus came walking on the Sea. For they all saw Him and were troubled. Immediately He said, “It is I, be not afraid.” He went into the boat and the wind ceased.
NOW PAY CLOSE attention to what scripture is inferring was the cause of their hardness of heart.
THEY WERE GREATLY ASTONISHED IN THEMSELVES BEYOND MEASURE, AND WONDERED. FOR THEY HAD NOT COMPREHENDED THE MIRACLE OF THE LOAVES, FOR THEIR HEARTS WERE HARDENED. MARK 6:35-52
Hardness of heart is not rebellion against God. It is not resisting God.
According to this scripture everyone of us is hard hearted towards God to some extent.
Hardness of heart is relating more to the natural world than to God. We should reach a place where we are moved more by what God says than by anything else.
Ill. When I preach God’s Word everyone hears the same message yet some lives are changed and others get nothing out of it. The difference is not me – it is the condition of people’s hearts.
Let’s continue to Mark 8. Again this crowd is 4000 and Jesus wants to feed them before He sends them away. His disciples asked,
Where can we get bread to feed these men here in the wilderness?
They failed again! It was only a few days ago He fed 5000.
Ill. Have you ever had a miracle of God and said I will never doubt God again. The next day something bad happens and you start to fear or worry forgetting about the miracle you just had. That is hardness of heart.
How does this happen? It is not that you don’t know the truth but the truth has not penetrated your heart so that you are changed. Hardness of heart keeps the Word from penetrating deep in you to change you.
When Israel came out of Egypt they saw great miracles of Red Sea, plagues on Egypt, pillar of fire by night and cloud by day. Yet a few days later they were asking, “Can God provide a table in the wilderness to feed this multitude?
Hebrews 3 warns us they were like this because of hardness of heart and we must also beware of the same thing.
“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. . .” Hebrews 3:7
ill. Pharaoh is the supreme example. He saw the miracles of God and repented a little but went back to his stubbornness. Eventually it killed him.
What about you?
It does not matter what you know, it is what you think on that controls whether or heart is hard or not.
Ill. Many times people who don’t know as much as we do see more miracles. 3rd world countries. Why? Because the Word of God penetrates hearts.
“My son, attend to My words; incline your ear unto My sayings. Let them not depart from before thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life to all who find them and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22
Incline your ear means to pay close attention.
What you become sensitive to.
Ill. MCAS Cheery point we lived at end of run way and planes flew over our house rattling windows. After a while we got use to it. When family visited it shocked them what we got use to. You can be sensitive to what you want to and be hardened to what you want to .
People who claim they can’t remember scripture yet can tell you sport statistics reveal this is true. Nothing wrong with memory. Your memory is linked to your heart passions.
Good news: Hardness of heart is reversible.
Jesus said His sheep
“Follow Him; for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” John 10:4-5
Note: believers can sensitize themselves to the voice of God and at the same time ignore the voice of the devil.
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Mtt. 6:22
In other words, if you fill yourself with the Word the Word will come out. Single-mindedness is a key.
Ill. Abraham was so single minded he did not know how to not believe God. To become single-minded you have to not consider the possibility of failure. You have no plan B to fall back on.
- God told Abraham “No longer will you be called Abram but Abraham”. Abram is 2 words AV- Ram = lofty father – the emphasis is on Abram.
- Abraham is the addition of a letter HEY in God’s name Yod Hey Vav – Hey. Hey = behold watch this! Abraham – father of a multitude.
“I have made you a father of many nations.” = supernatural the emphasis is on God and what He can do.
Abraham had to do what we have to do in order to receive the promises of God.
“Against all hope, he believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations according to what was spoken. . . He did not consider his own body . . . not the deadness of Sarah’s womb. . . He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded that what God had promised, He was able to perform.” Romans 4:18-21
ill. One reason I believe God never allowed me to learn a trade well enough to make a living was because many times I would have quit the ministry to do something else. God did not want this to be an option for me. God set me up with only one place to go – forward.
The cause of a hard heart – whatever you focus on can either sensitize you to God or harden you towards God.
The cure for a hard heart – keeping our minds stayed on God and what He has said and is saying now.
“I am who God says I am. The Father lavished great love upon me, calling me His child. Because of Christ’s redemption, I am a new creation of great worth. I am deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted by God and absolutely complete in Christ. I can do what God says I can do. I can have what He says I can have. If God said it, I believe it. If God gives it, I receive it. If God shows it, I perceive it. If Satan stole it, I retrieve it.”