When Your Heart Is Hard From The Road to Grace Devotional
Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
“I can’t beat this; it’s hopeless. When the temptation comes, I just give in. I’m close to giving up. When is God going to do something? Nothing ever seems to change. I don’t know if I care anymore.”
When one binges in sexual sin repeatedly over an extended period of time, something dangerous happens to the heart: it grows cold, and hard. Instead of a sponge that absorbs light, life and love, we become more like a block of ice. The encouragement, concern and convicting words of God and others bounce off us and have no effect. Instead of fighting against sin, we embrace it. In this place of hopelessness, hardness, and sin–seeking, we’re prone to cast off more restraint than before and cross boundaries we never thought we would. Anything can happen now—and it usually does, with the outcome that lives are destroyed.
If your heart is hard, the good news is that there is a way to reverse the process.
1. Go before God, and confess it all. Pour out all of the rebellion, doubt, despair, frustration and sin. Admit that you’ve embraced lust, and are now trapped in a pit of your own making. Don’t stop until it’s all been dealt with. Then repeat this process with one or two trusted friends. Ask them to pray for you.
2. Ask the Lord to soften your heart. According to Ezekiel 36:26, changing hearts is His specialty. Press into the throne of grace for a “heart of flesh.”
3. Invite the Lord to break you. You can be broken one of two ways: the Lord can do it gently, bringing repentance and mercy, or, you do it the hard way and wait until you hit bottom. Brokenness the easy way is a blessing. When the Lord breaks you “pre–fall,” He can open your eyes to the wretchedness of your sin, causing you to despise and withdraw from it. You will see yourself in a healthy, Biblical way (for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh; Philippians 3:3). This doesn’t mean beating yourself up or living in self–condemnation, but that you see that everything inside of you is corrupt (there is none righteous, not even one; Romans 3:10).
4. Ask the Lord for personal revival. Revival happens when the Spirit of God convicts us so deeply of our sin that we cry out for Him in absolute, unconditional surrender, wanting Him to have complete control of our lives. In the process, we discover His grace and mercy all over again—and our love for Him blazes once more.
The above is not a checklist to be worked through one time and then discarded because “it didn’t work.” If we’re serious about a new heart, we’ll need to seek God daily until He answers our request:
Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you.
Excerpt from The Road to Grace Devotional
©2012 by Mike Genung. All Rights Reserved. This excerpt may be copied and forwarded only if this permission paragraph is retained intact and a link to this website is included.