I used to think people with hard hearts were God-haters, or at the least people in rebellion to Him. Then one day, while on a flight to a meeting, I was reading the story about Jesus walking on the water, recorded in Mark 6. His disciples were in a terrible storm, fighting for their lives. Yet here came Jesus walking on top of the very thing that was threatening to kill them. He was in total control.
We were flying over the Great Lakes when I read this, and I remember being so impacted that I just put my Bible down and stared out the window. There was a solid layer of clouds beneath the plane. In my imagination, I saw Jesus walking on the clouds and then sitting on the wing. It wouldn’t have been any more miraculous for Him to do that than for Him to walk on the water! And as I considered this, I was just awestruck at what a miracle this was!
Then I picked up my Bible to continue reading the story and saw the disciples’ reaction:
They were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.
That’s exactly the way I felt! It felt really good to be feeling that way too. I thought that anyone should be shocked and amazed at the miraculous power of God. Then I read the next verse:
For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.
It was just like someone slapped me in the face! For the first time, I understood that being shocked, amazed, or surprised at a miracle was an indication of a hard heart. With that understanding, I realised that my heart was hard. Later, I looked up hardened in the dictionary, and it’s defined as cold, insensitive, unfeeling, and unyielding.
This set me on a three-and-a-half-year journey seeking the Lord in this area. I wanted to know what a hard heart really was, what caused it, and how to cure it.
In Mark 8:17, Jesus spoke to His disciples about the characteristics of a hard heart:
And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
In these verses, Jesus gave us symptoms that are descriptive of a hard heart: (1) unable to perceive, (2) unable to understand, (3) unable to see, (4) unable to hear, and (5) unable to remember. These are all speaking of inabilities in the spiritual realm.
A person with a hard heart is characterised by an inability to perceive spiritual truth. It’s like they are spiritually blind and deaf. Also, not retaining information is a major indication of the condition of their hearts.
People often tell me that they just don’t have the ability to remember Scripture the way I do. They say, “You must have a photographic memory.” But that isn’t true. I’ve got a personal assistant whose number one job is to help me remember things and stay on track. And that person has two assistants, so that makes three people who send me reminders, emails, and voicemails. It’s not because my mind doesn’t work; it’s a matter of the heart. I can quote hundreds, thousands of scriptures. It’s because my heart is sensitive toward God’s Word.
Let me give you another example. I have people come to me all of the time after I’ve said God has spoken to me. They’ll say, “You talk like God speaks to you constantly.” Then they’ll say, “The devil told me I’m never going to hear the voice of God. The devil said this, and the devil said that.” They can hear everything the enemy says but never what God says. Something is wrong with this picture.
My sheep hear my voice.
A stranger will they not follow.
Most people’s experience is the exact opposite of what Jesus said. The average Christian struggles to hear the voice of God, and yet they hear the devil without any problems. I’m telling you, it’s an indication of a hardened heart toward God. That might be the condition of your heart today, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. There is a cure, and it starts with changing what you focus on.
In my teaching Hardness of Heart, I go into much more detail. This letter has only scratched the surface of the truths I want to get across to you. You really need to get the entire teaching to reap the full benefit of what I’m saying. This is one of the most important things the Lord has ever shown me. I’ve taught it since the early eighties, but I recently updated it. It will be packaged with my How to Become a Water Walker teaching, which talks about the miracle the disciples witnessed on the Sea of Galilee, but also how you can see the power of God in your life. There are reasons that some Christians walk in the miraculous while others don’t. This will help you be one of the ones who do. I encourage you to order one package for yourself and another one to share.
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Hardness Of Heart
A hard heart is simply a heart that is more sensitive to other things than to God. It is caused by what we focus our attention on, and it dictates the level of unbelief in our lives.
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