It is easy for our hearts to get hardened. Things do not go the way that we think they should, people let us down or we try and justify our own failings. But no matter the explanation, the result is the same. We get more vulnerable to sin, less dedicated to prayer and further from God's will in our lives. Worse still, hardness leads to hardness. Like a callous that continues to get thicker because irritating it no longer hurts, the harder our hearts get, the easier it is for us to wander down heart hardening paths. This is not a new problem; in Moses' day, it kept the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years. They did not trust God when He spoke, and so they hardened their hearts against Him and lost the opportunity to experience His rest.
Is there a solution? Does God give us any tools to avoid such a dangerous path? He does, but it might seem too simple for some of us to embrace. The vaccine against a hard heart is our local church. Not just Sunday services (although those are important, as we will see later in Hebrews), but being challenged and encouraged by our brothers and sisters daily. When I am weak, someone else in my church is strong and can help sustain me. When I am strong, someone else in my church is weak and needs me. We have to exhort each other today before the deceitfulness of sin can take root in our hearts. The Christian life is too hard to live alone, so the Son of God gave us brothers and sisters.
Discussion idea: Who is someone in your life than can encourage you or correct you when you get out of step with God?
Prayer focus: It is easy for us to get defensive when confronted, instead of grateful. Pray that we will have humble hearts which will appreciate the loving