Quoting from an Old Testament passage twice, the author of Hebrews challenges his audience not to harden their hearts (3:8, 15). The original word for harden in this text connotes that the action taken by the subject is to begin immediately and continue into the future. They were not to allow their hearts to harden, and they were to remain vigilant in that exercise. In other words, they were to perform regularly scheduled heart surgery. Though two millennia removed, we, too, must keep a close watch on our hearts (Prov. 4:23). If we do not, we will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb. 3:13). Our sins, and the sins of others—whether it directly or indirectly affects us—both disappoints and discourages us. As a Christian, I may be freed by Christ from the penalty of sin, but I still very much experience the power and presence of sin. Sin is in me. Sin is in you. Sin is in our children. Sin permeates our planet. I suppose this is why a wartime mentality is needed if we are to remain tender to the Lord when we hear His voice (the same passage in Hebrews, chapter three, which mentions the word harden also includes the condition: “Today, if you hear His voice”). Of the many activities I am about this day, I am indeed hearing His voice. I read Matthew, chapter twelve this morning. Right now, I am meditating upon Hebrews, chapter three. In my regularly scheduled heart surgery, it is of vital importance that I consider Jesus (ponder His excellencies [even in comparison to Moses]) and enter God’s rest (striving for reality while allowing the peace of God to guard my heart [see Philippians 4:7]). If you are a believer, that is your quest as well. Reflect upon it. Meditate upon Him. Fight sin.
Reflections on the Quest: Regularly Scheduled Heart Surgery