Bible Strong-Stubborn Hearts, May 2020

Our God is a loving, long suffering, merciful God. But, when He has had enough, when He can’t stand the sin, rebellion, pride and arrogance any longer, watch out. He will discipline you. He will bring you to your knees if that is what it takes to get your attention. Many times, that is the only way to get your attention.

He warns us over and over and allows us time to change our ways/behavior. When that doesn’t work, He uses stronger methods of discipline, wanting you to turn from your sins and turn to Him.  

So many times in the Bible the Lord shows us the stubborn hearts of His own chosen people Israel. Time after time God warned them, but they refused to listen. They thought their way was the better way. They chose not to obey God. He punished them many times only after warnings, for the evil they did in disobedience to Him.

God told them to keep the Sabbath Day holy. But they would not pay attention to Him.

Jeremiah 17:23 Yet they did not listen or pay attention; they were stiff necked and would not listen or respond to discipline.

God told Israel that if they would stop their evil ways He wouldn’t inflict disaster on them. He told them if they continued in their evil ways He would reconsider the good things He had planned for them. But Israel wouldn’t listen.

Jeremiah 18:7-8, 10 if at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed and if that nation I warned repents of its evil then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

This is what the Lord says to Israel:

Jeremiah 18:11 …So turn from your evil ways each one of you and reform your ways and your actions.

Israel would say:

Jeremiah 18:12 But they will reply, It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.

The Lord is a God full of mercy and longsuffering. However the time came that Israel had rejected Him so many times, He turned His face away from them for a time and let them have their way. That is when disaster hit them very hard.

Psalm 81:12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own devices.

The Lord disciplines those He loves. Yes, even Israel, the apple of His eye. So don’t think we won’t be disciplined when we continuously reject His commands and disobey Him.

Revelation 3:19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. Take this seriously and change the way you think and act.

The world today is no different than Israel, who God disciplined in the Bible. He loves them and He loves us. It is because of that love that God warns and warns us, giving us many chances to repent of our wicked ways. When we refuse to listen and turn from our sin, God chastises us.

Proverbs 3:11-12 My son do not despise the Lord’s discipline, do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves as a father, as a son he delights in.

God allows circumstances to come into our lives. Some will bring us to our knees and will bring us closer to Him and make us stronger. Some experience these circumstances and repent of their sins. Others see these circumstances as a threat to their way of life and power and turn away.

Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

I know I fail Him way too many times. I don’t want to but I do anyway. Our flesh is so weak. We know what is the right thing to do or say and sometimes we do exactly what our flesh wants us to, disregarding Holy Spirit who lives inside of us.

This weekend I found my flesh wanting to lash out at someone. It welled up inside of me to fire off a message spewing poison. Holy Spirit tugged at my heart and reminded me that isn’t what Jesus would do, nor what He wants me doing. I relented. Thank God for His Grace. Thank God for Holy Spirit.

The circumstances we sometimes find ourselves in, may seem to never end. I believe the Lord is giving us, all the opportunities we need to let go of our fleshly desires and our attempts at control. We come to realize the Lord is in control and we only need to trust Him and depend on Him to take care of us. He will provide everything we need. During these times of suffering my eyes turn to Jesus. He is the Lord of all Lord’s full of saving power. Allow these circumstances, to trust the Lord to lead and guide you through them.

Psalm 18:6, 16-19 In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice and my cry to him reached his ears. He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.

Praise God.

God bless. Heal the brokenhearted, bind up all their wounds.