I love to go barefooted. However, when I go outside very much, I get calluses on my feet. The exposure to rough ground can take its toll, leaving my feet hard and unfeeling.
I must take care to protect my feet, rubbing them with oil; being alert to watch for sharp stones and things that hurt me. If I don’t watch where I walk, I can get in some serious trouble. I could even injure myself bad enough to lose my foot~NOT a good thing!
If I’m not watchful over my life, I can also get calluses on my heart. The dictionary defines calloused as hardened, insensitive, unfeeling, and unyielding. Whenever my heart is exposed to the things of the world; it is in danger of becoming hardened, calloused.
As Christians, we have no choice but to live in the world. Jesus recognized the dangers we would face and even prayed for His followers’ safe keeping as we live and work. (John 17:15-17)
Just like caring for my feet, I have to take special care of my heart, protecting it from things that could cause me harm. Daily applications of the oil of the Holy Spirit, through the reading of God’s Word, help.
Just as calluses on my feet can cause problems, a hard heart can cause problems too. Having a hardened heart can ruin my marriage, even causing divorce. (Mark 10:2-12)
Having a hardened heart can blind me to God’s miracles so that I’m subject to the sin of unbelief. (Mark 3:1-5)
When my heart is hardened, I’m not able to enter into God’s rest; making the daily hardships of life to seem overwhelming. (Hebrews 3: 7-11)
When I allow my heart to harden, I can reach a point where I no longer hear God’s correction and I’m destroyed! (Proverbs 29:1)
Every day, when I take care of my feet, I remind myself that the same close attention and care is needed with my heart.
Hebrews 3:12-13 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. I want my heart to be easy to listen and quick to yield. Give me the strength to turn away from those things that would harden my heart. Show me how to make time to spend in your Word and prayer so I recognize temptation when it comes and know how to turn aside. Thank you. Amen.
John 17:15-17 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Mark 10:2-12 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” “What did Moses command you?” he replied. They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
Mark 3:1-5 Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”
Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.
Hebrews 3: 7-11 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did.
That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, “Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.” So I declared on oath in my anger, “They shall never enter my rest.”
Proverbs 29:1 A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.