«Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts’ » (Hebrews 3:7, 8).
ARTERIES ARE BLOOD VESSELS that carry oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the rest of the body. When they become stiff and rigid, they can restrict blood flow to the organs and tissues. Healthy arteries are flexible and elastic, but when they harden from the buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other substances, they endanger health.
Hardening the spiritual heart is obsessively and persistently resisting God’s will by opposing and rebelling against it. It is being insensitive, indifferent, rigid, or firm in a personal position. One of the most convincing examples for illustrating this was Pharaoh’s attitude to the request to free God’s people. Every manifestation of God’s power, far from softening him, hardened his heart and distanced him from God’s blessings. It was not God who hardened Pharaoh’s heart. It was his decision and rejection of God’s calling.
In these verses, Paul refers to Psalm 95:7-11 and highlights three concepts:
Hear the voice of God calling us today. Being obedient is an answer to God’s calling. This answer should be immediate. God is inviting us today, right now. To put off answering or to respond with disobedience means to harden one’s heart.
Do not harden your heart. Every opportunity that is rejected or wasted is more «cholesterol plaque» that we accumulate in our spiritual arteries. Emotions or feelings are not what harden a heart. The will is. Hardening the heart means not using rational abilities. It is becoming immovable and insensitive to the most obvious reasons.
Not entering into divine rest. The hardened and disobedient Israelites did not enter the Promised Land. Their hardened hearts, without willpower and unstable, rebelled against obeying God and were not fit to enter Heaven.
A heart hardens when we repeatedly say «no» to God’s will, when we postpone making our decision, when we are indifferent to the needs of our fellowmen, when we dismiss the warnings, when we feed unbelief, when we practice sin, when we reject the Spirit. «Cement secures bricks in the wall and sin hardens the heart of man. The only remedy is the love of Christ who bore the cross to save us» (H. Girodo).
Let us be careful with our spiritual arteries, lest by rejecting the light, we remain in darkness.