The most difficult task of a preacher is to change people’s minds in order for the Spirit to transform their hearts. This requires a bit of spiritual yard work to remove the weeds of false theology and plant in good ripe seeds of God’s Word. “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) The truth of the matter is, most people resent being told about their sins and prefer to hear messages of optimism and not messages of judgment. Regrettably, it happens with the best of Christ-followers.
Our hearts cannot prolong their petrified cancerous state. This is not an incurable disease. Through grace they are made new and fleshly, alive and beating for the Savior. Begin by turning up the desire to listen and obey God’s Word. When you are affected by the death of Jesus and moved to love your neighbor as yourself, nauseated by the wickedness of the world and accepting the discipline of your heavenly Father you will know with certainty your stubbornness is crushed. It is the precious blood of Jesus that’s been the solvent melting your hard heart like wax in the furnace of His mercy and grace. Blessed be the name of the Lord when you trust and obey!
When sin is highlighted and shame is exposed an audacity, an unholy boldness; a hardheartedness erupts against the guilt. How can this happen among believers? How can a Christ-follower go to God’s house and pretend to pray to the Lord and sing praises unto His name yet be so brazen? The prophet, Ezekiel, was faced with delivering a message to God’s people that they in no way wanted to receive. His own people turned a deaf ear to him. “The people of Israel won’t listen to you any more than they listen to me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn.” (Ezekiel 3:7) The expectation would be for the sinner drenched in manifested iniquity to be the one to show no inward humiliation, not the seasoned saint. This goes to show there are no exceptions with guilty deafness.
Each of us must admit from the moment we’ve been redeemed there are times when we have not lived with a holy fear of God. We have come into His courts, not with praise and thanksgiving, but with carelessness of worship loaded by doubt and murmuring having no marks of a contrite heart. We’re just as insolent as the children of Israel.