Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.
“How is your heart?” I remember the first time someone asked me this question; I wasn’t long a Christian and was confused by what my friend was getting at. “It’s still beating,” I cheekily replied, stuck for anything more profound to say.
The state of our hearts matters to God. The Lord twice commands the prophet Ezekiel to tell the Israelites that He will “remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26). God’s heart is for the redemption and transformation of His people. Yet we know the story of the Israelites well; they got consumed by the world and the people around them and their hearts turned away from dependence on God.
Life can be confusing, scary and exhausting – God can at times feel very far away from our day to day existence. When we let the darkness of the world overwhelm us, or when we start to trust in our own abilities, our hearts harden – they turn away from the life-giving presence of God.
So how do we soften our hearts? We start by recognizing who God is, by revering Him, by focusing on His glory and majesty, His wisdom and power, His holiness and justness, His greatness and goodness and His love and grace.
Father God, thank you for your might and for your tenderness. Please help me trust my heart to you; help me peel-off the defence mechanisms I have erected out of fear and pride. Thank you that you breathe new life into me each day.