Are You a Thick-Hearted Believer?
The Word of God is a double-edged sword. One side is the blessing. The other side is the curse. There is no middle ground. When you align yourself with God’s Word and do what it says, you will find yourself on the blessing side. When you don’t, you will end up on the side of the curse.
The Blessing and The Curse
Deuteronomy 28 declares both the blessing and the curse. First, the blessing –
And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. (Deuteronomy 28:1-6)
Then the curse –
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. (Deuteronomy 28:15-19)
The Choice is Yours
Some religious teaching promotes the concept that people have no control over what happens to them. It’s a “Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be” attitude. However, Scripture tells us that God always gives us a choice between the blessing and the curse. Deuteronomy 30: 19 says, I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
When Christians believe the fallacy that “if it’s God’s will, it will happen no matter what,” they relinquish responsibility for their success and particularly for their lack of it. They blame God when things don’t go well for them, but in reality, they haven’t obeyed God’s Word. They haven’t spoken words that agree with Scripture, and their hearts begin to harden.
Is Your Heart Thick?
A thick heart is a closed heart. It's possible to be a believer in Jesus but to close your heart to particular verses of Scripture. You understand that, don't you? I might preach on How to be blessed, and the congregation gladly receives Scriptures such as Proverbs 10:22that say,The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. However, when I teach on the importance of tithing and quote Malachi 3:8-10, I can sense that some will not receive the Word of God on that subject!
Selective hearing isn’t new. Jesus described such behavior in Matthew 13. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. (Matthew 13:14-16)
Years after I graduated from Bible school, I was praying at the altar of the church I founded. I wasn't praying about anything in particular; I was simply praying in the Spirit about God's perfect plans. The Lord said something to me that I would never have thought of on my own. He said, "Your priorities are not My priorities. My priority is life." I didn't understand what He was telling me, but I heard Him. I said, "Lord, I don’t understand. You’re going to have to show me what that means.”
He replied, "Oh, my son. I love you. Let me teach you because now I am going to give you more understanding about what I've already told you. Since you haven't rejected My Word, you are going to get more and more understanding. However, if your heart had been thick and refused what I told you, you would receive progressively less light, and your understanding of the Word would continually decrease."
I had a choice; I could receive or refuse God’s Word. What He told me affected me in many ways. For example, I had to change the way I prioritized popular issues; instead of making economic issues my number one concern, I had to line up with God’s priorities and make life the most important issue. It was uncomfortable and challenging, but I didn’t want to become a thick-heartedChristian – one who accepted "comfortable" Scriptures but refused the difficult ones. Every Word from God is a seed. Therefore, every Scripture brings with it a point of decision. Will you line up with it and end up on the blessing side, or will you refuse it and land on the curse side? Will your heart remain soft and pliable, or will it become thick and hard? The choice is yours.