One of the worst things a person can do is harden their heart toward God. The consequences of such obstinancy are devastating. This is why the author of Hebrews wrote, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion." (Hebrews 3:15)
The word "rebellion" may bring to mind a child or teenager rebelling against parents. But adults often rebel just as much as young people. In fact, this unruly behavior tends to spring up quite easily within human nature, regardless of age.
With that in mind, check out these 7 consequences of man hardening his heart toward God:
1. You feel extremely "rushed" and "driven."
It's one thing to persistently pursue godly goals with a calm heart. It's quite another to constantly feel "driven" to make everything come together all by yourself. God is the author of peace, while sin and hardheartedness produce restlessness and ungodly energy. Many people race through life with tons of this "energy," but they never get connected to God's power.
Whenever man blocks God from his heart and his goals, it produces an "edge" to man's work, but not the right kind of focused fortitude. Without Christ at the center of your life, you are bound to eventually spin out of control. Jesus isn't called the "Prince of Peace" for nothing. But one must meet Christ and walk with Him in order to receive His peace.
2. Paranoia becomes a frequent guest.
Paranoia is one of the plagues of an empty soul. And it stems from worrying about results rather than allowing your heart to rest in God's plan for your life. All of us are prone to paranoia, and only the strength of the Savior can smooth out our obsessive tendencies and fears. By hardening your heart toward God, you actually invite paranoia into the "home" of your soul. And this is one guest who doesn't know when to leave.
Some people who have hardened their heart toward God are constantly irritable. But the Lord can fix man's heart condition.
Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
The peace of Christ is the solution to the nagging problem of paranoia. In fact, God's peace "surpasses all understanding." (Philippians 4:7)
3. Anger seems to rise up quite easily in your heart.
Anger is like "restlessness on steroids." This inner turmoil and rustling rage is unsettling. The next time you burn with anger, examine whether your heart is open to having Christ help you with your anger issues. An open heart to the Messiah is the pathway to replacing anger with calmness. The love of God can reach anyone who is open to having Jesus change their heart.
4. You live "in the flesh" rather than "in the Spirit."
Every Christian faces an inner battle against "the flesh."
The apostle Paul described it this way: "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law." (Galatians 5:16-18)
By walking closely with Christ every hour, we are able to walk "in the Spirit" rather than "in the flesh." This is the only way to flow in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing." (John 6:63)