When I was a teenager I worked a wide variety of jobs. One summer I helped build a city park. Another summer I framed foundations and poured concrete. And the summer I graduated from high school I put up steal buildings. I remember some long days in the sun.
On the first day of work I expected my hands to blister and by the end of the day my hands were raw and painful. As the job continued my hands healed and calluses formed over the blisters. My hands grew stronger and firmer every day. This is a good and natural process for a working man or woman. I’ve shaken hands with old cow hands and felt the thick layers of callus that they’ve accumulated over the years. Callused hands can be a blessing.
But as Christians we need to recognize when our hearts grow callus. A callus heart is neither healthy nor is it a blessing. There are things in this world that will damage our spiritual hearts. Blisters are formed when we watch movies, listen to music, or read books that do not agree with God’s principles. Our heart is wounded when we engage in gossip or disregard our conscious. There are many other examples. The Holy Spirit tells us what is right and what is wrong. He is a Gentleman. His voice is soft and never demanding. God wants us to follow His path willingly.
If we choose to continue doing the things that hurt our heart and ignore the Holy Spirit, our hearts harden and calluses develop. The layers on our heart grow thicker and thicker. Soon we don’t feel the gentle nudging of our heavenly Father.
Are there calluses on your heart? Have you found yourself ignoring the gentle warnings of the Holy Spirit? It seemed small at the time and now you don’t really think about it.
David served the Lord with song and dance. He wrote psalms to the Lord and was considered dear to God. David said:
Keep me as the apple of Your eye Psalm 17:8 (NKJV)
But David’s heart grew callus to the Lord as he lived his life as King of Israel. He started small by appreciating the view of a neighbor’s wife bathing on her roof top. Today it is so easy for men to fall into the same trap on a home computer. It’s difficult to pick up a book or watch a movie that doesn’t compromise God’s direction for our lives. How is this different from where David started? David grew callus and before long he killed his neighbor and took his wife. Do you think he thought he would go that far in the beginning?
David finally realized that his heart had grown callus. But he suffered a lot of heart ache first. He began praying earnestly for God to remove the obstruction from his heart.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24 (NKJV)
God wants to renew our relationship with him. He will renew our spirit and replace our heart of stone with hearts of flesh again.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV)