July 23, 2020 Ashley Steelman

Hard-Hearted

Hard-Hearted

I grew up listening to classic rock. WKQQ out of Lexington basically supplied the soundtrack to my youth. One of my favorites was Stevie Ray Vaughn. Nobody plays guitar like Stevie. 


In the 80’s Stevie Ray Vaughn was at the top of his game. But his personal life was spiraling out of control because of issues with drugs and alcohol. 


At some point, Stevie stumbled out of a bar and ran into Eric Clapton(another favorite). Clapton had himself also battled with addiction. It almost took his life. He later became passionate in helping others and established a rehab center and foundation. 


Eric tells the story that when he saw Stevie in the state he was in, he looked him in the eyes and knew he was not in a place to receive advice. Clapton said that he knew nothing he would have said would have had any effect on Stevie at that time and place. 


Stevie also acknowledged that he was not ready then. In fact, it would be years later, when he almost died, that he would finally get clean. 


It’s hard to see someone that desperately needs help and to know that even if you offered it they wouldn’t take it. It's sad that so often people have to get to the point of dying before they will get the help.


 It’s also hard when we see people around us dying spiritually, and it seems there is little that we can do. It’s hard to be in that place where you know that nothing you say will move them, or may in some cases make things worse? 


Hebrews 3:12-15 Christian brothers, be careful that not one of you has a heart so hard that it will not believe and will turn away from the living God. 13 Help each other. Speak day after day to each other while it is still today so your heart will not become hard by being fooled by sin. 14 For we belong to Christ if we keep on trusting Him to the end just as we trusted Him at first. 15 The Holy Writings say, “If you hear His voice today, do not let your hearts become hard as your early fathers did when they turned against Me.”


We must have the Spirit awareness to know when to push and when to be quiet. The beauty for us is that the Holy Spirit is the one who convicts, who pushes and prods, who softens hard hearts, and who ultimately will bring the soul toward a decision. Our job is to pray that their hearts will become tender and to speak encouragement and truth. 


Not everybody will be ready to hear about Jesus, this does not in any way mean we don’t still sow the seeds of the gospel. In the parable of the sower, the seeds are thrown everywhere, despite the fact that they might fall on soil with barriers to growth. 


We keep sowing into every part of the garden, we pull weeds, prune thorns, chuck out rocks, and keep watering every little sprout to help it grow. 


Don’t get bogged down in frustration when that person seems to want little to do with Jesus. Just love ‘em, stay consistent in your life and theirs, and pray that the Spirit will soften their heart and open their ears. 


Never give up.