“8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9 When your fathers tempted Me (God), proved Me, and saw My works forty years.
10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
11 So I sware in My wrath, They shall not enter into My rest.)
12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Hebrews 3:8-12
Those with an evil heart of unbelief will ignore the ministry of the Holy Spirit and prefer methods of man to “gain” the rest that only the Lord can provide through faith in HIS redeeming work. The various methods continue to sweep to and fro but the results remain the same…evil heart of unbelief.
Even after seeing God’s work for forty years, the Israelites continued to tempt Him with unbelief and rebellion. They provoked the Lord with their unbelief in the face of His mighty works. The Israelites hearts were hardened by Truth because of unbelief.
We must all forever take heed to the condition of our hearts. We must recognize how we respond to the Truth of the Word of God when it reveals to us our ways are not His ways. Are we humbled or are we hardened? Too often when “our part” is exposed as error and the Holy Spirit’s ministry is revealed as Truth, we reject “His part”…the part that requires our faith in Jesus Christ and His redeeming work on Calvary’s Cross in order for the Holy Spirit to do that which He is commissioned to do – set at liberty those who are bound and oppressed by the yoke of satan because of their evil heart of unbelief.
The provocation of God continues from His People because they do not know His ways. The fact of the matter is many do not know how to live for God and remain bound by religion. Despite their good intentions and love for the Lord, their hearts are full of unbelief. Humanistic psychology, self will and self efforts have taken the place of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Their faith therefore becomes in their efforts, as it is indeed authored and finished by their efforts, but this faith leads to death as it is departing from the living God…the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2
I do not say these things disparagingly. I say these things because I see the bondage in the modern church today. I see the cries for revival in the hearts of unbelief…I see the provocation. The only answer given in the Word of God for victory over the world, the flesh and the devil is faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the Cross (Romans 6:14). There is no other way. As many are swept to and fro with every wind of doctrine, their faith is placed on the various doctrines and the ministry of the Holy Spirit is ignored.
Let me be clear, the Holy Spirit is not commissioned to free us from the law of sin and death when our faith is placed on methods of man to overcome that which only Jesus Christ defeated once and for all on Calvary’s Cross. When our faith is placed there, in HIS finished work; when HE, the Lord Jesus Christ, authors and finishes our faith, we see His mighty work and we believe! We may not know how or we may not know when but we know in Whom we have believed and we follow Him.
“13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” Hebrews 3:13-15
-Donna Clark Warren