Humbled or Hardened?

 

humbled-or-hardened

 I have many highlighted verses and notes throughout the book of Psalm in my Bible but none in Psalm 95. I began reading the passage last week on a whim, and I could not believe I had never seen the revelation it offered. Or, perhaps, God did not want me to see its value until now. The highlighting and note taking began as the end of verse 7 ran off the page and into my heart, Today, if only you would hear His voice…

I read the verse and immediately wished I had heard God’s voice that day. I was tired. Exhausted. There was a lot on my plate. Hearing from God would be wonderful, refreshing, even rejuvenating. But He seemed unusually quiet to me lately. 

To hear God is something I have experienced. It has never been an audible voice for me but instead is a feeling and revelation that touches my heart in profound ways. The experience is always amazing, reassuring, and a reminder of the relationship He longs to have with me. Yet, such experiences I am describing are fewer and far between lately. They might be rare occurrences for you as well. I found myself asking…

How can we ensure we hear His voice?

God uses the Bible, prayer time, and others to communicate to us in beautiful ways. But when it seems He becomes silent, is it because He is choosing to do so? Considering how much God longs to have a relationship with us, I doubt He purposely chooses to be silent for prolonged periods.

Could there be other reasons we are missing the quiet whisper of His powerful voice?

Instead of just focusing on this single line in the Psalm, I then zoomed out to analyze the entire passage. Perhaps more information could be gleaned in the surrounding verses.

The first half of Psalm 95 is all about worshiping God. Acknowledging all He has created and controls. Such worship described here emphasizes bowing down before Him (95:6). Bowing before another shows submission, trust, and humility. By bowing, we show how great He is and how lowly we are. Such a posture of humbleness is seen throughout the Bible. It is a theme God wants us to understand, study, and practice .

Not only does the first half of Psalm 95 emphasize worshipping God with a humble heart, but doing such leads to hearing His voice!

It is clear what we must then ask ourselves…

Am I worshipping God with a humble heart?

If we are not, could this be why we are missing His voice? If my heart is not humble, then what is it?

The last half of the passage warns us to not have hardened hearts, the opposite of humble. We are reminded of God’s people who began to test and disobey God in the wilderness. They developed hardened hearts and lacked joy, humility, and thanksgiving (Psalm 95:8-11). Their punishment from God was to not see the promise land. They missed out on the blessing, because they stopped listening to the voice of God.

Now to the next question we must ask…

Do I have a hardened heart?

If we do have a hardened heart, we might very well miss His voice and the blessings it can bring.

My own reflection and prayer on this Psalm, led to the discovery I am not humble enough in my life. I thought I was, but that is the lie Satan wants me to believe. I now realize I don’t always respond with a humble reaction or words in many situations. And there are times I go to the Lord with a lack of humbleness seen in my prayers. I seem to have more requests and less thanks to God. More questions and less trust. That’s not humble.

I also have a hardened heart in a few areas of my life. I did not think I did, but a closer look made me realize it was true. I have a few relationships that need to be mended. I have sin to be confronted. Instead of mending and confronting I have ignored the problems, allowing my heart to grow cold toward people, situations, and topics. That’s a hard heart.

Where do we go from here?

Goodness, no wonder I have not been hearing the voice of God as often as I should be. When we lack humbleness and carry around a hard heart, His voice can’t penetrate the barriers we have placed around us. Barriers separating us from all He has to offer. Could you be facing the same problem as I am? If so, how are we going to gain humble and soft hearts?

Can I just be honest? I am not entirely sure. There is no magic fix. Gaining and sustaining humble hearts is a choice and process we must make and pursue.

But I can offer hope. Actually, God offers the hope. We can go back to the place where humble replaces hardened because I am experiencing it.

Since reading this Psalm and writing this post I have started praying fervently for God to reveal to me what it means to be humble. I have asked Him to reveal what a posture of humility described in Psalm 95 looks like in all aspects of my life, not just some. As a wife, mother, and friend what does it mean to be humble for God? I want to know because I am desperate to not miss His voice anymore.

Such praying has already brought results, including hearing His voice. You can read about my first divine experience since praying for humbleness here on Facebook.

And I am not stopping there.

I have determined I will take this year to pursue humbleness in His name. Again, I am not sure what this journey will look like or where it will lead, but I know God has something to teach me, and I want to share it with you. In fact, I want to encourage you to pursue humbleness with me.

Let’s start with praying for God to reveal humble and its characteristics to us. Let’s go to His Word and see what He has to say about humbleness. From there, He will do the rest.

Click here for some starter scriptures on humbleness you can print to begin referencing, studying and praying over as we pursue humbleness together!

Future posts on my journey with humble, softening the heart, and more will be in the future! Sign up to receive these every Monday in your inbox!  

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