Changing is difficult. There are walls inside of the soul of every person that God wants to tear down.
Changing is difficult. There are walls inside of the soul of every person that God wants to tear down. Emotional walls and defense mechanisms keep His people from the fullness of what He wants for them. He doesn’t want to hurt us. He wants to heal us and completely set us free. The hard places within the heart may be hidden, but it is not unknown to the lover of our souls. He requires a humble and willing vessel to work with. He cannot, and will not, force anyone. Laying down pride is crucial for the Holy Spirit to move. God isn’t looking for sparkling perfect vessels right away; He is first looking for willing vessels.
God isn’t looking for sparkling perfect vessels right away; He is first looking for willing vessels.
The Bible says, “God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble” (Jam. 4:6). We find this statement to be true throughout the Word of God. Take for instance Pharaoh. He was the king over Egypt, and there was no one as powerful or as wealthy as him. Pharaoh was the epitome of a prideful person. He had it all; why would he do anything to change that? God used His servant Moses to warn Pharaoh of the calamities that would fall on Egypt if he did not let the children of Israel go. God poured out severe plagues upon the land and the people, but Pharaoh’s heart was increasingly hardened. Pharaoh’s insubordination against God’s messenger and instruction was his ruin. God ultimately destroyed Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea. In this story, we see the mercy and patience of God. Pharaoh was given many opportunities to be obedient and repent, but he refused, and he died with his pride.
Although the account of Pharaoh is an extreme example, God still requires every soul to rid itself of the pride within. To be sure, pride does not just mean to be stiff necked or stubborn. Pride can be any vice or character that prevents a person from fulfilling God’s will in their life. It could be shame or insecurity that is restraining; it can be anything in your heart that would hold you back from becoming the holy, chosen vessel of God that He called you to be. There is a prophecy in the book of Ezekiel that states, “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” (Eze. 36:26).
Pharaoh’s heart was hardened to the point he lost everything. The Lord wants to heal the callous places in our hearts to entrust us with His inheritance. The Word says, “circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff necked” (Deut. 10:16).
Why does God want our hearts soft instead of being rock hard? Picture two fields: one field has soft fertile ground and the other is impenetrable and hard. Which of the fields can withhold a seed if you want to plant it? Only the ground that is prepared and tilled can receive the seed and one day produce a harvest. The parable of the seed and the sower, found in the gospels, explains this process perfectly. God cannot place His seed, or his Word (Luk. 8:11), in the hearts of those who are hardened with the cares of this world. But, it is only given to those who are open and humble to receive His Word and be changed.
God also wants His people to have soft hearts because that is the place where the Word of God is to be written. Paul writes in the book of Hebrews:
Heb. 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.
Heb. 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts:
Paul also wrote to the church at Corinth:
2Co 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
2Co 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
We can recognize those who are of God and those who are not. Their hearts are inscribed with the Word of God. Paul also describes who true Jews are:
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
The book of Acts says, “Ye stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye” (Act. 7:51). In that day, the disciples had the same fight God had with Pharaoh. Today it remains the same. There is a battle to remove the hardheartedness from God’s children. It seemed Paul fought constantly with the churches of his day.
Rom 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Rom 2:5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
God longs to remove the pride from our hearts that has held us back from reaching the full potential He intended for us.
God longs to remove the pride from our hearts that has held us back from reaching the full potential He intended for us. This grants the Holy Spirit free access to implant the seed of His Word into our souls. When we surrender our will and submit to the process, He breaks away the hard places within us to inscribe His Word. His Word has the ability to change every aspect of our lives, if we allow it. We learn from the downfall of Pharaoh that we must be pliable and co-labor with the Father to change and transform us, no matter how challenging it may seem. Remain humble and give room for the Holy Spirit to tear down the walls in your life. The Word says, “humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (Jam. 4:10).