And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Wasn’t it the people Moses led out of Egypt? And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness? And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed him? So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest. Hebrews 3:16–18 (NLT)
A person with a heart of stone wears a false persona, and that is a role that Christ does not want us to have. It takes too much energy to keep up a false front—energy that God wants us to use to live for him.
Christians are called to put to death the old practices—the old nature. And don’t leave a void in the heart, but replace it with the new nature that God gives to us. What we try to do instead is put a soft padding on the outside of our hard hearts, but God tells us that is not going to work. We have to perforate the hardness, throw it away, and open our hearts to the emergence of the Holy Spirit. . . .
Inner vows, stony hearts, always leave you hungry for more. You are never at peace or able to receive the peace and freedom that the Holy Spirit wants to give you. It’s a never-sated hunger for more, for something—anything—that will satisfy.
But God give you the power to break free.
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. James 4:7-10