“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12 (NIV)
It’s our job to “see to it” that we’re watching and guarding our hearts! God will not prevent us from making bad choices or from sinning. He expects us to act like mature adults, in this regard, not children.
And it’s clear He’s referring to Christians (i.e. “brothers and sisters”)—-not the un-regenerated—in this passage. It is possible to turn away from God and to choose to not believe—that’s what the author is saying here. He does not say that you go to hell for this, but rather that good works and faith go hand in hand and so does disobedience and doubt. Which are we feeding our spirits? We stand without excuse if we choose to sin.
The thing we have to protect is our heart. What kills faith in God is a heart full of sin; it will turn us away from Him—which is just what the enemy desires, of course. How are we to protect our hearts? Watch what enters into your mind! It’s the imagination, images, fixations, and things we entertain with our minds that find their way into our hearts. Where is my heart in matters of sin?
I have been trying to cut down on my carbs and it’s not so hard as long as I keep away from them. But this morning I made five buttermilk biscuits for the three boys as they prepared for school. To my disappointment, they only ate two and left three hot biscuits on the pan—fresh, hot and right out of the oven. And there was the butter and jelly also left out on the table. I reasoned that it’s wrong to throw away “good food”, so I ate all three, carbohydrate-laden biscuits as I read the morning news. I justified what I wanted to do (you should not throw away food with people starving all over the world), even though I knew I should not do it.
The same reasoning is used in our hearts and it gets us turned away from God. We’re at the wrong place, at the wrong time, making the wrong associations, steering the wrong conversation and/or in the wrong frame of mind. The secret to guarding our hearts is to not expose the heart to the enemy’s snares! Keep away from freshly baked biscuits and avoid places, people and activities that you know could cause you to trip or stumble. Don’t give Satan a target!