God is not responsible for your condition. You are responsible for it. The Lord Jesus said to the disciples …To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says: “You shall indeed hear but never understand and you shall indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn for me to heal them (Matthew 13:11‒15).
Do you see where the problem is? Their hearts have grown dull and their ears heavy of hearing and their eyes have closed! What you are now depends on what you did with the word that was initially and subsequently sown in you. If you no longer hear God’s voice, if His word does not touch your heart any more, you are responsible for that condition. Unless you commit yourself whole-heartedly to do all that you can do to build spiritual roots, you have decided to wither!
If after five or ten years in the Lord you are still at the same spiritual level where you were after one year in the Lord, you have not only decided to stumble; you have stumbled.
Stony hearts can be changed, but they are changed by violent acts of obedience and seeking the Lord through Bible reading, prayer…
It may be that this is the day when you must act in a desperate way to change the situation. It may be that this is the day when you should heed the warning of God through the prophet Joel:
Gird on sackcloth and lament, O priests, wail,
O ministers of the altar.
Go in, pass the night in sackcloth,
O ministers of my God! ….
Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly.
Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God;
and cry to the LORD (Joel 1:13‒14).
Could the following be a personal word from the Lord to you? He says, “Yet even now,” says the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments…” (Joel 2:12‒13).
Will you do what the people of Nineveh did? The Bible says, Then tidings reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, and covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he made proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them cry mightily to God; yea, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may yet repent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we perish not?’ (Jonah 3:6‒9).
You can do something about the condition of your heart. You can repent with sackcloth and ashes; with fasting and mighty cries to the Lord for mercy. You can set out at once to carry out restitution for all your disobedience. You can make Bible reading and prayer central in your life. You can meditate on the word of God night and day. You can pray without ceasing. You can buffet your body and bring it under control and press on to do these things regardless of what your flesh is inclined to. If you do, your stony heart will be changed; for the Lord can grind the stones and convert them into good soil. If you do, the Lord will forgive and forget your former condition. If you do not repent with your whole heart and bear fruit that befits repentance, the Lord will allow you to continue in your present condition. You will bear no fruit and He will blot your name out of the book of life. The Bible says, He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life; I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels (Revelation 3:5). It is obvious that those who do not overcome will have their names blotted out of God’s book of life. It is important that your name be written in the book of life, but it is even more important that it continues to be written there. The Lord Jesus says, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who conquers shall not be hurt by the second death (Revelation 2:11). Does this not mean that those who do not conquer will be hurt by the second death? The Lord Jesus again said, Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away… (John 15:2). He continued on the same occasion to say, If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned (John 15:6). Do you see that what withered was burned? Do you notice that there was a time when it had life? Do you see that this was followed by a time of lifelessness? Do you see that the lifelessness, characterized by no fruit, persisted? Do you see that the barren, persistent, lifeless condition resulted in its being thrown in the lake of fire? Did the Lord not say, And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved? (Matthew 24:12‒13).
Do you then see that not to develop roots—big, strong and deep roots is tragic disaster? Do you see that the final state of those who believed but whose hearts were stony and continued to be so, will be like that of those who never believed at all?
The devil got the seed that fell on the road side as grain. He also got the seed that fell on stony ground as dry wood of young plants. He who has an ear to hear, let him hear. He who wants to continue in self-deception, let him continue. He who wants to repent and get right with God, let him do so. Amen.