I’ve watched it over the years… God deals with a person about something in their life, and rather than soften, mellow, and repent, they stiffen, resist, rebel and harden. God deals with them some more… and they harden… and harden… and harden! Until it seems there is no remedy – no recourse – other than a collision course with the Living God! Tragically there are those who will never yield to God, experience His mercy and grace, and salvation… They self-destruct and face only God’s wrath, having rejected His love.
I’m reading Exodus 5-12 right now during my time of “coffee with the Lord” daily… It is the sad, sad, story of such a person – Pharoah, king of Egypt. There were 10 occasions where God gave him an opportunity to yield to His will and become an agent of blessing and release for the children of Israel… but instead he resisted, and became harder… harder… and harder… until there was no remedy! Each plague could have become a redemptive opportunity – instead it became a resolute, resistant step closer to judgment and wrath.
If you have someone you know who is on a sad trajectory of this sort, may I appeal to you to pray fervently for them, act redemptively as the Lord leads you, and exhibit “Christ-like character” even under provocation and persecution. God will lead you – God will provide opportunities! It may be that they will yield and repent and God will save them and transform their life!
Listen! Five minutes before Apostle Paul encountered the Lord, repented, and was transformed by the grace of God, no one would have guessed he would have! Here’s how the Bible describes him: “As for Saul (i.e.. Paul) he made havoc of the church, entering every house and dragging off men and women committing them to prison… And Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the ‘Way’ (i.e. Christians) he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” (From Acts 8:3 and 9:1-2) … And then He met the risen Christ and in a moment of time was changed!
I know some “hard hearts” … I’m going to pray! I’m going to believe! I’m going to trust God to work in their lives, deal with them in mercy, and provide opportunities for them to repent, believe and be transformed by God’s grace and power! Do you have any people like that you’re aware of? God can do it if they’ll stop resisting, respond to His grace, and turn to the Lord!