How soft is your heart?
According to the English dictionary, “soft” is defined as “easy to mold; not hard or firm to the touch; having a pleasing quality; sympathetic or compassionate.”
One of God’s goals for each of us is to tenderize our hearts:
“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic?” — Philippians 2:1 (NLT)
What does it mean to have a soft, tender heart? There are several qualities that mark a soft heart.
A soft heart is one that recognizes and receives God’s voice when He speaks to us through His Word and by His Spirit about issues in our lives. God deals with us in a number of ways. He convicts us of sin. He reminds us of our commitments. He challenges us to change. He encourages us to keep pressing forward. Like a hard surface repels water, hard hearts repel God’s voice. A soft, tender heart recognizes and and receives God’s Word when it comes to call us to new levels of living.
A soft heart also responds promptly and obediently to God’s dealings. When our hearts are tender, we quickly respond to God’s correction by repenting of our sins and short-comings. We don’t delay our decision to be and do what God has convicted us to be and do. Tender-hearted people are responsive to God and to His workings in their lives.
How does a person develop a soft heart?
One of the ways we can tenderize our hearts is through extended seasons of prayer and fasting. As we set aside special times for seeking God, we invite Him to rain His Spirit down upon the dry, hard areas of heart.
“ … Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.” — Hosea 10:12 (NLT)
Our church is getting ready for a special 21 days of fasting. The fast starts this Sunday, January 11 and last through January 31. It will be a great time to let God soften our hearts so that recognize His voice, receive His Word and respond in prompt obedience to Him.
Check out more information and resources about fasting and prayer at our Fresh Start Fast website!