“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”
I will never forget the summer, years ago, when my family attended a Brunstad Christian Church conference in Syracuse, NY; the summer I didn’t give my heart to Jesus. There was a youth evening for young people ages twelve to thirty-five. Although I wasn’t old enough, my parents let me sit in the back of the hall and listen. I don’t remember what the topic was, but I was deeply moved by what I heard. Towards the end, a man spoke and invited the young people to give their hearts to Jesus that evening. I remember clearly that he asked, “Is Jesus pulling on your heartstrings?”
There was a song and then people had the opportunity to come to the front and be prayed for. During the song, my dad poked his head in and told me it was time for bed. I left reluctantly. When I got outside my dad must have seen on my face that my heart had been moved by what I heard, and asked if I would like to stay and pray with the youth. I lowered my head, nodded, and hurried back to my seat in the hall. I kneeled by my seat and thought about what the man had asked.
I knew that what I felt was Jesus pulling on my heartstrings, asking me to give Him my young heart and my life that evening. But, I was timid and I reasoned that I hadn’t really been invited to be prayed for since I was too young. Despite the drawing I felt so strongly in my heart, I stayed at my seat, and let the opportunity to give my heart to Jesus pass.
The time that followed
The adolescent years that followed were difficult ones for me. I fought with my siblings, said terrible things to my parents, was driven by peer pressure, was introduced to smoking and drinking, and entertained impure thoughts. Some years later, I got grace to answer Jesus’ call in my heart at a similar youth evening and to start on a new path, with a new mind and new goal.
Sometimes I wonder how life would have been different if I had given my heart to Jesus that first summer evening when I felt Jesus pulling on my heartstrings so strongly; how life would have been different if I had gotten a quicker, clearer start to my Christian life. How life would have been different if I spared myself those painful memories of sin.
Since giving my life to Jesus, I have aimed to obey quickly when Jesus works in my heart. I have never regretted being quick to ask for forgiveness, quick to ask for others to pray for me, quick to acknowledge my sin, quick to cry out to God for help.
Answer Him quickly!
Dear friend who feels Jesus pulling on your heartstrings, I would encourage you to answer Him quickly. You will never regret it! But you will regret hardening your heart, and letting the opportunity pass. Be bold, muster the courage you need, and choose to answer Him today. “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20.