God’s Word always accomplishes something in us, through us, and for us. What it accomplishes depends largely on how we respond, whether we reject it or receive it. What happens when we reject it?
Rejecting God’s Word Hinders My Prayers. To know what God’s Word says you are to do, or not do, and then to ignore it will hinder your prayers.
“One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.” Proverbs 28:9 (NKJV)
To really put this into perspective, I want to draw your attention to the final word in this verse. If you’ve ever seen a conservative Christian interviewed on TV about the issue of homosexuality, then you’ve likely seen them quote an Old Testament verse and say that homosexuality is an…Same word used here. Let that settle in on you a second. Compare this verse in Proverbs with what we are told in the New Testament.
“And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 John 3:22 (NKJV)
When we reject God’s Word it hinders our prayer lives, but when we receive God’s Word it strengthens it. We cannot reject God’s Word and expect to have a powerful prayer life.
Rejecting God’s Word Hurts My Relationship With Jesus. We cannot walk with Jesus while rejecting or disobeying His Word.
“Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” Amos 3:3 (NKJV)
I cannot walk with Jesus while doing something that He has said I should not do. I cannot walk with Jesus while refusing to do what He has said I must do. My response to His Word demonstrates my commitment to Him. Compare what Amos says with this from Jesus.
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21 (NKJV)
We have His commandments but do we keep them? Notice that Jesus says that those who have them, and keep them, will experience something that those who don’t keep them won’t experience. There are experiences of the love, and presence of Christ that we miss out on when we reject God’s Word. We cannot reject God’s Word and expect to have an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Rejecting God’s Word Hardens My Heart. Scripture often speaks about the importance of the heart. In Scripture, the heart is considered to be the control center of our lives. Where our culture sees the heart as the seat of the emotions, the Biblical world saw the heart as the seat of the will. Biblically, the surest way to know what our hearts are like is to see what our lives are like. Jesus taught that what comes out of the mouth is merely the overflow of our hearts (Matt 12:35). At the same time, the actions of our lives demonstrate what is in our hearts (Mk 7:20-23). Your words, attitudes and actions day in and day out reveal what is in your heart. This is why we are told to guard our hearts with all diligence because out of it spring the issues of life (Prov 4:23). Rejecting Scripture has a negative impact on our hearts.
“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness,” Hebrews 3:7-8 (NKJV)
This is a pretty interesting passage. The author of Hebrews is quoting an Old Testament passage to the people he’s writing to so they won’t turn away from Jesus and go back to the Law. But before he quotes the Old Testament he says that the Holy Spirit is saying this to them. So the Holy Spirit is urging them to listen to Scripture and not harden their hearts in rebellion. When we read Scripture, or listen to it, we are hearing God’s voice. In that time, we have a choice about rejecting or receiving. Every time we reject it, our hearts harden toward God and the things of God.
Is there an area of your life where you are resisting and rejecting God’s Word? If so, what do you need to do about that?