Breaking Through When Ministering to Someone With a Hard Heart

Ministering to someone with a hard heart is a challenge, but not impossible.
Ministering to someone with a hard heart is a challenge, but not impossible. (Flickr )

I attended a conference on healing and deliverance recently, and one of the things I saw is how the enemy uses a person's wounding and past hurts to persuade them to harden their hearts.

Like a person who is injured physically and eventually develops a scab at that place of hurt, the same thing can happen to your heart.

The enemy can convince you that hardening your heart is necessary to protect you from further hurt.

If a person has a hard heart, they won't believe God's love. Believing God's love puts them in a position of vulnerability and humility, which scares them.

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They also won't receive God's Word, because it can't penetrate through a hard heart. Or if it does, the Word won't go very deep.

God's Word must be able to penetrate the heart and grow in order to produce the fruit of the Spirit: "love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23b).

Here's another sobering thought: A person can even try to minister to others from a hard heart. But love won't motivate their service. They will serve out of legalism, duty, obligation and drudgery. It is obvious they don't find joy in their service, either.

The Lord gave me this word on this subject: "Unless you allow the Lord to heal your heart, you will never grow past the place of your wounding."

The only thing I know that is strong enough to soften a hard heart is the blood of Jesus. Here are some truths about Jesus that can help soften the hard heart—if the person will believe.

I also include my prayer for a person suffering from a hard heart.

Jesus suffered. Jesus was wounded. Jesus was abused. Jesus was battered. Jesus was rejected. Jesus was lied on and talked about. Jesus was insulted and verbally abused. Jesus had to endure poverty. There is nothing any of us has suffered that Jesus did not already go through.

Consider this: Jesus took on the sins of the whole world at the cross, from the beginning of time, all through the ages. That means Jesus had to bear the sins of murderers, adulterers, fornicators, rapists, child molesters, pedophiles, abusers, thieves and liars. Jesus bore very perversion and evil mankind has committed throughout history.

Nobody's sin was left out. Jesus bore the sins of the person who hurt you. Jesus bore your sins as well.

Jesus had to take all the filthiness of sin on Himself at the cross, even though He never sinned.

Jesus did that to restore mankind's relationship with the Father. The Father had decreed the penalty for sin was death. Jesus paid the death price for all of us because He loved us that much. So Jesus has suffered as we have, but we have not suffered as He has.

Jesus died and took all that sin with Him into the grave. But praise God, Jesus gained the victory over sin, conquered death and came up out of the grave. He rose again on the third day so we can have a new life in Him.

He did this because He loves us. Not because we are good, but because He is good. "Neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities nor powers, neither things present nor things to come, neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:38-39).

We who believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that Jesus is the Son of God and was raised on the third day shall be saved because we trade our sin for His righteousness.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He gives us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness so we may be the planting of the Lord, and He may be glorified.

To summarize, a hard-hearted person is like an abandoned concrete lot. Nothing much will grow there, and what does grow is malnourished, weak and sickly.

In order for anything to grow, the concrete must be broken up, the chunks removed, new soil brought in and good seeds planted.

So my prayer for a hard-hearted person is from Ezekiel 36:26:

May my sister or brother receive a new heart and a new spirit within them; may the Lord take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh so that they may receive the full measure of the Father's love for them.

I command any evil spirits deceiving them into thinking that a hard heart is necessary for their safety and protection to come up and come out in the name of Jesus.

The Lord is their rock and their fortress and their deliverer; my God, their strength, in whom they will trust; their shield and the horn of their salvation, their stronghold.

Spirits of shame, depression, anger, pride, woundedness, unforgiveness, fear, rejection, poverty, hurt and anything else in their souls and bodies that the Father did not plant, I uproot you through the power of our Father's word in the name of Jesus.

Spirit of trauma, I command you to come out and loose them in the name of Jesus. They have been set free to grieve for their losses and to allow proper expression of them in their Savior's loving arms. They are free to walk in freedom and to dance in praise to the Lord.

I see a new picture of them as dancing before the Lord, face radiant with joy, arms open wide rather than crossed, completely free to receive.

Let them declare according to Ps.30:11-12: "You have turned my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, so that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever."

The Lord is glorified when His people are well-watered gardens, trees of righteousness, full of fruit.

His Word is good seed; his Holy Spirit is our water that brings times of refreshing in His presence.

As well-watered gardens with abundant fruit, others can come, taste and see that the Lord is good.

Once 240 pounds and a size 22, Kimberly Taylor can testify of God's healing power to end binge eating. She is an author and the creator of the Christian weight-loss website Visit today for inspirational health and weight-loss tips.

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