The warning in Hebrews 3 is a serious one. Anytime we ignore what God has said, it may be evidence of a hardened heart. Although we usually think this condition applies only to those who reject Christ, the reality is that believers can “be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:13).
When the Lord begins to convict us, we could rationalize our disobedience, thinking it’s not that big a deal. Or we might be tempted to preoccupy ourselves with other things to avoid facing the issue at all. Perhaps we’re unwilling to deal with that sin because we’re afraid of the changes God is challenging us to make. Therefore, we distract ourselves with other thoughts and activities, pushing Him further and further from our mind in hopes of silencing His conviction.
We may think ignoring the Spirit in this way is not a serious issue, but it is rebellion against God, which is the very core of sin. And rebellion often begins with a refusal to relinquish control and trust the Lord. When we start catering to our own preferences, it’s not long before we redefine what God has said in an attempt to make ourselves feel better and quash the nagging sense of guilt.
The danger in such behavior is that we lose sight of our “first love”—our actions testify that we love our sin more than Christ (Revelation 2:4). The result is a heart that is desensitized to the sin. By ignoring the Spirit’s warnings, we can become acclimated to unrighteousness and adopt a sinful lifestyle. This is why we must carefully guard and examine our hearts.