” Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an EVIL (póneros) heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; ”
What did Paul mean by “an evil heart?” It’s a fair question. If someone were to ask you to define evil, you’d probably answer, “something bad,” right? That’d be the first thing to come to my mind probably because that’s what we been taught all our lives. Implication, implication; accusation, accusation.
However, if that is your understanding and you came across this verse in Hebrews 3:12 you would misunderstand, as did I, what God is saying here.
So the question is, “How does God’s word define it?” Let’s find out by doing a little word study!
Every time you see the word, “evil,” in the New Testament being discussed it is always this word: “póneros,” whether it is an evil man, an evil conscience;” evil this, evil that. But look up the definition, however, and Thayer’s definition lists “bad” as the secondary meaning.
Póneros primarily means this:
1. Full of labors, annoyances, hardships. a) pressed and harassed by labors.
2. Bad, of a bad nature, or condition.When God says, “don’t have an evil heart,” He means “don’t be full of WORRIES, CARES and CONCERNS, your mind swirling with anxieties.”
Did you know that even spiritual things, like like prayer for instance, can be turned into a form of work. How? When you are pleading and, especially, begging over and over again, “Oh God, oh God, help me! Please deliver me! Don’t let me go! Remember your servant…….” You’re acting as if God were distant and you’re going on and on. It becomes all about you and how hard you are praying, as if your long-winded sweating and straining can convince God to act on your behalf.
Church, there is no need for that. Don’t you understand that our Daddy is even more willing to help us than we are to be helped? Just look at Psalm 91. He is as close as your breath. He never told you to beg. He does, however, tell you to ask and KEEP ON ASKING, seek and KEEP ON SEEKING, knock and KEEP ON KNOCKING, but remain internally at rest, trusting He will perfectly provide.
If you really have a solid understanding of how much you are loved by God, you’ll trust that He not only wants to answer your prayers, HE WILL. Every time that need comes back to your thoughts, thank Abba for the answer you KNOW is coming. Why? BECAUSE YOU ARE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST. You stand in the perfection of His Son. How will Our Father not give us all things because of Jesus?
Daddy doesn’t want you and I to have a conscience filled with worries and cares but to be at peace, resting in His love and provision, FREE FROM AN EVIL HEART!