Sunday, September 11, 2016

Slightly Stubborn

Slightly Stubborn
September 12, 2016
Psalm 81:12  "So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices."

If I asked the question regarding how stubborn you are, I am sure you'd say you are at least slightly stubborn.  We often pride ourselves in being slightly stubborn, for whatever reason.  We think it means we are unwavering, grounded, if we are set in our ways.  Sure, we understand being completely obstinate isn't good but a little stubbornness is healthy, right?  While this is good when it comes to stick-to-itive-ness in finishing a task, being stubborn is never a good quality as referenced in the Bible.  The Lord never lauds anyone who is stubborn.  The Lord is appreciative of those who are unwavering in their faith, but that is the extent of His desire for you to be unwavering.  True, He doesn't want you to be blown and tossed by the wind, being grounded in Biblical teaching and sound doctrine, but He never wants you to be stubborn.  Stubbornness only leads to sin.

I had a response from a woman who challenged me on some Scriptural debate.  I suggested that a prosperity gospel is hard to defend at all times when aligned with ALL of Scripture.  I suggested financial difficulties in life don't always mean an attack of Satan or her inability to reach out and take hold of the financial blessing.  She argued and said she refused to believe the Lord would want anything but to financially prosper her.  While I surly hope the Lord desires to prosper her financially, her position is mistaken.  She wanted to believe what she wanted to believe despite any possible evidence to the contrary.  She had no Biblical basis for her belief but it was what she wanted to believe.  She was being stubborn.  You've been stubborn before, too.  I felt bad for this woman, because her stance would only lead her to place blame incorrectly if she didn't receive the financial prosperity she was believing she deserved.  While her particular stubbornness wasn't and isn't grave worthy, there is nothing good that can come from being stubborn.  She was setting herself up for difficulty.

There are many instances when individuals were stubborn in the Bible.  Being stubborn, as referenced in the Bible, is akin to doing what you want regardless.  This does not impress the Lord, and in fact will only get you into trouble.  The Lord has a propensity for allowing you to be stubborn and letting you go your own determined way.  The example of others in Scripture should be a warning to us.  Too many times the Lord removed His hand and allowed His children to go down their own path on their own understanding.  In Psalm 81, He said He allowed them to follow their own devices because of their stubbornness.  This means He allowed them to think what they wanted to think and fully suffer the consequences of their thinking and their actions.  I don't know about you, but I don't think I ever want to fully suffer the consequences of my poor decisions.  I'm always hoping there is grace and mercy there to rescue me when I make a mistake.  But when the Lord said He was turning them over to their own devices He was saying He was removing all grace and mercy for them.

Whether you acknowledge it or not, you experience the Lord's grace and mercy on a daily basis and will continue to reap these benefits as long as the Lord doesn't get too frustrated with your stubbornness.  As mentioned before, being stubborn is not a good thing.  You want to be known as humble, and meek, and compassionate, and forgiving, but never stubborn.  If you are slightly stubborn, I suggest you have something to work on.  The woman who argued her stance on refusing to believe the Lord wanted ONLY to prosper her financially was setting herself up for failure.  She was sincere in her belief but she was sincerely wrong in what she believed.  I'm only using her as an example because there are some things you and I are sincerely wrong about and being stubborn in those areas are not a benefit to anyone.  This is your opportunity to ask the Lord where it is you are being stubborn, where you need to submit.  Submitting your stubbornness will feel like defeat, but it will be your greatest success.  Submitting your stubbornness will ensure you continually receive the Lord's grace and mercy in your life.  As you read this, I believe the Holy Spirit is prompting your heart in areas of your stubbornness.  It's time to submit those areas to Him.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Ps 81, Pr 14:12, Pr 16:25, Jer 7:24, Jer 11:8, Mk 3:4-6

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