“But look, I have made you as hard and stubborn as they are.”
Ezekiel 3:8 NLT
I have mentioned my stubbornness before in previous Messy Worship posts. More often than not, I tend to refer to it as one of my not-so-attractive qualities. Or, if I were in a job interview (theoretically speaking, of course) I wouldn’t call it stubbornness. I would call it perseverance or passion or conviction.
However, I will also be the first to admit that stubbornness has been a massive blessing in my life. There have been things that I stubbornly refuse to do as a means of protecting whatever is sacred in my life. It’s almost like the “Momma Bear” instinct that kicks in when my kids are in danger, but for my own inner-child. One example was the whole “50 Shades of Grey” series. I stubbornly refused to read it. I stubbornly refused to see the movie. I’m not even sure what happens in the book entirely, but I do know that if my husband loves me enough to cover his eyes when walking past Victoria’s Secret in the mall (he’s so cute) than I can certainly avoid reading romance novels.
So, this type of stubbornness I’m talking about is one that is led by the Holy Spirit. If I were in a job interview, I might call it self-control. All my life I thought I invented this positive spin on stubbornness. But it’s TOTALLY IN THE BIBLE!!!!!!! The next book in the Bible that follows Lamentations is Ezekiel. It’s about a prophet who was sent by God to minister to the Israelites while they were being held captive for 70 years by the Babylonians. The first couple chapters of Ezekiel lay out how God calls him. At the beginning of chapter three, God gives him a scroll to eat, which is filled with the words God wants Ezekiel to speak. Then he warns him:
“I am sending you to the people of Israel, but they won’t listen to you any more than they have listened to me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn. But look I have made you as hard and stubborn as they are. I have made you as hard as rock! So don’t be afraid of them or fear their angry looks, even though they are such rebels.” (Ezekiel 3:7-9 NLT)
That is SO cool! God fed Ezekiel his words of truth, which made him stubborn and as hard as rock about what lived inside him – God’s word. When I consume God’s word, his Holy Spirit within me lets it become woven into my thoughts and actions as hard and stubborn resistance to sin. Hard and stubborn enough to remain unafraid and unchanged in the face of rebellious thoughts and desires.
It reminds me of one of my favorite New Testament verses:
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)
Thank you, God for giving us the Spirit of power, love and stubbornness… ahem… self-control. 🙂
Dear Lord, thank you for helping me grow in strength and self-control. Help me learn more every day how to put your Spirit in the driver’s seat of my life journey and listen to his guidance at every turn. Let me consume your word as hungrily as I do with physical food. Bless my desire to be divinely stubborn for you. Amen.
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