August 28, 2023
My husband and I are, well, let's say, middle-aged now, and we laugh at how easily we hurt ourselves just from getting out of bed, rolling over or looking up. When it happens, we know we will be in agony until that stiffness decides to let go.
Physical stiffness is painfully inconvenient. However, there is a spiritual stiffness we can get that is much more dangerous if it sets in. Physical stiffness hinders our movement but still allows our organs to function. Spiritual stiffness affects our hearts. It is a proud and unwilling mindset that is against the Lord and His ways. Stubbornness is the cause. It, too, can often come with age if we are not careful.
When we were children, we were told where to go, what to do and when to do it. We also learned there were good reasons behind the instructions. But as adults, we have experienced independence and have come to enjoy the freedom.
We've grown to believe "we know" best. We are wise in our own eyes. Then when we are challenged to ignore our preferences and obey what God tells us in His word, we feel the uncomfortable knot of spiritual stiffness set in. We bristle at the thought of forgiving that wretched person. We reason why we can't tell the truth because of its devastating ramifications. We don't want to give in, to go or to stay where God wants us to be. We have become stubborn. God's word never changes. It must be obeyed if we want to live life freely, experiencing the peace and blessing of God.
God's very own people, the Israelites, were called a "stiff necked people" by God himself. They were called this because, time and time again, their stubbornness kept them from obeying the Lord and his instructions. How would we know if we were suffering from the same spiritual disease? That is a wise question to ask.
Is there currently anything you find yourself arguing with God about? If so, there it is. You are spiritually stiff-necked. The cure is not a mystery, nor is it complicated, though for a time, it may be painful.
Job 22:21 says, "Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you." Complete submission to God at any cost is the required treatment. The pain of humbling ourselves before him and possibly others quickly passes as a free spirit, and the peace of God washes over our hearts once again. When that "spiritual stiffness" softens, we discover our heart feels much better too, which leaves one to wonder why we didn't let go sooner.
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