I’ve learned something about myself fairly recently that I was genuinely shocked to discover.
It’s deﬁnitely not something that I would have said was a personal struggle of mine... but then again, most things that you are not consciously aware of tend to possess that hidden quality.
If we were aware of such things, we probably wouldn’t struggle with them.
Their very exposure would cause us to divorce them.
Only God... only the Light of heaven itself can illumine what lurks in the dark and show you what you are potentially ignorant to.
It’s not always pleasant, but it’s absolutely necessary if we are going to mature in Christ likeness.
What the Holy Spirit revealed to me was this: I have a tendency to be quite stubborn around what I believe God is asking me to do and how I think He wants it done.
I can become immovable, unwilling to listen to the counsel of others that may contradict what I believe is the right thing to do.
Stubbornness is not a godly trait.
Being stiﬀ-necked is nothing to boast about.
I learned that I can become so stubborn around how I think God wants to do something that I have the potential to actually miss what He is telling me to do through others.
The troublesome side to all of this is that stubbornness can have the appearance of faith.
Faith, like stubbornness, is steadfast, rooted in conviction, resolute, and determined. It’s convinced, assured, and unmovable.
The diﬀerence, however, is found in what both are rooted in.
Faith is rooted in humility.
A person of faith declares that their belief and trust are not in their own ability; rather, they are in God’s.
Faith says, “I can’t, but He can,” and it’s the byproduct of a relationship with God.
Stubbornness, on the other hand, is rooted in pride.
A stubborn person is unwilling to change their attitude or position on something.
Faith is relational. Stubbornness is individual.
Faith will listen. Stubbornness will not.
Faith comes by hearing. Stubbornness shuts up its ears.
For the last few weeks, a number of close conﬁdants had approached me concerning changes they believed I needed to make to my ministry.
You’d think that because the advice given was conﬁrmed multiple times that I would have heeded it.
But I didn’t.
I was convinced that my position was the right one.
I was unwilling to change it… until recently.
I realized that what I thought was faith and what I thought was obedience was obstinance.
When my heart realized that God was sending these people not to derail me from my position, but to speak into me and encourage me, I had decided that I’d rather be obedient to what He was saying through them then remain obstinate.
I’ll be honest. It’s been diﬃcult.
But the cost of disobedience is higher than the cost of remaining stubborn.
I believe that the reason why it’s been diﬃcult and challenging is because the surgery of pride is painful.
If I’m honest, I was concerned about what people would think when they learned that I changed my position on this particular aspect of my ministry.
My fear of their opinion held me back from obeying the word of the Lord through close friends that know my heart and character.
I’m grateful that God got my attention.
We need to consider what those that know us best are saying.
We need to heed the words that are consistently spoken to us.
They may very well be the word of the Lord in the mouths of others sent on assignment to give you direction and to bring you conﬁrmation.
Don’t be so stubborn about what you think God is going to do that you actually miss what he is wanting to do.
Ask yourself this question: Am I being stubborn or am I being obedient?
Let the Holy Spirit help you to answer that question truthfully.
He’s the One who searches and weighs the heart.
I’ll end by telling you this… since I had changed my mind on my position and abandoned stubbornness for obedience, it feels like a weight has lifted oﬀ of me.
Being stubborn will anchor you in pride.
Being willing to listen and consider the counsel of others that know you and walk with the Lord themselves is humility.
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds Ministries