Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Stubborn Heart

Most of you as children have wrestled with your dad or siblings when suddenly you get in a position where you can't move because they have you pinned to the ground, or your arm is held in the back til it hurts, and the one who has you pinned says, "Just say uncle" meaning he'll let you go if you admit your defeat! If you don't give in, you feel greater and greater pressure to be let loose from the pain, so finally you cave in and say "UNCLE!"

I've been reading Exodus where the Israelites were in bondage to Pharoah and finally wanted to leave Egypt and the bondage that was holding them to hard labor at Pharoah's command for many years. God sent Moses and Aaron to go to Pharoah on behalf of the Israelites and ask for their release to leave the country and the slavery. Pharoah had a very stubborn heart and would not let God's people go. So God had to put some pressure on Pharoah in the form of many plagues. The plagues became more and more destructive--until finally Pharoah cried "Uncle" and told the Israelites----just go already! (My translation).

Can we relate to Pharoah's stubborn heart in any way? Is there something in our lives that God is wanting to root out and we just tenaciously want to hang on to it and won't surrender it to God? How about fear of the future? What about a habit that seems to have its stranglehold on you? What about giving up something precious that has held you back from complete surrender to God and His will for you?

Will God have to put pressure on you until you say "Uncle?" Yes, Lord, I'll do what you want me to do. Yes, Lord, I'll trust you in that area of my life that has been holding me back. Yes, Lord, I give all to serve you. How much better for you to humble yourselves BEFORE He has to put the pressure on you to do what He wants you to do. He wants obedience more than sacrifice. The conviction of the Holy Spirit guides you to make a choice to obey. Sometimes not making the choice to obey brings unwanted circumstances, just as Pharoah experienced with his stubborn heart.

For those without Christ I wonder how many times God will have to come to you in order for you to open your heart to His love and mercy. He comes knocking---and He will continue to knock persistently---until you either choose never to open the door and let Him into your heart, or you humbly say,--please come into my heart and save me for eternity. He's a gentleman---He waits for you and will never force Himself in your heart's door until you invite Him, but He does love you enough to be the "hound of heaven" in your life and will do what it takes to bend your knees to Him.

Don't allow a stubborn heart keep from you God's best for you!


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