Brian came over and sprayed Crossbow on the Rubus fruticosuson the field behind my house. About two thirds of the plants died. So I sprayed the remaining plants three weeks later, waited a few more weeks, then rented a brush beater to cut the dried stalks at their base. Later I raked the dead plants off the hill. Incredibly, there are new shoots growing and it is apparent my work is not done! Because of their thorns, deep root system and amazing rate of growth, I have to destroy those blackberry plants or they will take over the hill.
If asked to determine the obstinate plant winner my vote would split between bamboo and blackberries. They both are extremely difficult to eradicate. My arms are cut by thorns, my hands pricked by splinters, my feet stabbed repeatedly through my shoesand I’m starting to get a clear understanding of what stubborn means!
Nehemiah 9:29,30—You warned them to turn back to Your law, but they acted arrogantly and would not obey Your commandments. They sinned against Your ordinances, by which a person will live if he does them. They stubbornly resisted, stiffened their necks, and would not obey. You were patient with them for many years, and Your Spirit warned them through Your prophets, but they would not listen. Therefore, You handed them over to the surrounding peoples.
The core of obstinacy is a will centered on flesh. If tenacious roots characterize stubborn plants, stiff necks substitute nicely for humans. God makes His will clear but we don’t want to give up our obsessions or habits. So we ignore His commands to our peril. Oswald Chambers noted in Run Today’s Race,“The one great enemy of discipleship is obstinacy, spiritual obstinacy. We deify independence and willfulness and call them by the wrong name.” George Barna wrote in Growing True Disciples, “The real obstacles to becoming fully devoted, zealous disciples of Christ are not money, time, methods, or knowledge. The major obstacle is the human heart. When that changes, all else changes.”
Can you think of any blessing inherited by blowing off God’s plan? If the law, prophets and the promptings of the Holy Spirit from a patient God are ignored, He does what we force Him to do, He hands us over to the surrounding people. In the Bible surrounding people is synonymous with idol-worshiping, pagan-frenzied, evil-generating, pain-festering, God-hating villains led by Satan. It’s a terrible thing to fall out of the hands of a loving God into the jaws of twisted demons. Jesus knew what He was doing when He taught His disciples to state early in their prayers, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
The only cure for obstinacy is to be blown up by dynamite, and the dynamite is obedience to the Holy Spirit.—Oswald Chambers in As He Walked
©2007 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)