Yesterday's verse gave me more food for thought, so I thought I'd continue the conversation today.
Look at the following verses. What did God ask of His people in contrast to being stiff-necked.
Deuteronomy 10:16 2 Chronicles 30:8
In Deuteronomy we are called to circumcise our hearts and yield to the Lord. Circumcising your heart is an act signifying a consecration to the Lord. Consecration means to devote yourself irrevocably to the worship of God. That is a powerful thought. To be so devoted to the worship of God that it is not possible to take it back. This implies a full on commitment from us to our worship of God. Not a commitment of convenience but commitment of a lifetime.
This concept is repeated in 2 Chronicles when it tells us to yield to the Lord. Webster says that to yield is ‘to surrender oneself to another; giving up on claims to the physical control of another.’ If I give up my claim to something, I can never take it back. When I surrender my life to Christ, I am saying I am giving it over to Him, to never take back. A lifetime commitment.
God confirms this desire of His for us to be fully committed by calling us the Bride of Christ. Not a girlfriend but the Bride. Let’s compare the difference.
A girlfriend is a commitment of conveniences.
As long as this relationship fills my needs and fits in my schedule I have time for you
Bride is a commitment of a lifetime.
This relationship is here to stay and I will need to make time for you to keep it solid
Girlfriend is a life enhancing commitment
I have a person to share things with and do things with. It feels good to have this person here…but nothing has changed in my life. I am still my own person.
Bride is a life changing commitment
I have a person to share things with and do thing with and my life will never be the same. I have a new name, I have a new home…everything I used to do alone I now do together.
God is so devoted to us that He promises that our salvation can never be taken back. He is fully committed to our salvation. He asks the same of us. The day we accept Christ, we not only confess to believe, we must remember we also agree to a commitment. Even the demons believe…and we ourselves ‘believe’ in a lot of things. But on that day of salvation…God is making a commitment to us and we are also making a commitment ~ we become His Bride.
Consider the relationship of a husband and wife. We’ve all experienced those ‘stiff-necked’ moments between a bride and her bridegroom, either personally or in observing our parents. Typically both are stiff-necked or stubborn about an opinion or decision. Neither has any intentions of yielding to the other on the topic of the moment, but both is sure they will get the other to yield to them. We all know what happens…eventually someone does yield and the relationship grows to a new level of understanding OR neither yields and the relationship experiences one more deteriorating blow. For there to be growth in the relationship, one of the 2 has to decide it is better to yield than to be stubborn or even right.
The difference between our earthly bride and groom relationships and our heavenly relationship is that scripture is very clear on who is to do the yielding. US! We don’t have to wonder who is right. We don’t have to dig in our heals to be heard or understood. God is right, He hears us at all times and He always understands. And every time we yield, our relationship grows stronger and deeper.
Picture a bride and groom dancing. If the bride yields to the leading of the groom, the dance is smooth and beautiful. However, if the bride cannot let the groom lead and tries to do the leading herself, the movements are stiff and even painful as toes are stepped on over and over. Why does a bride struggle with letting the groom lead the movements of the dance?
Many times the bride does not trust the groom’s ability to lead. Sometimes the bride wants the dance to take a difference direction or feels the groom is not keeping up with the pace of the dance.
When we let God lead, the dance is beautiful. When we get in the way, when we become stiff-necked and unresponsive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, the dance is stiff and even painful.
Someone once shared this word picture with me:
God U and I DANCE.
When we listen to the GUIDANCE of our Father, we ‘dance’!
It’s hard to dance when you have a stiff neck.
Stiff-neck, stubborn, set in my ways; I have been unresponsive to the leading of the Holy Spirit at times in my life. However, just like a couple that wants to dance together but is tired of stepping on each other’s toes, I have been taking dancing lessons! We learn from the consequences of those unresponsive moments. The Holy Spirit was and is always speaking, but I have to choose to listen and respond. And when I do, the result brings inner happiness and a fulfilling relationship.
It’s a beautiful dance when we respond to the Lord’s leading!
God Bless and Keep You