I am, or can be rather obstinate. When the mood suits me. And it all too often does.
I’m obstinate about things that matter a great deal.
I’m obstinate about things that don’t matter at all.
I’m obstinate about things that fall somewhere in-between.
Sometimes that is a good thing and other times not.
I’m currently sporting a full set of braces on my teeth. Last month my orthodontist told me one of my teeth was being “obstinate” and not moving the way it was supposed to be. So she dug out a special wire and fixed it to the bracket on that obstinate tooth in a vain attempt to cajole it into submission. That little wire she added has added pressure on that one tooth.
In short, it hasn’t worked well. That tooth still is not moving as she needs it to move, and as it is being pressured to change position so it aligns with her will for my smile.
Every time she puts that little wire on, she will tell me, “Now, you might feel a little more pressure on this tooth” and she adds a lot of pressure as she twists that wire just where and how she wants it to be so my tooth moves.
She has used other gadgets and gizmos as well in attempts to move this tooth. And really they all cause more discomfort and pain for me. And the tooth is staunchly refusing to budge a centimeter in the direction she needs it to go.
This is so very much like how I behave as a person! God will nudge me to change direction in one part. I refuse.
He adds a twist of wire, uses pressure to get that wire just where it needs to be. I’m being pressured and I’m in pain. But still I refuse to move.
Every time He fingers this area He adds more pressure and pain. And I am unyielding in my obstinance. Every time I refuse to yield in submission to authority (God or any authority He has allowed in my life) God can and will add more wire, twists and pressures to bring me into conformity with His will.
My self-rule only delays His plan. It doesn’t thwart it. It doesn’t cancel it or change it. It only brings me more pain and pressure.
How much better it would be if I had only submitted the first time! This is truly a daunting task. But God is so faithful!! He is the One who is at work in me, making me more and more like Him. So that when He looks at me He can see His own Self reflected back at Him.