It’s Storming Outside.

While 75% of the country is under severe snowstorm watches, in the Tampa Bay area, we are under Tornado warnings.  The ENTIRE Tampa Bay area. Tornadoes.  In January.  The thunder and lightning are accompanied by pouring raining and high winds.  And no, this is not a weather report.

I am just thankful for my shelter right now and to be protected from the winds and rain.  I was standing at my window watching all the palm trees banding with the wind.  And I had a thought…(and this is where you say “Well, of course you did Tiffany, you have a weird obsession with trees!” )

In order for the trees to survive the wind, they have to be willing to give a little. 

If a tree took its position and lived without necessary compromise to the elements surrounding it, soon it could break in two.  And if the wind was strong enough, they could be completed uprooted and then left for dead.  The trunk of a tree stands upright, but the top of the tree, the part of the tree that is able to bend does in order to save the rest of the tree. 

The Word calls this being ‘stiffnecked’ or stubborn and almost always associates it with a condition of the heart.  If you live a stubborn life, unwilling  to give in your relationships, or even more sadly, unwilling to give your heart or your ways to Christ, there are negative implications.  

Far From Righteousness  Isaiah 46:12 To be righteous is to be morally right, or to be justified.  More often than not, we are far from justified in our stubborn ways.  And when we choose to unwillingly to bend, we are far from God’s righteousness as well.  When we accept Christ, we are given a righteous standing.  Because Jesus is, we are also.  To live in stubbornness, is to live apart from Christ in that particular area of our lives.  For example, if I’m stubborn hearted toward my husband regarding which way we should drive to the airport, and find myself irritated and filled with anger because he thinks his way is better.  When I stand adamant that my way is better, I am acting stubbornly.  And in my stubbornness about an issue that isn’t really worth taking a stand on, I lack submission and probably respect.  And in that area, I am far from righteousness. 

Given Over To Evil Ways Psalm 81:12 God desires for us to be obedient to his ways.  His ways are perfect and holy, without fault.  And in our stubbornness to live our lives our own way, the Lord will allow us to reap the consequences of our choices.  He is a loving and merciful God, yet he is also a God of justice and discipline.  He desires the best for us, and allowing you and I to feel the sting of our stubbornness is often times the only way we will learn of his greatness. 

Stubborn= Evil   Jeremiah 3:17  Like Psalm 81:12, the prophet Jeremiah describes stubbornness as evil.  And if something is described as evil we know that one, it is not from God and B. that it is a tool that Satan is using to steal, kill and destroy our lives.  Evil can never be good.  Therefore your stubbornness can never be good. 

Storehouse of Wrath Romans 2:5 God’s wrath is equivalent to God’s justice.  And in our stubborn hearts we refuse to look at ourselves and our sinful ways because we think we are right and that God is wrong.  When we don’t repent, or turn away, from our sins, we allow judgement to store up in our hearts like a storehouse.  And it is judgement against ourselves.  We will not be able to lay the blame on God.  One day, it will overflow.  And the outflow of our stubbornness will simply be God’s just ways.  And if we look at what we’ve already learned about stubbornness–that it is evil, that is far from righteousness, that we will reap what we sow–we can see that the effects of this sinfulness will inevitably lead to destruction in our daily lives.

A branch on the Stubborn Tree is normally rooted in some sort of bitterness and pain.  I have found with others and in my own life that there is always an issue beyond what I’m choosing to be stubborn about. If I argue about taking MY directions to the airport, the real issue may be the fact that I don’t feel like my husband trusts my judgement or that he never really listens to me (which neither of these are true, in fact I could care less how we get to the airport). And therein lies the hurt. Question what you are stubborn about.  Confess your hurt to God and ask for his healing.  Ask for forgiveness from the person you’ve been unnecessarily obstinate with.  And choose to take a stand to get the evil out of your life. 

The Tree of stubbornness usually has a few leaves of pride hanging from its branches as well.  Fear of looking stupid, or being weak take over and pride allows us to just live on the limb, justifying it, rationalizing it, holding onto it for a false sense of protection. 

Standing firm in your faith is necessary.  Allowing your trunk and the roots of your belief in God is needed for survival in the times of storms and wind.  But there are areas of your life that if you and your branches don’t learn to bend with the wind, you can find yourself completely broken. It’s easier to give a little than to be broken in two–even the trees know that.

 I wanna know.  Where are you struggling with a stubborn heart?  Are you standing too firm against something that God wants for you?  Are you being obstinate to a loved one for no reason?  Praying for you.


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