“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Acts7:51 ESV
Stubbornness, which is a byproduct of pride and a heart that amplifies the self, has been the ruin of many people. As this scripture reveals through Stephen, the first known Christian to die a martyr’s death for Christ, aimed the above quote at the religious leaders of his day.
The problem which he identifies is the same one when dealing with religious and non-religious people today. I group them together because the issue is the same. They both have a hard heart and are convinced that their way is the only way of living a prudent life.
The religious person likes to emphasize the rules, the principles, and the methods. Whatever makes them feel good about themselves must be good for others. If it works for them, it must be good for everyone else. On the other hand, the non-religious person sees through their game playing, but likewise imitates them by throwing out the baby with the bath water. They see the hypocrisy and don’t want anything to do with it. However, instead of focusing on Jesus’ message, they only look at the misdirected fruit of religious people and close their eyes to everything else. Both sides miss the mark of realizing the problem is within them. As one person stated somewhere, ” when we point a finger at someone, three fingers are pointed back at oneself”.
Jesus once stated during a teaching moment, that a person pure in heart will see God (Matthew 5:8). Most of us don’t look for God’s involvement in a situation until after the fact. By then, a difficult situation has become a worldwide crisis. Instead of asking, seeking, and knocking at the beginning of the process, we wait until after we have emptied ourselves with all our effort and resources. Only then do we begin to seek help from God.
However a person who looks past the human condition, who walks in the presence of the Triune God, is generally able to distinguish God’s work from man’s facade of righteousness. The reason is because that is where they came from. It takes one to know one.
The Holy Spirit is always at work. It is the Spirit that gives life (John 6:63). Like the wind, we may not see him, but we see the impact. However, we need to be attuned to him. We need to realize that God has given us a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26) that allows us to communicate and share in his fellowship. As we walk with Father-Son-Spirit, our harden hearts are displaced with the new heart that opens the pages of God’s universe and allows us entrance into his presence.
So the next time you think you are doing right, stop and ask God for confirmation. You may be pleasantly surprised with an answer that is more favorable for all involved parties. And yes, it is possible that you may not be initially correct. Yet with an open, attentive heart plugged into the Holy Spirit network, revelation in the workings of God has a way to change one’s opinion and worldview quicker than any other method. Or do you want to be known as the person who resists the work of the Holy Spirit?
Rooting For You in Christ!
Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married