Stubborn as a mule

“Then Paul went to the synagogue and preached boldly for the next three months, arguing persuasively about the Kingdom of God. But some became stubborn, rejecting his message and publicly speaking against the Way.” Acts 19:8-9

In these bible verses we discover another barrier or stumbling block to being open minded. It’s an attitude called “stubbornness”. Ouch.

Paul had travelled to Ephesus and was preaching in the synagogue about Jesus. He persevered for 3 months until the stubbornness of some in the Synagogue caused him to leave and continue his preaching elsewhere in the city.

What does it really mean to be stubborn? I’m sure that we have all encountered people who we would describe as stubborn but do we really recognise what it is and how dangerous a characteristic it is. Have you ever been called Stubborn? I know I have.

One of the dictionary definitions is:

having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.

In other words there is compelling evidence for you to change your position and it’s for your benefit, but you refuse to do so.

Other similar expressions to describe people who are stubborn are – “headstrong, obstinate, wilful”. It’s definitely not a characteristic which is mentioned as a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

My father in law tells the story of his daughter and his Dad (who were both stubborn people) getting into a deadlock over taking her medicine. She knew it would make her better but she refused to take it. Both sat either side of a table with the medicine in the middle refusing to move until one of them backed down. It lasted hours. In that situation one was determined and one was being stubborn.

If someone calls me stubborn then I have learnt to carefully consider the context in which they are saying it. Is it justified? The word “stubborn” can get bandied about as an accusation (wrongly) when someone just wants you to do what they say or want. If you refuse you are labelled stubborn.

The question to perhaps consider is this. Is there a good and valid reason and solid argument for me to change my mind? Is the evidence being presented credible and weighty. If it is and I’m not changing my position then why is that? Am I just being stubborn? If so, I need to do something about that attitude.

If on the other hand, there isn’t a good reason or argument to change and I am not convinced by the reasoning or evidence then I will stand firm, remain steadfast and not change or compromise. Being steadfast in my beliefs is not the same as being stubborn. Steadfast or stubborn…there is a difference.

Pride and stubbornness are often linked together and in my last post I considered being a A Know it all? Pride and thinking we know it all can make us stubborn. Does pride lead to stubbornness or stubbornness to pride.

So what did Paul go on to say to the Ephesians in his letter to them. He encouraged them to be humble.

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future”. Ephesians 4:2-4

He also encouraged them to resist the enemy, his accusations and lies and to be steadfast in their faith.

“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness “ Ephesians 6:13-14

Stubborn..me?? Really??

A divided Kingdom will fall – pray for the United Kingdom

This morning the Lord led me to read Daniel 5 and the account of Belshazzar’s feast. During the feast a finger divinely appears on the wall and writes. This sight terrifies the king and he wants to know what the words mean as no-one can read them. Daniel is brought in and he interprets the words as:

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin

He tells the King that the meaning is this: God had numbered Belshazzar’s kingdom & finished it. Belshazzar had been weighed and found wanting. His Kingdom was now going to be taken from him and given to others.

Belshazzar had not learnt the lessons of the past from his own father’s (Nebuchadnezzar) experience and was brought down by pride.

I believe that God is warning us that we, the United Kingdom, are in danger of being brought down because of Nationalistic Pride.

I have written below the words I heard from the Lord this morning in my spirit:

My eye has been over the kingdoms of the earth since the beginning of time. I have watched them rise and I have watched them fall.

In the time of Daniel, my servant was shown the mystery of the kingdoms of the earth and how they would be brought up and brought down.

I have measured each one in My hand and all have been found wanting. Not one earthly kingdom has measured up fully to the calling that was put upon it and the mantle which covered it.

The kingdom that you live in (the United Kingdom) is a kingdom about to divide itself again.

For a kingdom divided against itself, such as your kingdom is now, cannot stand.

The day is approaching faster than some can see – that the kingdom will divided. This is not part of My divine plan for your nation but is an inevitable outcome if they continue in this way. If each one takes continual power for themselves and decides what benefits their own nation rather than the collective then this kingdom will fall.

It is an inevitable consequence unless there is a repentance and turn of heart and each nation truly joins together for the common good of all. Divided they will fall otherwise.

May My people pray for a turning to occur in the hearts of those who govern these nations. May they humble themselves and rid themselves of nationalistic pride but rather seek the good of all. United they stand but divided they fall.

Pray for the unity of the kingdom before it cleaves itself completely and then it will not be able to fulfill the destiny calling to which it has been called for the last days.

This is the day for coming together and not tearing itself apart.

I was reminded of Jesus words in Matthew 12:25 – “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”

I believe that we are stronger together as a kingdom rather than as individual nations. Nationalistic pride is a stumbling block. Each nation that makes up the United Kingdom – Scotland, England, Wales & Northern Ireland is important and has a voice that should be heard but no element should be favored above the other. Let each work together for the benefit of all.

Lord we pray that you will open the eyes of those who govern our nations and the ministers of each nation of Scotland, Wales, England & Northern Ireland. Lord let them see the division that is occurring. Open their eyes Lord and convict their hearts. Let their hearts be softened and let truth be received. Reveal nationalistic price and let all be truly repentant and turn instead in humility to working for the common good of all in equality and for unity. Let there be true unity among those who govern our nations. Let the stumbling blocks of pride be removed.

Let them lead us, the people, by example and let their example Lord then bring change in us. Let us all Lord come together as one – truly united in You our sovereign God.

Lord reveal the demonic plans of the enemy to bring division and stir up hatred. Let the enemy be undone and let his plans to divide this nation come to nothing. Lord we pray that your Will is achieved in us and that you use the United Kingdom powerfully for your purposes in these days ahead Lord. Amen

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