No Matter What (Or, Ezekiel and the Importance of Being Stubborn)

I have a strong propensity toward stubbornness…and it ain’t always pretty! I think we tend to regard stubbornness as an inherently negative quality, a rough edge that needs to be smoothed off. Sometimes it is. But did you ever consider that sometimes it’s a good thing? That it can be used by God, or even be God-given?

I came across a passage of Scripture the other day in which God is calling the priest Ezekiel to be a prophet to His people exiled in Babylon. Here’s what He says:

“The people of Israel won’t listen to you any more than they listen to Me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn. But look, I have made you as obstinate and hard-hearted as they are. I have made your forehead as hard as the hardest rock! So don’t be afraid of them or fear their angry looks.” (Ezekiel 3:7-9, NLT)

God is basically saying, “Here’s the deal, Zeke: These people are determined not to listen to Me. But I need them to hear, even if they choose not to respond. So you gotta be just as determined, if not more, to speak My words to them, no matter what.” (God probably has better grammar than that, though…)

And God didn’t just tell Ezekiel to be stubborn – He said He would make him stubborn. As in, “I’m giving you the gift of stubbornness so you can complete the task I’ve set before you.”

Call it stubbornness, call it determination, call it persistence – it is a powerful thing in the right hands. When God gets ahold of a “never give up” attitude, He can and will use it in mighty ways for His Kingdom.

Here’s the thing, though: Just because you’re faithful to God doesn’t mean things will always happen the way you want them to or think they should. In fact, for awhile it might look like God isn’t working at all, as in Ezekiel’s case. I think that’s why persistence is so important. You have to be determined to do the right thing no matter what, not just when things are going well…and that takes A LOT of determination! But you don’t have to come up with the strength for it on your own. Just as God gave Ezekiel the stubbornness to carry out his seemingly impossible task, God will give you the determination to be faithful to what He has called you to do.

Now, clearly, the Bible also contains plenty of instruction to have a soft, teachable heart toward God and to do your part to live in peace with others. This is not a “my way or the highway” attitude I’m talking about here. This is a “no matter what” determination to love and live for the God Who loves and died for you.

Sometimes God gives you a specific task, dream, or calling that seems impossible.
Don’t give up, no matter what.

Sometimes you are simply called to a day-by-day faithfulness to Him.
Don’t give up, no matter what.

Sometimes the people around you won’t understand.
Don’t give up, no matter what.

Sometimes you won’t understand.
Don’t give up, no matter what.

Stay stubbornly committed to God.

No matter what.

[August 29, 2014]

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Posted in Melody Dawning Blog
2 Comments » for No Matter What (Or, Ezekiel and the Importance of Being Stubborn)
  1. Clint Hudson says:

    Thank you for this, Melody. I’ve been going through something where I have had to stand firm on my beliefs despite my stance being somewhat unpopular.

    The part about the angry looks is especially true in this situation. If looks could kill…I and a few others be looking down from the other side of eternity.

    Thank you, and bless you. May the Lord continue to work through you and your words to encourage others!

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