A person who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed -without remedy. Prov. 29:1
A friend who was on her way into major heart surgery turned and asked me, “why me, why didn’t God stop this from happening?” I knew in that moment I needed wisdom that lovingly reveals the truth. I don’t believe God makes people sick and I cannot find anywhere in the ministry of Jesus where He saw the value of sickness and in turn made someone sick or left someone sick who invited Him to heal them.
I asked how many warning signs she had had over the last 20 years. She thought for a moment and replied, “many”. She shared how for years, during monthly visits, doctors counseled her to change her eating habits, lose weight and get her blood sugar under better control, how aches, pains and weariness were symptoms of being overweight with poorly controlled diabetes and how much better she felt after getting in shape for trips. However, after each warning she ignored or vacation she went right back to her old eating and life-style habits.
My friend heard there was impending danger, but didn’t permanently change lanes to avoid colliding with it. It was as if God had been using doctors, biology and fun events in her life to bring about course correction, but she remained stiff-necked – unwilling to turn her head toward a new direction so the rest of her life would follow. We prayed, and she came through the surgery with an amazing recovery, but six months later was back to the old habits and within a year, back in the hospital.
I can relate. I have lost and gained 100 pounds three times in my life and am currently down seventy pounds on a permanent course correction.
The goal of all teaching is transformation. When I am unteachable because I think I know better, naively believe it can’t happen to me or am too busy, broken or arrogant to recognize the blind spots my friends, family or the Holy Spirit point out, I am being stiff-necked and unteachable. What do you think is the outcome of not listening or responding to those warning signs?
In Luke 5 Jesus says He will not put new wine (the fruit on new changes) into old wine skins (those stuck in old habits). What warning signs (spiritual, emotional, relational, physical, financial, professional) have you ignored that you now need Jesus help to permanently respond to? He is faithful and ready to help when you are ready to ask. Like me you may have to ask daily, but Jesus is faithful and will respond as you remain teachable.