Allowing God to Heal Stubbornness in Your Life

Are you open to allowing God to address and heal stubbornness in your heart?

We all have stubborn areas that God can heal. I find that in the heart healing journey, He has dealt with the issue of stubbornness in many layers in my life. It can be painful at first, but the breakthrough and transformation is tremendous. 

This subject really came to light when I notice stubborn patterns manifesting in my daughter. At such a young age, she can manifest a stubborn streak that can halt everything. One day, when I saw her dig her heels in the sand, a thought came to me, “That stubbornness looks familiar.”

That’s because what I saw in her is something I have manifested in my own journey. 

When it comes to the pattern of stubbornness, I have learned a few things: 

  1. Most stubborn people don’t admit their stubbornness is present and holding them back. 
  2. If we allow God to heal our stubbornness, He can actually use that stubborn place in a sanctified way, where we “stubbornly” refuse to quit and stay at the course that is before us. 
  3. Unhealed stubbornness will hold back your marriage, friendships, parenting and even your calling. Everything can be blocked from fruitfulness, simply because of a stubborn heart. 
  4. Your children will often repeat the patterns you lay out for them.

A person who is stubborn does not respond well to input, they resist change and become difficult to deal with. You can only go so far with them in relationship, because their personal will has built up impenetrable walls of self-preservation. 

God will not force His way into a stubborn person’s heart, as He resists the proud. But the good news is that continual grace is available to those who humble themselves. 

But the journey from stubbornness to humility can be a treacherous road.  

Is Stubbornness Holding You Back?

It takes humility to admit you have stubbornness that needs to be addressed. The problem is that stubbornness resists humility at all costs. 

The Old Testament, King Saul carried a stubbornness that the average person may not have discerned, but Samuel saw it. This stubbornness kept him from being able to experience the breakthrough and change that was available to him. 

The word of the Lord came to Saul, but his stubbornness actually blocked that word from taking shape in his life.

It amazes me that God can work in powerful ways, but a simple block of stubbornness can prevent the flow of God from being experienced. 

Samuel didn’t play around with this situation. Saul not listening to the instruction and direction that was clearly given to him was revealing a problem in his heart. God’s warning through Samuel was direct and strong: 

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. 1 Samuel 15:23 (KJV)

Why is Stubbornness as Iniquity?

Samuel describe stubbornness as iniquity and idolatry. 

When you see the word iniquity in the Old Testament, it often refers to the inherited sin that gets passed from generation to generation. The very nature of sin is stubborn. It resists change. Iniquity pitches a fit when someone wants to break free. In addition, one of the patterns of sin that easily get passed down is the sin of stubbornness. 

So next time you see a stubborn streak in your child, look in the mirror, because they may have inherited it from your family tree.

Now don’t condemn yourself. This is an opportunity for you and your child to experience more freedom, together. This is a chance to learn and teach humility in a real way. 

The best way to see stubbornness defeated in your child’s life is to allow God to heal it in your own life. 

If you really want to experience transformation in the area of stubbornness, I will share with you a courageous step you can take: Ask your spouse, “Am I stubborn. In what ways am I stubborn?” And listen without defending yourself or arguing. Take in the feedback, because there are things you may have been ignoring, defending and deflecting for years. 

Just as iniquity is a seed that moves from generation to generation, the sin of stubbornness will continue to flow in the family tree, unless someone says, “no more.” 

Why is Stubbornness as Idolatry?

Stubbornness is as idolatry, because it manifests what idols accomplish. An idol blocks the flow of God from fully operating in our life. Stubbornness also accomplishes that. It keeps us from fulfilling the work of God in our lives. It can even allow a giant spiritual boulder to sit in your home, preventing the flow of God from manifesting in your family. 

When we operate in stubbornness, we are often protecting an idol in our lives that we do not want to tear down. We are not open to another perspective or input about our life. 

Stubbornness protects us from being vulnerable. Therefore, people who love you and know you cannot speak into your life. There becomes a lot of “don’t go there” subjects in your life. People often have to tip toe around you with certain subjects because stubbornness keeps you walled off. 

Confronting Stubbornness

God has a mission for you, your marriage and your family, but stubbornness will keep all of that held back. 

The stubbornness is the hardness, the protective layer that does not allow truth to land softly on the heart. It keeps truth at a distance, so we remain bound to the beliefs that we feel are right, but may be off. The danger of  chronic stubbornness is that you become a standard to yourself, with little to no helpful input. It keeps you from being mentored or sharpened by other relationships.

God wants to tear down the idols that are built because of our brokenness, so that we may receive his healing love and truth. In the Old Testament, idols were often objects towards which worship was directed. They contaminated the Old Covenant dwelling of God’s presence. In the New Covenant, we are the temple. The idols we carry can be the stubborn arguments and mindsets that keep us from walking in humility and heart transformation. 

This is not about legalism or religious ritual to bring change. This is about cutting down the idols that keep our heart from the freedom to live in the love that God has for us. 

The Only Solution

In order to break free of stubbornness, you have to admit you have it and that it’s holding you back. You will need to get sober about the high stakes consequences that will manifest if you remain in your stubborn ways. 

The only way to break free is to humble yourself. Get vulnerable. Admit where you’ve been stubborn and invite the input that can help you change. 

The good new is that God bestows His grace to those who are willing to humble themselves.

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