Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

The Stiff Necked Disease

We all suffer from pride from time to time. God has a special name for the ailment of pride in our lives. He calls it the "Stiff-necked Disease." We catch the "Stiff-necked Disease" when we have unbending wills and refuse to submit to God. Pride is the root of this disease, and humility is the cure. A little boy was asked to sit down and be quiet by his mother.

He did sit down, but he replied angrily, "I'm sitting down on the outside, but I'm standing up on the inside." God is not as concerned about outward obedience as He is our inward obedience and the motivation for our obedience. Do we obey God with a willing heart out of love, or do we obey Him grudgingly with murmuring and complaining? The little boy in the story was still in control of his attitude. He had not submitted his attitude to God. He was in rebellion even though his outward actions indicated that he was obedient. If we obey outwardly, but still have an ungrateful, rebellious attitude on the inside, we are victims of the "Stiff-necked Disease."

When people have a stiff neck in the physical, they usually cannot turn their heads. The neck determines the moment of the head. When we are stiff-necked spiritually and refuse to go God's way, Jesus Christ, who is the head of the church, cannot move in our lives.

Moses and God were in agreement. They both called Israel a stiff-necked people. I pray God does not see me this way. Only our great physician, Jesus, can deliver and heal us from the "Stiff-necked Disease." Jesus is the only one who can teach us meekness and lowliness of heart, and we can only learn this lesson as we sit at His feet. When we are in pride, we have two enemies—God and the devil. God resists the proud, and the devil uses pride to bring strife, confusion and every evil work into our lives.

Will you listen and answer Jesus' call to you today? "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matt. 11:28-30, KJV).

READ: Deuteronomy 9:1-10:22; Luke 8:4-21; Psalm 69:15-36; Proverbs 12:2-3

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