Saturday, January 15, 2011

Spirit of Stubbornness

1 Samuel 15:23

"Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king."

The morning after my ct scan, my cousin Tammy called me and she had some hard sayings for me to digest. She said she sensed from God on the day of ct scan that it wasn't going to be good. The only time I had bad vibes was going under a bridge toward SJMC and it had this big billboard that said "kanser". Can someone please tear it down? It is like speaking death 24 7.

Anyway, she had wanted to tell me months ago but was not sure whether to say it as it may discourage me and she prayed about it and even with Richard before telling me. She sensed God saying that there is a spirit of stubbornness within me, as I was stubborn so even the cancer has grown stubborn. She sensed it may be because I was going back to work. Anyway, she told me to go before the Lord and see if there was any areas in my life that I have not surrendered totally to Him. I wasn't angry and when she put down the phone and approached God I started to cry. I was sorry I tried to do things my way and I started thinking of what I did.

Even when He had a purpose for me as a mission family and to teach bible class and he called me an able vessel, I went back to work instead to try to share my testimonies to my colleagues thinking maybe this time I might be successful to share Jesus with some of them. 

But my cousin reminded me that if it wasn't God's timing, it would be ineffective to even reach out to my colleagues. God has entrusted to me a few people to reach out to and these are the ones that I should hear from His spirit how to minister to them. It is when I reach out to these people, just the little that I do, I see God's awesome power and all glory just goes to Him. 

And here I was trying to do things my way because I also felt I could do with the extra income to cover my expenses mainly the car so that I could travel for classes. At one point Henry suggested selling off my car. Yet, God had already provided me monthly Socso contribution if I should have to stop work. And did He also not tell me through strangers that He would prosper me financially and it did materialize recently? Is He not God who loves us and provides for us? We only need to act on His prompting and obey and in that little subtle move, I had failed.  

I felt sad that I had anguished God's heart and I felt His rebuke and I asked for His forgiveness but not without much pain and crying.

As I reached my mum's house, my mum asked if everything is alright and I shook my head and said very downcast almost in tears, "No, God is rebuking me". At that moment, Sue Shiew smsed me a prayer and I shared with her what I was going through and she said to know where we had gone wrong and move on and delve in it no more. At the moment when I felt condemned (and i knew it was not like God to condemn me (discipline yes)), He sent people to my side to tell me so. Thanks Sue for listening to the Holy Spirit.

We can't deceive God. He knows our secret thoughts and our motives, He knows our real motives for wanting to plant a mega church, why we do not want to reconcile with our brothers, why we drink and party, why we work so late, why we stay to wee hours in the morning on the Internet, even why we are evangelizing at work INSTEAD OF of obeying Him. God wants his people to have obedient hearts and He is not interested in people who do religious works or sacrifices.

I know He has forgiven me because of His word in 1 John 1:9

'9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.'

...not only forgive my sins but to purify me from all unrighteousness. 

That night I flipped open the bible and saw this passage from Psalm 38 staring at me and this was the anguish I felt and also I realized now there was no health in my body during the period of His rebuke. I had been slowly creeping back to my old ways of wanting to do things my way rather than listen to His promptings.

Psalm 38:1-7

O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
For your arrows have pierced me,
and your hand has come down upon me.
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
my bones have no soundness because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and are loathsome
because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
there is no health in my body.

I went for a healing praise at EFC in SS 1 PJ the following night and I just poured my heart out to Him. I felt Him respond when Ps Leon quoted Psalm 91:14

'Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name'

I shared my testimony of where I was at since the last time I visited them, how the tumor shrank and recently became aggressive and also the spirit of stubbornness and wanting to do things my way. They prayed for me and in their prayer I heard again of His forgiveness because of Jesus' blood, that He wants to do deeper things in me as He is looking for a pure heart and He is preparing His work in me. They too reminded me that God cannot be deceived.

I realize that God's spirit works mightily to transform us from within if only we allow Him to. That first night at the hospital when God said "Don't say you are only a child" from Jeremiah 1, I knew how far off I went from obeying Him and I sought His forgiveness then. It is much more painful when God uses others to rebuke us but we must be humble to listen and to obey SO THAT he can use us as a vessel for what He has purposed for us before we were even born. 

If we do things our own way, it is less effective and we can't reach our full potential compared to if we follow His spirit and just move where He moves us to next. 

I pray my little subtle sin will help you also come before God and ask Him to help you find out the areas in your life you need to surrender to Him. Now, that is a very hard word to me - 'surrender'. I asked God to show me how and to guide me how to surrender to Him, to be humble to Him and His word, to submit and to yield to His spirit.


  1. Dear, dear liz, don't beat yourself up. And don't second guess God. Maybe it wasn't His Will for you to return to work. Or maybe it was. He already knew what you were going to do before you did it. Not every action we do results in an immediate reaction. Stress not, and just rest in the fact that He sees the big picture. Praying that His peace envelops you.

  2. hi liz
    i agreed with patsy's comments above, don't be overly harsh on yourself. afterall, all of us make mistakes, including taking a wrong turn when God told us otherwise..but then again, He knows that we will make mistakes (and sincerely believing that the error was the right decision at first), and that's why He would use means to guide us back to the right path. He looks into our hearts. Will pray alongside with you, on whatever decision you might opt to take next.