June 24th Journal

Faithless and Stiff-Necked

This will be a short journal with bits and pieces. Life was been difficult lately and I have not been in prayer like before. I am getting back to my time with God and learning that I have grown very little in my understanding of "faithfulness" and thus my actual faithfulness is pretty pathetic.

Because I am pretty emotional and have been raised in America and had a stint in cobu, my sense of what God really desires from me is unclear. My understanding of how much God is involved in anything is inaccurate. I could interpret what getting a job or losing a job means. I could interpret world events and online conversations and come to a limited understanding of what things really mean. I do recognize sin but I sometimes don't know what to do, when there does not seem to be a clear direction to go.

A couple of ideas came to mind and I leave it up to you and what God confirms as true. The first idea is the term, "stiff-necked." When in prayer I notcied that I take many different physical postions when I pray. When I am sitting, i either lift my head or bow my head. Both positions require that I do not have a stiff-neck or that I do not stiffen my neck. In scripture we have Stephen calliing the Jews a "stiff-necked people" and saying "you always resist the Holy Spirit." All the Old T estament references using the term "stiff-necked" refer to the Jews with Moses. 2nd Chronicles 36;13 Zedekiah "stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord." And there is Proverbs 29:01 , "he who is often reproved yet stiffens his neck will suddenly be broken beyond healing." There is also the scritpure "Their pride is their necklace."

I can only think of the simple application of this. Stiffening my neck and/ or hardening my heart will not result in my receiving instruction from God or wisdom to walk in his way. I still think it vital for any christian to study the Pharisees and see what sins and temptations befall a person whom God calls into relationship. All that the Pharisees exhibited can be us if we do not strive every day to humble ourselves before God and accept His reproof. I know I run the other direction when it comes to correction, failure, pain, disappointment. The christian runs towards the light, towards the truth, risking only his or her own pride and security in an illusion. If you and I now face the truth about ourselves in the light of His countenance, then we will not be surprised or ashamed at His appearing. If we know the truth now, the the Truth will know us when He returns, and He will take us home.

There are some other things I need to write down. I will leave you with this.

11 The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; 12 if we endure, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful--for he cannot deny himself.

God's faithfulness is not an endorsement of ours. God's faithfulness was during the time of the FF and Cobu was not and is not an endorsement of ST or the group. We were taught a legalism by Stewart that credits him and not the One who gave the growth.