Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye (Acts 7:51, KJV)
Stephen spoke the penetrating words above as he addressed his audience of Jewish leaders who had arrested him for preaching about Jesus. He told them their fathers had done the same things to the prophets God had sent to speak His words to the nation of Israel. He added the words “ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your father did”. So a person can resist the Holy Spirit. How does this take place?
Hebrews 3:15 says “to day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation” (Hebrews 3:15, KJV). When we hear God’s words and refuse to submit to what He is telling us to do, we are resisting the Holy Ghost. The Jews refuse to yield to the numerous appeals by the prophets God sent to them to turn from their evil ways.
We must be careful not to allow our hearts to become hardened like the Jews in the OT. The good news is that the Lord knows that we need a lot of help even after becoming born again to yield our will to Him. He makes us willing! This is remarkable. He does not want you living for Him as though you are forced and living a life you do not want. He is able to make you willing. David had his revelation. He said
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” (Psalm 51:12, ESV)
David had just committed adultery. He wanted to please God, but he realized that willingness is not always there. He prayed and asked God for a willing spirit, that is, the willingness to do His commandments. The Apostle Paul clarifies this for us in the NT:
“for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13, ESV)
When you are willing, you do not feel forced to live a life that is not you. It is you, yet not you but God who has made you willing. God wants us willing to live in righteous and holiness. He wants us willing to forgive. He wants us willing to obey and do the Word. When we are not willing, we resist His Holy Spirit and cause grief to His heart, not to mention the suffering that we will endure for rejecting His words to choose our own ways. Pray that the Lord indeed will grant you a wiling spirit and help you become a doer of the Word at all times.
What happens to us when we resist or reject God’s commandments to follow our own desires? ( Hint: remember Adam and Eve!)
APPLY THE WORD
Do not resist the Holy Spirit in your life by constantly rejecting God’s instructions and commandments! It never ends well with us when we do.
Pray that the Lord will help your heart become willing to do His words at all times.