Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the Lord has spoken. (Isa. 1:2)

WHO HAS SPOKEN? The Lord. And He still speaks “today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb. 4:7). Yet we do. Jesus asked His disciples, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). This question should have cut them to the heart as the prophet Isaiah was when he realized that he was in the presence of the Lord, and cried, “Woe to me! . . . I am ruined!” (Isa. 6:5). The questions of Jesus penetrate like a surgeon’s scalpel, touching us at the point of our infection—our stubborn self-will. But, despite his initial fears, Isaiah discovered that it wasn’t the Lord’s intention to destroy, but to heal.

We feel the sting of conviction. We know about His judgments against stubborn people. We know that it makes no sense to resist the Lord. Yet so often that is exactly what we do. “Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted.From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness” (Isa. 1:5–6). The scalpel comes and we feel the pain of His discipline. But remember, He comes to “restore you to health and heal your wounds” (Jer. 30:17). “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land” (Isa. 1:19).

Search out any point of stubbornness where you need to yield today.

Bill Beck lives in the Black Hills with his wife, daughter, and dog. He and his wife have two grown sons.