Have you ever hurt your neck and you aren’t sure how it happened? I experienced that firsthand a couple of weeks ago. I was minding my business, backing out of an ordinary parking space, and a searing pain shot through my neck. It penetrated deep into the tissue and bone. Immediately, my neck was so stiff, I couldn’t turn to the right or left. As I drove home, I had to reposition my entire body in order to make safe right and left turns. For several days, I could only look straight ahead. Driving, sleeping, and working was difficult. Thank goodness it only lasted a few days.
While my stiff neck was healing, I thought about God’s description of His own people. In Exodus 32, Israel had sinned big time when they built a golden calf to worship. Their idolatry caused God’s anger to burn against them and He said to Moses, (v. 9) “I have seen this people and behold they are a stiff-necked people.”
God describing His people as stiff-necked was not a compliment. This word is defined: obstinate, stubborn, willful, rebellious, unruly, and ornery. It means a person has a major attitude problem and an unwillingness to be led. Over and over in scripture God describes His disobedient nation in this unbecoming, uncomplimentary way. In my imagination, I think of a stubborn old goat that refuses his masters leading when I hear this term.
I never want another stiff neck physically but more than that, I don’t want the Lord to describe me in this way. A stiff neck happens when we become hardened to the master’s leading and so certain of self, that we are not easily guided back on the path of spiritual wholeness and wellness.
A spiritual stiff neck is a result of pride. So what’s the remedy for this? It’s simple, give your situation over to the Lord. Ask Him to work the kinks out of your life. It might be painful for a time but, He is a gentle healer.