"You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.Acts 7:51(NASB)
The climax of Stephen's inspired speech to the Sanhedrin, just before his cruel martyrdom, rehearsed the faithfulness of God towards His people while contrasting Israel's rebellion against their God, causing him to conclude: "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you."
The Spirit's work in the world today is to convict the unsaved of sin, righteousness, and judgement so that they might acknowledge and repent of their sin, and trust in Christ as Saviour. The shocking truth is that most unbelievers resist and keep on resisting the convicting work of the Spirit, despite His gentle and tender entreaties.
The pride of the Jews who slaughtered Stephen caused them to be labelled "stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ear," for although they practiced physical circumcision, their eyes were blind, their ears were deaf, and their hearts were closed to the truth of the gospel. Persistent resistance to the convicting work of the Spirit of God causes the mind to be seared to the truth so that God will give them over to their proud and sinful ways.
As believers, we too can resist the Spirit's work in our lives through pride, but also we can also quench and even grieve the indwelling Spirit of God. May our ears and hearts be spiritually circumcised day by day, and may we pay heed to the gentle and tender promptings of the Spirit, for God resists the proud, but gives grace upon grace to the humble.
Heavenly Father, may I live in humility of heart and keep my ears and heart ever open to the leading, guiding, prompting, correcting, and chastening work of Your Spirit within me. May I grow in grace, and be increasingly conformed into the image of Jesus, day by day. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.