Being a Rebel

“Only do not rebel against the Lord”  Nu 14:9

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way”  Isa 53:6

“On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me?”  Is 36:5

I realize the sins I’ve committed in my life  I could go down the Galatians 5 list or the II Tim 3 list and enumerate them.  But how much do I add rebellion to that list?  When I see a child being rebellious, it is obvious they are wrong.  But when I have pursued my own way instead of God’s way, do I see that as rebellion against the living God, or just natural self expression?

The more important realization is that God saw me as a rebel.  He didn’t just see me in the context of my other sins, he saw me as someone who was defiant in committing these sins.

How was Israel rebelling against the Lord when they were fearful of entering the Promise Land?  He had a plan for them and they didn’t believe they could carry out that plan.  They wanted to go back to Egypt instead.  Their doubts and fears were their gods.  This was rebellion against the only living God.

In “Follow Me” by David Platt I read today about idolatry and repentance.  He said, “We can’t fathom a Christian on the other side of the world believing that a wooden god can save them, but we have no problem believing that religion. money, possessions, food, fame, sex, sorts, status and success can satisfy us.”  He said we have to die to “our self-centeredness, self-consumption, self-righteousness, self-indulgence, self-effort and self-exaltation.”

Like the blind we grope along the wall,

feeling our way like people without eyes.

At midday we stumble as if it were twilight;

among the strong, we are like the dead.

We all growl like bears;

we moan mournfully like doves.

We look for justice, but find none;

for deliverance, but it is far away.

I like to picture that I embodied this part of Isaiah 59 — miserable in the pit of sin, groaning and powerless.  I I don’t like to think that the next part of Isaiah 59 could apply to me as well.  I don’t like to think of myself as a defiant rebel, stubborn and hard-hearted against God.   Yet those who sin are described this way.

For our offenses are many in your sight,

and our sins testify against us.

Our offenses are ever with us,

and we acknowledge our iniquities:

rebellion and treachery against the Lord,

turning our backs on our God,

inciting revolt and oppression,

uttering lies our hearts have conceived.

At heart, I was and I can be a rebel.  Left to myself, I am an enemy of God, incurring His wrath.  No matter that I think I love him and have had good intentions, let me not merely see myself as a person who does bad things, but as a person who does bad things in God’s face.

All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  Eph 2:3

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior..  Col 1:21

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