I’ve noticed something about myself. Not just me, it’s something I see all around me. And it’s celebrated and encouraged.
Rebellion. We don’t think we’re rebels, but we are. We don’t do things because it was someone else’s idea. We do things because others said we shouldn’t, and no one tells us what to do. I’ve done it. I still do it. But it’s not something we should celebrate.
In the church I pastor, God introduced me to something that, now in retrospect, I see He brought to us. But I wanted to do my own thing. It wasn’t until God put it in front of me again, again and a third time that I was willing to listen. I suppose I could make the argument that I wasn’t really ready for it, maybe we weren’t as a church. But then I had this thought: “What if the reason I wasn’t ready for it the first time is because I was just rebelling against God?” Ouch.
The thing is, we talk about surrender a lot, but for some reason, we don’t apply the idea of surrender to our rebel voices. Truth be told, our rebel voice is always there to tell us we know better, we’re smarter, we could do it better – if we were just given the opportunity. We may surrender in some areas, but we still let ourselves throw ourselves off track.
We want to do things our way. And anyone who dares to suggest something that doesn’t fit with our idea of what we want to do, they become the enemy. We can’t believe that there are people who want God’s best for us. We believe everyone is trying to manipulate us for their own advantage. So, we never listen. We don’t listen to those God has put in spiritual leadership over us. We don’t listen to those who are older and wiser than we are. We don’t listen to people who have a different worldview than we do. They may be suggesting great things, things that we really need, things that will make a big difference in our lives…
And yet…we allow our rebel voices to keep us from all these things. We allow our rebel voices to tell us we don’t need to study the Bible, or we just don’t have the time. We allow our rebel voices to tell us that we don’t need to go to church on Sunday, what we really need is to sleep in, watch some football and get our much deserved rest.
In case you didn’t know, Satan is a liar, cheater, stealer and manipulator. He will do anything to get us to rebel against God. And our pride is a primary button Satan pushes to get us to rebel. “I can do this on my own. I don’t need anyone’s help. Don’t tell me what to do. Don’t tell me how to live my life.”
Satan is pushing our buttons and using them to keep us from experiencing all God has for us.
When that rebel voice creeps into our conscious thinking, we need to start challenging it. We need to check it, because most often the motives of that little voice are at best selfish, at worst evil. That rebel voice rarely has our best interest in mind. And yet, somehow in this present age, we have allowed ourselves to believe that this voice is the voice that should make most if not all decisions in our lives.
Luke 9:23 – “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”
Surrender is the mantra of the Kingdom of God. We do not find God on our own, by our own might. If we’re being honest, rebellion is what got humanity in this mess in the first place. God gave us one rule, but one rule was too much. “Don’t eat of that one tree.” God told us not to do something, so we did it.
And we repeat that pattern to this day. While I know there are pastors that seek to manipulate the people in their church for their own benefit, in large part, Pastors want God’s best for their people. Same is true for parents. Are there some who are manipulative? Sure, but most want the best for their kids.
At some point, at least for those of us in the church, we have to stop rebelling against leadership simply because it doesn’t fit into our desired paradigm. Instead, we all, need to submit to one another in love.
I’m praying earnestly that we start to listen to His voice more and more and let Him silence that Rebel voice in us all.
But then again, you can just rebel against this post too if you even chose to read it. That’s ultimately your decision to make.