Are You a Rebel?
On July 4 we are celebrating the Declaration of Independence—a bold document of revolution followed by seven years of a war of rebellion to secure that independence.A rebellion that we applaud.We also watched in awe this past year as rebels in one Middle Eastern nation after another toppled established governments. Many applauded, though often warily.I’ve always been something of a rebel— choosing to not live by all the rules. Preferring to do it my way. To push the limits. My Birkman personality assessment accurately identified my stress response as rebellion.We need people who are willing to go beyond the boundaries, who say the status quo is not okay. Rebels who will question tyrannical authority, venture into the unexplored, fight for justice and against oppression, lead a needed revolution.But when is rebellion right, and when is it not?The history of the children of Israel is one of rebellion—against God Himself:For these are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction (Isaiah 30:9).But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away (Jeremiah 5:23).God has an opinion about rebellion.He spoke through the prophet Samuel in this strong word to King Saul:For rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry (1 Samuel 15:23).Wow!I need to examine my rebellious tendencies.Is it permissible to stand against injustice? Of course.Is it good to push the boundaries to reach a breakthrough? Probably.Is it okay to break some rules for a higher purpose? Sometimes.Is it right to say “no” to God, to choose my way over his way? No.Do we sometimes? Yes. And He understands our struggles.But He gives us every reason not to rebel. He proves over and over that our stubborn and rebellious choices are not only wrong, but foolish.How do I know?He is God. He is good. He knows, He cares and He is able. He is a perfect blend of justice and mercy. He loves me more than I can comprehend. He is holy and He is grace. And so much more.Do I still rebel? Sometimes.But fortunately life and experience have taught me well. I totally believe that His way is ALWAYS better than my way. And gratefully I usually—now--choose that way without a fight.What about you? Where do you rebel against God?