“If I just had a different family I could be different!” This statement came from a nineteen year old girl who was trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to convince me that her rebellious spirit was not her fault. In our society today blame-shifting has become a national pastime. The spirit of rebellion never says, “I was wrong.” It always shifts blame to others and ultimately back to God. There are many things in life over which we have no control, but we do have control over our personal choices. We must accept responsibility for those choices. To fail to do so is a form of rebellion.
We rebel when we resist the authority God has placed over us. Authority might be defined as a person or agency designed by God to do three things: to exercise responsibility, to maintain order, and to create character in those under them. We must remember that authority is the mark of God’s ownership of our lives. God says we are not our own “for we are bought with a price.” God raises up God-ordained authority both to direct us in love and to chisel out character by challenging our will. If our will hardens beneath His hand we miss the blessing, prolong the process, and increase the temperature in which the Master Craftsman must work.
Rebellion can also arise from circumstances that we regard as unfair or in response to perceived mistreatment by others. Pitying ourselves, blaming others for our sad state, we feed rebellion and forget that God is over every circumstance. A difficult family, a disagreeable boss or unfair circumstances are not the causes of a rebellious heart. Pride is at the center of rebellion. Pride is preoccupied with self. Self at the center is never satisfied. It always demands more…of God and of others.
James Smith wrote in 1856, “Whatever may happen in the future, into whatever circumstances we may be brought—we should exercise confidence in God, hope still in His mercy, and plead earnestly at His throne of grace, believing that He has…
ordered all things in His love,
arranged all in His infinite wisdom, and
will overrule all for our ultimate good!”