Do You Have a Heart of Stone?
READ: Romans 3:10-18; 23
Rebellion is opposition to authority. Rebellion can become violent, as in “an armed rebellion broke out in the city,” but it can also remain unexpressed. Rebellion always begins in the #heart.
It was rebellion against God’s authority was humanity’s first sin (Genesis 3) and continues to be our downfall. Our sinful natures do not want to bow to the authority of another, not even God. We want to be our own bosses, run our own lives and that rebellion in the human heart is the root of all sin (Romans 3:23).
What causes people to rebel against God?
The reasons are numerous. It can be because of an offense, a painful past, church hurt, lack of truth of God’s love, false convergence, our own ignorance etc. It can be flat pride and arrogance. It can be the result of hardening ones heart over a period of time to God's convictions and directives; silencing the voice of conviction and practicing delayed obedience over and over again. Some of the rebellion can stem from deeper emotion and soul wounds that have warped our view of God.
I discovered that my reason for rebellion from God was because I was angry with Him for allowing my dad to die when I was 11 years old. I remember thinking that if God were good, how could He allow him to die? Why couldn't He save him if He was God? And, if He loved me, why would He allow us to suffer with grief and pain? Another reason why I reluctantly and with resistance stayed away from anything to do with God is because I had met one too many titled "Christians" who used the Bible as a weapon of judgment, and yet they equally seemed stale and joyless in their own lives. This kept me running away from God instead of to Him until I realized that I cannot allow flawed humans to determine my view of GOD.
Deep down, however, I knew that there was a void in my life. I felt it. I was aware of it. I walked around with it every day. So, when I was 22, I finally asked God to come and prove Himself in my life. I had met a Christian woman who exuded joy and peace that was genuine, and I wanted that. I found myself alone in my apartment asking God to reveal Himself to me. Something like scales or a veil came off of my “eyes” and I was able to "see" clearly. I felt it my heart; a peace and reassurance.
I surrendered my life to God, which meant that I was completely open to letting Him teach me how to live and treat people. It meant letting Him chance my perspective on a vast array of topics, including love, power, wealth, and pursuits. It also caused me to shift my thinking about my own self-worth and value, which had taken a few blows through my own limiting beliefs and less than great dating relationships. As I continued to walk, I began to experience true LIFE. A life that wasn’t dependent on a relationship, substance, or suppressing my true needs. He restored my identity and rerouted my course of life.
We've All Sinned & Lived as an Enemy to God:
The Bible says that all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. YOU and ME alike. These aren't one-off grievances that we've done, this has been habitual, cyclical, and even generational offenses against Him. Often, we’re not even aware of the fact that we have been living as enemies of God, and that is usually because we're so deprived in our understanding of what God desires.
Even for us who say we are believers. To many of us have been going through the motion of church and saying we love God with our lips, but our hearts are far from Him.
The Good News
We can choose to #repent, then commit or re-commit to asking Jesus Christ to come and be our Savior and Lord. Lord means that He is ruler, authority, and supreme in our life. That means that He doesn’t just save our souls, but He governs every area of our lives. We can humble ourselves and confess our sin and falling away from God's will, and ask Him to soften our hearts to Him again.
We must ask Jesus to come and create in us clean hearts and steadfast spirits. Asking God to help us be faithful and loyal to Him and then intentionally taking steps to draw close to Him again.
His mercy is greater than what any of us can fathom. His loving kindness last forever. He will welcome us with outstretch arms when we run back to Him. He will receive us, restore us and reconcile us back to a right relationship with Him, if we are willing to turn from our pride and rebellion.
Until next time,