Tag Archives: rebellion

Playing with Fire


“Can a man scoop fire into his lap and not get burned?”

fire-manI’ve noticed a disturbing trend among my peers from my circle of  “church friends.”  For some reason, my generation feels it’s “cool” to dabble in the things that their parents taught them were sin.  Not everything that used to be considered bad is still considered evil.  For example, there was a time when card playing was a sure sign that you were flirting with the Devil.  And going to a movie was sure to condemn you to hell, in some circles.  Now times have changed, and some of those social no-no’s are not given a second thought.  I wear make-up, I cut my hair when I want to, I wear pants- all things that my great grandmother would never have done.  So I’m not talking about the petty cultural behaviors that bind us to a particular set of rules.  What I am talking about is a deliberate tearing down of the morals that we were raised with.

Sometimes those boundaries are in place for a reason.  For example, alcoholism runs in my extended family.  My father saw first hand the dangers of alcohol when his mother and siblings because addicted.  He suspected that there was some genetic disposition to liking alcohol even before the scientists began to confirm that there is indeed a genetic element to addiction.  So for that reason, we were raised to avoid alcohol.  As an adult, I can choose to do whatever I want with my life.  However, I choose to honor my father by avoiding alcohol.  I believe that it is healthier for me, but moreover, the Lord has promised me a long life if I honor my parents.  It is the only one of the 10 Commandments with a promise attached to it.

under-the-bridgeI have seen so many friends who have taken a rebellious teenage attitude in their adult life.  They choose to go out to bars or to drink alcohol at home even though they were not raised that way.  Their excuse is, “It’s not specifically in the Bible that we can’t drink.  It only says don’t get drunk.”  I don’t deny that.  But what I am talking about is the attitude behind the decision in the first place.  It is a blatant rejection of their parents that pushes them to permit things that were unpermissible in their childhood home.  This rebellion leads people down a path towards brokenness.

I have seen friends at various stages of this rebellion and eventually they all end up hurt and disillusioned by their own choices.  They may not see the connection, but with my distance and lack of emotional entanglement in the scene, I see the direct correlation between that rebellion against their parents and their present situation.

I have seen friends end their marriages with affairs and divorce.  I have seen families who are shocked and embarrassed when their son is kicked out of high school for alcohol possession, yet the family drinks at home.  I have seen families leave a church because of its heavy emphasis on the Holy Spirit, then they are stunned when their kids grow up and lead unholy lives.  I have seen so many friends remain single for years and years, cruising the bar scene each weekend looking for an escape from their loneliness- looking for their soulmate in a room full of unbelievers.  But they were brought up with an understanding that a Christian should not yoke themselves to an unbeliever.  I have seen friends decide to live with their girlfriend or boyfriend before they marry, even though they know that fornication is a sin.

But these friends who assert their “rights” do so to their own detriment.  Proverbs asks, “Can a man scoop fire into his lap and not be burned?”  Can we dabble with rebellion and not expect consequences?  The proverb does not say you have no right to scoop fire into your lap, or pour it down your throat, it just says don’t expect that you will escape the results.  Devastation is the natural destination of that journey that began with the first step of rebellion- the attitude of “I will do things MY way.”  It has been this way since the Garden of Eden.  Rebellion has consequences.

Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/kuzeytac/3459680851/”>Kuzeytac (will be back soon)</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com”>Foter.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>CC BY-NC-ND</a>

Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/pepsiguitar/8164795429/”>E Tran</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com”>Foter.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>CC BY-NC</a>

Right between the eyes


This is a part of a devotional I read this week in My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.  It hit me right between the eyes.  Emphasis is mine.

I claim God’s promises for my life and look to their fulfillment, and rightly so, but that shows only the human perspective on them. God’s perspective is that through His promises I will come to recognize His claim of ownership on me. For example, do I realize that my “body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,” or am I condoning some habit in my body which clearly could not withstand the light of God on it? (1 Corinthians 6:19). God formed His Son in me through sanctification, setting me apart from sin and making me holy in His sight (see Galatians 4:19). But I must begin to transform my natural life into spiritual life by obedience to Him. God instructs us even in the smallest details of life. And when He brings you conviction of sin, do not “confer with flesh and blood,” but cleanse yourself from it at once (Galatians 1:16). Keep yourself cleansed in your daily walk.

I must cleanse myself from all filthiness in my flesh and my spirit until both are in harmony with the nature of God. Is the mind of my spirit in perfect agreement with the life of the Son of God in me, or am I mentally rebellious and defiant? Am I allowing the mind of Christ to be formed in me? (see Philippians 2:5). Christ never spoke of His right to Himself, but always maintained an inner vigilance to submit His spirit continually to His Father. I also have the responsibility to keep my spirit in agreement with His Spirit. And when I do, Jesus gradually lifts me up to the level where He lived-a level of perfect submission to His Father’s will— where I pay no attention to anything else. Am I perfecting this kind of holiness in the fear of God? Is God having His way with me, and are people beginning to see God in my life more and more?Be serious in your commitment to God and gladly leave everything else alone. Literally put God first in your life.
I think I can just let those thoughts stand on their own merit.  I’ve been convicted.  I’m off to work on my rebellious and defiant mind.  This obedience thing is really hard.
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On a Short Leash


I was raised in a pastor’s home.  That makes me a PK, a Pastor’s Kid.  Some people say that Pastors’ kids are the worst kids they know.  In some cases, I would agree with that, but in my case I have to disagree.  I was a pretty good kid, wanting to please my parents.  But even then, I have always felt like God has kept me on a very short leash.  Even when I WANTED to do something bad, I never got away with it.  I got caught every time!!

For that reason, to this day I am a terrible liar.  Wait, I mean I am terrible AT lying.  Even if I try to tell a lie, people can see through me every time.  This means that I cannot for the life of me keep a secret from my husband.  He just looks me in the eye, asks me a direct question, then laughs at my NON-poker face.  George Washington has nothing on me!  “I cannot tell a lie.”

So it kind of bothered me when I was younger that I didn’t have some fantastic testimony of being saved out of some horrible, rebellious way of life.  As a matter of fact, my testimony is kind of dull, in comparison to others.  But one year I went to a camp for pastors’ kids and my perspective changed.

At the camp, other PKs were giving their testimonies about how they had gone through some kind of rebellious period and how God brought them back.  I was having testimony-envy until an older girl took the microphone.  Very simply put, she said, “I have never had a time of rebelling against my parents or God.  I have loved the Lord ever since I was a little girl.  My testimony is the evidence of God’s power to KEEP me.”  And my world was shaken!

God has kept me.  He has carefully watched over me ever since I was a baby.  He has guarded me from bad company.  He didn’t let me run wild.  He has hedged me in to keep me on the path that He chose for me.  Yes, my choices have been more limited, but my heart has not grown hard through sampling the “delights” of the world.  Like a precious and valuable exotic flower, I have been kept in God’s greenhouse, sheltered from the frost and wind.  I have been kept.  How awesome is that!

In God’s power, I can brag.  I am not the only one who has been kept by God.  Think of David, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, Mary, Timothy who were all kept from a young age.  God is powerful and able to preserve you from evil.

“From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.”  Psalm 22:10

“For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth… Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.  Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”  Psalm 71:5, 17-18