We have so much to learn from the One who could do it all in one step, yet didn’t! He forms, then fills. He saves, then sanctifies. He purposes, then perfects. Don’t get in too much of a hurry. He loves the process, and so should we. 🙂
To the question: Am I really a rebel? I answer a condescending: No. But in order to answer the question: Who are you? I answer: I don’t know. I find no other option other than rebellion. I’ve always been a good follower, not a resister. It’s hard to see myself breaking out of the mold. I’ve always been a ‘Yes Man.’ I’m not trying to start a new cause or lead anyone else in this – this is just a personal journey away from fearing men andtoward fearing God. It’s crazy, but in order to be true to myself, I find a little rebellion necessary. It’s more than a phase, it’s an essential stage for my growth. Rebellion, for me, is nothing more than a means to an end: finding myself. I admit that I’m a little scared, but I cannot continue to accept all the assumptions and presumptions handed down to me. Up to this point, my identity has been defined by peer pressure and fear, so I must rebel for the sake of my own integrity or I must deny God’s design in me. My calling is unique to me; this is not my grandfather’s world, so I rebel for the sake of impacting my generation with the Gospel. In many ways, I am sad to have to take such a stand. Why have others thought it so important to establish the unnecessary as the norm? Why has the world (and the church for that matter) gotten so programmed, so conforming, so systematized, so average? How has the sloth of bureaucracy crept into so many areas of my life?
Our culture is full of individuals just like me seeking their identity and purpose; this world is ripe for revolt!
I’m an underdog and I’m for the underdog. I root for the challenger. Could there be a new champ? Yes, and when there is, there will be a new underdog, a new challenger. For too long the wrong things are reigning king of my hill. I am tired of complacency… in my life, at home, at work, at church, and in my community. It’s time for an uprising, an insurgence, a revolution!
Before we go any further, you should know what I’m really thinking. The term rebellion has a much more negative connotation than revolution. Although I feel that these terms are nearly synonymous, I tend to believe that rebellion implies a fearful, violent reaction, while, revolutionary implies pro-active, courageous leadership. Even still, since they are so similar, I will blend the two words and use them interchangeably – but please understand that I lean on the side of revolt and not rebellion. I’m not promoting insubordination – quite the contrary! I whole-heartily believe in submission. The only reason that rebellion or revolution is necessary is when lower authorities attempt to contradict, undermine, and usurp higher authorities. True authorities are not based on shifting morals or men’s standards; they are absolute principles found within the pages of the Bible. In our current age of entitlement and expectation, you don’t have to look far to see how causes can twist and misrepresent truths in their favor to instigate less-than-questionable rebellions (i.e. – the Occupy movement). In addition, one could apply the idea of revolution into the church and call it revival. Although the context of the two are completely different, many of the principles are very similar.
When wrong is right, then right is wrong. When right is wrong, then wrong is right.
Faith, Hope, & Love are all three rebellions of sorts. Faith is a rebellion against the mental dictates of your own logic and fear. Hope rebels against power of your current circumstances and situations. Love rebels against the choking hold of revenge and bitterness in your relationships (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Time prevents me from expounding on the thousands of great historical rebellions that have affected this world for good, but quickly review a few with me… The Revolutionary War (of the colonies for representation), the Civil War (of the South for states’ rights), the Civil Rights Movement in America (for equals rights of minorities and women), the Anti-Communist Revolution (in Europe and Asia during the 1980’s), and the recent Arab Pro-Democracy Movement (in Tunisia and Egypt during 2011).
Where would be without Bacon’s Rebellion (1676), the Boxer Rebellion (1901), or the French Revolution (1789-1799)? How different would your life be without Gettysburg, Tienanmen Square, or Boston’s Tea Party?
Do the right thing, the right way! Always, always, always rebel as peaceably as possible. This world doesn’t need you going postal (figuratively or literally). If you can rebel alone – do it. There’s nothing worse than a causeless cause. Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Change doesn’t happen overnight, so take it slow. Be purposed. Be intentional. Be legitimate and credible. Live your vision before you share it with others.
When we think of the life and ministry of Jesus, we always assume that he is talking to the multitudes. However, some of the most powerful truths that our Lord ever shared was among His most trusted and beloved friends. The entirety of John 14-17 is Jesus speaking in the upper room to His disciples; mere hours away from being taken captive and eventually crucified.
John 15 houses one of the “I AM” statements from Jesus’ ministry. In addition to being The Door, The Way, and the Resurrection, Jesus here said that He is the TRUE VINE. He paints the picture in wonderful imagery showing that He alone is the life-giving blood to the believer. Without Him pumping life through you, YOU DRY UP AND DIE!
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. – John 15:1-5
What He goes on to say is a powerful truth many people do not grasp the depth of:
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. – John 15:6-8
In a sense, what He is saying is that if there is no fruit being produced from you, the branch, that means that there is NO LIFE in that branch. So what should you be producing? The Bible clearly shows through the New Testament the types of fruit that we should produce. Not everyone will produce the same amount, but everyone should PRODUCE! Let’s quickly take a look at them:
Fruit of the LORD – If you plant apples, you get naturally will produce apples. So goes the thought of a Christian: Christian’s should produce Christians!
Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. – Romans 1:13
Fruit of our LIFE – Your lifestyle should mirror the fruits of Spirit.
(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) – Ephesians 5:9
Fruit of our LIPS – The Psalmist, David was known for His praise of God. We should always have SOMETHING to praise Him for. I always say, if you woke up and had nothing to be thankful for, go back to bed and try again!
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. – Hebrews 13:15
Fruit of our LOOT – God considers our sacrificial giving towards His work as fruit!
Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. – Philippians 4:15-18
As stated earlier, not everyone will produce a plentiful amount of each, but everyone should be producing something!
No Fruit, No Life …