Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rescue me from my rebellion...

I was stopped this morning by this phrase in Psalms 39:3(NLT): "Rescue me from my rebellion..."


It was a popular word when I was a teen. It was all about being—or being entreated not to be—rebellious, but surely that doesn’t apply now. I don't know any of my peer group who are out lighting up cigarettes behind the bleachers, dyeing their hair green, (although perhaps they dye it brown to cover the gray), sneaking out at night, or railing against authority.

And then I read this in Psalms 32: 6 (NLT): "Let all the godly confess their rebellion to you while there is time ..." which seems like an oxymoron—people who are godly and rebellious?

Surely these verses have nothing to do with me.

Rebellion is a negative response to being asked to do something that we don't want to do.
It's going up against the expected, the rules, the precedents, and principles.
It's an attitude of "I don't want to, I don't have to, and I'm not going to!" It's thinking

I am better than the rules.
I am above the expected.
I am greater than the consequences.
I know better.

Hmm ... maybe rebellion isn't limited to a particular generation, as I've seen these attitudes in my own thoughts.

It all boils down to pride: it's the sin of Lucifer in thinking himself better than God, and of Eve in thinking she could outwit the consequences of her disobedience. When I elevate myself above the way God has said to live my life, I am rebelling—with or without the cigarette.

This then is really a prayer here and elsewhere, as in Psalms 19:13: "Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression," a prayer that God will give me a heart of humility, one that acknowledges that He is God and I am not. It is a prayer that God will grant to me a patient, longsuffering spirit that will continue in the way He's prescribed, because I believe that He knows best for my life and that He'll accomplish what He says He will and reward me as promised.

It's all about trusting God and His word when I'd rather trust myself and my opinions, however that looks at any age.

To love when I'd rather hold a grudge.
To reply with a soft answer when venomous words are filling my mind.
To give when my fists are clenched shut.
To do it the right way when the shortcut is so appealing.
To walk another mile when I resented having to go the first.
To forgive, yet again.

It is believing that when "The Lord says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you,'" (Psalms 32:8), that it's true, even if I don't understand or agree.

Rescue me Lord, from my rebellion.

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