“…Gods promises depend entirely on trusting God in His way, and then simply embracing Him and what He does.” -Romans 4:16
Have you ever felt misunderstood or judged by others when you thought you were doing the right thing? Or was accused of something that was completely blown out of context but was perceived by someone else differently than it was meant?
About a year ago, right before I began my own business full time, I was fired from my job at a little clothing boutique. I was accused of trying to steal from the store and then cover it up by lying.
Now if anyone knows me, getting accused of stealing and then lying about it is about the farthest from anything I would ever do let alone think of doing. The whole thing was a huge misunderstanding, but I couldn’t defend myself because there were no questions asked, no request for an explanations, it was all accusation and there was nothing I could do about it. The judge had made her judgement, and found me guilty.
My character was questioned. I felt hurt, confused, emberassed. Never in my life have I felt more misunderstood.
Can you relate?
The Bible is a collection of many books written by different authors — all text inspired by God Himself. I like to look at the Bible as a group of love letters from God to the people he loves.
I’ve been reading the book of Isaiah. It is not particularly a pleasant read; half of the book is about God’s judgment on Israel, his chosen people. Time and time again the Israelites rebel against God; and time and time again he chooses to love them.
Loving others does not mean that we give in to their unwise choices. God does not give in to foolishness. He will allow us to feel the natural consequences of our actions, just as a child who has been warned not to touch the burner but does so anyway feels the resulting pain. And just like parents, God comes and comforts us when we’ve made silly choices that result in our own heartache and sorrow.
When we choose to rebel against God, we often get hurt — not because God is punishing us, but because of the natural result of our choices. God knows what is best for us; He sees the end result when we have no clue. What a wise choice to trust him in our uncertainties! He will not lead us astray. He is not going to trick us into making a bad choice or punish us when we do.
When we rebel against God’s desires, dreams, plans, and direction, we are separating ourselves from him. We are saying, “Nah, God I think I know the better route, I’ll decide for myself. I don’t need you.”
But what we don’t realize is how much we actually DO need him. We need him to show us the best way, to give us advice and direction in living life to our fullest potential. His love letter says that we can’t even experience true life apart from him. So why do we so often choose to part from Him? And what does that even look like?
There are 2 types of rebellion that separate us from God:
1. We rebel against God’s rules.
Isaiah 58:3–4 says, “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.”
In the Bible fasting was one way to worship God. To remove worldly pleasures and sustenance to remind ourselves that God is our true sustenance. Yes he created us to need food and water and to need others, but fasting is a reminder to get our perspective back in the correct place. Truly, it’s another way that we tell God — and remind ourselves — how much we love him, and need him.
God’s response to Israel in Isaiah 58:3–4 was this, found in Isaiah 59:1, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”
His point was that Israel had begun fasting to start receiving God’s blessings. That was their sole purpose in this ritual. Their beliefs about God — their rituals — had become what they worshiped, instead of an intimate relationship with God himself.
And we do this so often ourselves. It’s easy if you’ve been following God for a long time to begin worshipping your beliefs about God instead of God himself. God only cares about your heart and that it is aligned with his, intricately woven into a beautiful relationship together. He sent his son Jesus, made him the ultimate sacrifice for us, because he loves us and so desires a relationship with us.
And that relationship is not bound by rules and rituals which we so often worship. We don’t do THIS to receive THAT. We do rituals and we follow rules ultimately because we love God. And he wouldn’t have put boundaries around what we should and should not do if those things were all good for us. Some things are very, very bad for us-other times we take whats good and abuse it until it’s bad-and oftentimes we can’t see it until the consequences have come and we are hurting.
And this is where the second type of rebellion comes in.
2. We rebel against God’s rescue.
Usually we do this because we have false beliefs about God. We believe that he has put boundaries around us because he doesn’t want us to have any fun. Don’t get drunk, don’t have sex until you are married, don’t cuss, etc. Other times we have terrible and painful things happen in our life for which we blame God, so out of our anger and hurt, we run away.
Many times, ladies, things that happen in our lives are not a result of God, they’re a result of our own actions or choices, and they are the natural consequences of those things. Does God allow events to happen in our lives? I believe he does, but I do not believe he is always the source of them.
When we run, it will only be a matter of time before we realize life isn’t getting any better. There is still that wound that isn’t being cared for, so it’s festering and getting worse. So then finally, we run back to him. And the best part is, he will always be there to hold us when we’re ready for comfort.
I sometimes wonder if God feels judged and misunderstood by the “rules” he instructs us to obey and his action in our lives. He understands, sweet friend, how it feels to be misunderstood.
We rebel when we misunderstand God and we rebel when we judge God. It’s important that we understand God’s heart is not to harm us or to make our lives miserable. He so desires for us to have the absolute best in life and to live our lives joyfully and for him. Not because he’s prideful, but because he knows what is best for us, what will bring us the most joy and contentment. It’s like the inventor who knows his invention better than anyone else.
And out of that joy and contentment we worship him. We worship him through relationship with him, and then a desire to follow what he says blossoms in us because we trust that he is good and he knows what he is doing.
Have you experienced rebellion against God? In what way?
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
All my Love,
P.S. If you liked this article and want to find out more about cultivating a thriving & healthy relationship with God, click here →it all starts with understanding you.
P.S.S. If you love to read and are eager to find your confidence and embrace this season of your life, please read: “Becoming Yourself,” By: Stasi Eldredge