The battle rages within our hearts. We scrabble and crumble depending on the circumstance. If we’re feeling strong we get our scrappy little fists in the fight and knock the enemy out of the ring. We crumble when we receive an unexpected hit. It could be that pride sneaks from behind and knocks us off our feet and we lay stunned.
The battles within eventually get reflected into our visible lives because we’re who we are on the inside not what we display. If we struggle with submission to authority, but put on a submissive front, eventually a reaction will reveal the struggle. Pride shows up in a judgmental comment or a refusal to believe that God has chosen and loves you.
Our circumstances are distractions to the battles that rage in our hearts. Once we surrender our lives to Christ the real battle begins between the Spirit and the Flesh. Oftentimes I think of the flesh as my rebel self because I don’t seem to do what I know is right no matter how hard I try. But let’s flip the switch: The Spirit part of ourselves is our rebel heart.
Was Jesus a rebel? Some say he was. I say he was on a mission to reveal the Father’s heart to humanity and people have tried to pigeon-hole God and figure him out and make him like us: Easily swayed. Petulant. Angry. Abusive. Double-minded. And so man set up rules and regulations to follow in order to make God understandable and malleable. “If I do A, B, and C then God will do X, Y, and Z.”
The Rebel Heart
We need a rebel heart because the status quo threatens to lead us to apathy.
A rebel heart is our best defense against me-ism.
Ours is a heart divided: we have the heart of the spirit and the heart of the flesh. So often the flesh rebels against the spirit, but let’s flip that concept upside down. Let’s give the spirit permission to rebel against the flesh.
Once we surrender our lives to Christ we are given new hearts. God writes his heart on ours and places himself within us. However, the flesh still lives and needs to be crucified each day. This is why we need a rebel heart.
A heart that’s fully surrendered to Christ becomes a rebel heart. A heart that rebels against the status quo, the pride of life, lust of the eyes, and the flesh. A rebel heart doesn’t allow the flesh to take back the victory found in Christ.
I rebel against my flesh. I rebel against apathy. And I run straight towards God. There’s an insurrection with in my heart and the Spirit stakes His claim and turns my selfishness into generosity, my judgement into kindness, and my fear into trust.
The rebel heart wins when it’s strength and comfort is found in God. He is our help in times of trouble. He is our way of escape when we’re tempted. God is our commander and he is directing the greatest army in all creation. God leads us beside still waters where our hearts are refreshed and he also leads us into the battle where victory is assured.
We’re in this fight together. We face different challenges, but we serve the same God who arms us with his strength and makes our footsteps firm. I’m praying for you and would love to hear how your fight is going. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, write a comment here, or subscribe to receive weekly notes of encouragement in your day to day battle of transformation.