For the past few months I have been in rebellion against the Lord.
Do you know what that feels like?
It’s lots of fun. You get to do whatever you want. You get to rule your life and decide how things go and what it going to happen. You are in control and you get to call the shots. It seems as through no one and nothing can touch you or take you down. You are on top of the world. It’s a pretty awesome feeling…at first.
Then the heaviness and weight of life starts to wear you down. Jokes just are not as funny anymore. So you feel like you have to have more fun in your life so that you will be able to laugh. More than ever before, you feel like you have to insert yourself into more situations that look like fun just to get the same jolt and the same love feelings like you felt before your rebellion. You start becoming frantic. Life just isn’t enough anymore. You need more.
You begin to think that people wont understand what you are going through and they just wont be able to help you out. So you start keeping secrets. You keep telling yourself that people just don’t need to know every little detail that is going on in your life. I mean come on, we can be somewhat responsible, right? We tell ourselves we don’t need a babysitter anymore.
But really you are just trying to avoid an explosive situation. You don’t want your current lifestyle to come back and bite you in the butt. So we leave out really key information about what we are doing in our lives and about what we are thinking.
You have to shut the world out bit by bit, because the more you let in the more danger there is for exposure. You have to distance yourself from people as much as possible. Oh, you still hang out with them. But you control the conversation. You refuse to talk about your mistakes and you divert attention away from yourself as much as possible. Or you talk lots about the areas in your life that are still doing alright. But you feel crazy on the inside, as though you are going insane.
Eventually you become depressed. Nothing seems to keep you happy for very long anymore. Instead it would be easier to just go home and curl up in a ball and get lost in a good book or movie. Then you wouldn’t have to face reality. Then you wouldn’t have to face your mistakes. Your whole world starts becoming a dark and sad place. Instead of facing this new world you’ve created for yourself you run from it as much as possible by finding really good distractions.
During this whole time, you just happen to know that the Lord doesn’t like hiding in the dark or keeping secrets. But instead of coming clean, you withdraw from the Lord too. Everything that is going on in life just seems to difficult and hard to confront and deal with. Distractions are much more fun and easy to deal with.
Life doesn’t quiet work out the way you want it to though. Things always seem to pop up that are out of your control and begin to expose you for who you really are–a dark and sinful person. Somehow the Lord always manages to expose you and show you the sin and evil inside you, especially after you have decided to walk with Him and to follow Him wherever He may lead you. He takes those requests and promises seriously and helps us uphold our end of the bargain. He will never force us to follow Him or to change our ways for Him, but He will expose us and let our worlds crash in on us, as they always inevitably do.
Truly truly I say to you that trying to control your own life only ends in misery. And nothing that the Lord did to you, but a grave you dug all by yourself. Because we are such sinful people we don’t need anyone else’s help to dig a good grave for ourselves for we are perfectly capable of ruining our lives all by lonesome.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom 12:1-2)
Paul urges us to let go of our control and to see the light and grace the Lord offers us. We don’t have to live in that dark and depressing world inside our minds that is driving us insane. We don’t even have to go and correct all of our mistakes on our own. We don’t have to learn how to be happy and joyous on our own. We don’t have to learn how to live a life which is good, acceptable and pleasing to the Lord. His love covers a multitude of sins.
Eventually, you have to come to a breaking point because you can no longer deal with life and everything is crowding in on you. Then you get to decide if you want to follow the Lord or not. Whether you want to give your life over to Him and stop messing it up further and further. It feels like trying to pull out all of your teeth and hair to be able to give up control of your life. But when you finally surrender there is no greater feeling in the world. It does not matter to you what others think about how you have dealt with your life. That grave doesn’t seem so imposing or too deep to climb out of anymore. All you care about is that God loves you. And He has let you go through some discipline to understand what David understood in Psalms 23: “Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” David was confident enough in the Lord’s love for him that David was able to see the discipline as a comfort.
The Lord has been asking me to be willing to give up everything in my life for Him: my family, my friends, my desires, my wants, myself. This request will be made again and again throughout my life and yours too. Are you will to give up control and to be at peace with the Lord? To love Him with all your hear, mind and soul? Paul discovered that he was able to live a completely radical, outlaw lifestyle because he was willing to give up absolutely everything in his life. No one can argue that Paul lead a courageous life that not many others could even dream of living. But everyone secretly desires to be so sold out for an idea, a faith, a belief that they would be willing to do anything for it. Paul believed and died for the grace of God.
What more do you really need in life besides the Lord? Can anything else really sustain you? Can anyone else really love you? Can anything else really make you strong? Can anything else really give you confidence? Can anything else really bring you peace? Can anything else really give you joy that lasts??
This is what it means to live your life as a true outlaw:
And He said to him, ” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ (Matt 22:37)