What does it mean to have a rebel heart? Is it an internal or external manifestation? Being rebellious is a choice, so is being “spirit led.”
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah, helps us understand the concept of a rebel heart when he said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and is extremely wicked; who can understand it fully and knows it’s secret motives?
Do you have a rebel heart?
In modern society, we are encompassed by differing religious beliefs. There are more religions, sects, and organizations today than ever before; all making claim to the Christian life, but are not “of Christ.” They claim allegiance to Christianity, yet are extremely diverse in their thinking.
The term lifestyle – refers to a way of life or style of living that reflects the values and attitudes of an individual or group.
To make a distinction—the term “Christian” refers to being of a kind or dissent of Christ, essentially, “Christ like.”
Romans 8:28 -29 declares, “we are transformed to the image of Jesus.” Christians are to be transformers—not conformers. We are grafted in, foreordained, dead to ourselves, and our life is secured with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)
“I beseech you therefore brothers by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that we all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
The Christian life consists of, but is not limited to:
- Having the same beliefs (Acts 2: 44) “And they that believed were together.” We cannot effectively minister or fulfill the plan of God if we are not together and if we do not believe the same thing.
- “Be of one heart and of one soul.” (Acts 4:32) It is difficult to get someone to side with you if they don’t believe as you do.
Agreement is one of the most powerful tools of the believer and the community of faith.
Jesus taught about the enormous power that exists when believers are in agreement with one another. He said, “…if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19)
The Greek word for “agree” is sumphoneo. It means to agree together, to make a bargain, or to come to an agreement. It is the Greek word from which the word “symphony” is derived. Rick Renner notes, “A symphony orchestra combines many different instruments under the direction of an expert conductor to produce a beautiful, musical masterpiece. Its impact extends far beyond what anyone instrument could achieve on its own. This imagery paints a perfect analogy for the Christian community as God intended it to be.”
Separation Not Isolation
When our lives are built upon biblical truth, cultural changes, geographical changes cannot change our beliefs. In the end, others will be converted to our beliefs; committing to life in Christ because of the wonders of our God. We are in this world, but our citizenship is in heaven.
The Christian life requires us to be active in church and community. God exercised his love and kindness to us when we had no sense of community. We were once strangers and in bondage. We are mandated to serve, having the mind of Christ. We do not imitate what we see in media and culture. Instead, we imitate Christ. He went about doing good. He humbled himself to serve those of “low estate.” I doubt when we as Christians follow his example, that we will hear anyone say to us, “Quit acting like your dad!”
Deuteronomy 24:21 speaks volumes concerning our attitudes toward the stranger, admonishing us to leave something of our inheritance for them. Wow! We will have abundance, we should be mindful to remember others. If we forsake our community; how can we bring individuals into the Christian community? The community is the vineyard. The harvest is abundant and we occupy and engage as servants together, unified and productive until Christ returns.
The Christian life is not simple, easy, free from trials, or free from hurt. It is not for powerless, wimpy individuals. It is not for the fainthearted. The Christian life is not rooted in tradition, but it requires obedience in following the Spirit of Christ.
The Christian life also has emotional interludes, requiring us to discipline ourselves to dispel thoughts that have the potential to defeat us. It is a life already mapped out by God; a life that must line up with scripture. As those who are redeemed in Christ, we live to live again—providing us with everything God designed for our future and destiny. It is a life where God is for us and no one can be against us. It is a life which sometimes defies understanding and is often unexplainable.
It is important to understand what the Christian life is–and what it is not. Our walk and lifestyle on this path we’ve chosen is not as we will; but as the Lord wills.
Jesus urges all believers to mature in relationship, commitment, and obedience to Him. This is the essence of how to live a Christian life. Our relationship, steadfastness, and obedience are done out of love, not constraint. This does not mean enjoying a life of comfort and never experiencing problems. It is exemplified by the desire to serve and please God with one’s life.
God is so gracious and full of compassion. He allows us to see the beauty that emerges from a redeemed heart—as well as the destruction that can result when we don’t submit to His will.
No matter our circumstance or the challenges we face; living the Christian life is worth it! A rebel heart CAN become a heart that is redeemed. He has given us the freedom to choose.