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How Rebellion Leads to Rest

TSWL-AFTEROur hearts often flee to fear in seasons of waiting. We care more about the comfort of control than we do the uncertainty of steadfastness. Faith becomes doubt in the seasons where we feel like the rain is pouring too heavy and the ground beneath us may sink in.

The natural reaction, as fallen human beings, is to then plant our own foundation that seems more stable than the soggy mess we stand in. So, we look down and become a little more confident after we see that we have built ourselves a little ground of our own. It’s like we prefer a false sense of security more than a genuine sense of dependence. Our hearts yearn for stability; only Truth helps them comprehend why.

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” –Romans 1:17

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” –Romans 1:20

Believe it or not, college students, pregnant mothers, and retirees aren’t the first to endure uncertainty. Scripture is an entire story of people waiting for a holy God to reveal himself. If we were truly created in his image, then we cannot flee him. Even in the garden, he saw Adam and Eve in their nakedness. Yet they still ran from him in shame.

Uncertainty is a reality, and the fear that comes with it is okay. It scares us to have no control, but sin creeps in by how we respond to that fear. Rebellion is sinfully choosing to take control and build that faulty foundation ourselves. Submitting our fear under the authority of God is sanctification. It is the humble response of remembering and resting in his unwavering character.

Rebellion

The Israelites responded similarly in the wilderness, as they doubted their call to God’s Promised Land. I follow this pattern when I flee from him in fear that he will forsake me. I feel my feet sinking in the soggy grounds, and I choose to look down to gain my footing. In this act of “gaining control,” I take my eyes off of Jesus and struggle with greater uncertainty. My rebellion is not reckless defiance, but rather a doubtful and disbelieving heart. My doubt defies the promise of God’s faithfulness.Even more, my fits of fear reject the Source of Life and beckon a hardened heart.

Remember

We will never fully understand God’s ways, and we can’t attain the map to his will for our lives. I choose rebellion when I strive for control, and all I gain is a hardened heart. I will never gain assurance from self-made stability. The Holy Spirit is our assurance, and our faith is an investment in God’s promises.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. –Hebrew 11:1-3

Our uncertainty should lead towards a deeper dependence on the faithfulness of God. It should lead our hearts to cry out for his Holy Spirit to guide us. God’s word declares his eternal faithfulness and our eternal hope. I wouldn’t fear the pouring rain if I remembered this Truth. I would stand on the soggy grounds with a lifted face looking to the sky for the glimmer of sunshine that I know is coming. A person who can stand in the rain trusts God’s eternal power and divine nature.

Rest

The grounds need rain in order to grow, just like we need uncertainty to test our faith. It is said that (in time) joy replaces mourning, and I think that (in time) rest replaces uncertainty. God promises that he has gone before us. Jesus said that he has prepared a place for his bride in the Kingdom. This eternal security should certainly have a profound impact on our present faith.

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. –1 John 5:4

The beauty of dependence is that we can’t will ourselves to respond in faith. Confident faith is a consequence of eyes that are looking towards Jesus, and a heart calling out for his provision. Prayer connects our heart to the heart of God where we have access to rest and peace, even in uncertainty. We may not understand what God is doing, but we rest in his holy presence. Prayerful dependence has revealed God’s faithfulness more than any bible study ever has. Train your eyes to look to Jesus in the unstable times of life, and trust that he will steady the ground under your feet.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. – Psalm 34:4

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
11 As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” – Hebrews 3:8-15

Chelsea Vaughn has served a ministry she helped start in the DFW Metroplex since she graduated from college. She received her undergraduate degree at Dallas Baptist University in Communication Theory. She does freelance writing, editing, and speaking for various organizations and non-profits. She hopes to spend her life using her gift for communication to reach culture and communities with the love of Jesus.