Rebellion, Surrender, and Our Only Chance at Divine CommunionDecember 16, 2016
Rebellion, at its core, is the idea that we can do what we want, no matter the consequence or price. This was the heart issue of Adam and Eve’s fall in the garden. They had divine instruction not to eat of the tree, yet in the face of that holy standard they chose to feed the flesh. They bought into the lie of liberty. The serpent promised freedom in his deceptively-packaged proposal, but what they found was bondage. Their self-empowerment led to self-defeat. What deadly taste was the fruit of man’s mutiny!
The Misunderstanding of Liberty
“I can do what I want” is a dangerous statement that can ultimately lead to a deadly consequence. True liberty, true freedom is discovered through a yielded heart and a surrendered will. Kyle Idleman said, “The one thing we are most reluctant to give up is the one thing that has the most potential to become a substitute for Him.” In rebellion, our first parents chose fruit over fellowship, death over life, and selfishness over true freedom.
What a sad reality when they had to flee paradise. They had their supposed liberty, yet they had it with a bad taste in their mouths. They got what they wanted, but they didn’t want what they got. This is always the course for the soul with a stubborn will.
I am Not God
Rebellion is not only birth from a misconception about liberty, it is equally rooted in the soil of pride. To be God is perhaps the most perverse notion we take when we rebel against God’s way. In November of 2016, a Kentucky man sued the state for their refusal to issue a license plate that read “IMGOD.” The self-professed atheist said he wanted to prove with the tag that “it was impossible to disprove anyone’s claim to be God.”
Though such a statement seems controversial and contentious, it is not original. It was the sentiment of our first parents. Their rebellion to God was rooted in the desire to usurp His throne. Satan convinced Adam and Eve that in eating the fruit, their eyes would be opened and they would become as gods. The slithery serpent, in all his deception, tried to discredit the sufficiency of God. “God is not enough,” was the angle of the fallen angel, “you can be divine.”
Sadly, this is not only the sentiment of a profane atheist, it is also the sentiment of many who name the name of Christ. There are those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord but live as though He does not exist. When we disregard His Word, grieve His Spirit, and refuse His will, we make ourselves as gods, rebellious, stubborn, self-glorifying gods. It’s possible to drive to church on Sunday and have your tag read “IMGOD” on the back.
Whether it’s a license plate, a piece of fruit, or a broken vow, we make ourselves god when we deny His rule for our lives. When I say rule I simply mean this: He is God and we are not.
So, how does man deal with his rebellious nature? Enter Christ.
Divine Surrender, Divine Communion
Can you imagine the concept of God submitting? It’s a rather incredulous notion, is it not, to think that God, Maker, Creator, Sustainer, and Giver of life would have to acquiesce to anything. Yet, this is exactly what Jesus did during His earthly ministry. He said of Himself, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38).
Christ yielded to His own plan in redeeming fallen humanity. When He said that He came to do the will of the Father, He was, in fact, fulfilling all that He Himself devised to do. Before the foundation of the world, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit knew the price of redemption. Christ, as the Lamb of God, would come to offer the final and ultimate sacrifice for sins.
In rebellion, the first Adam opposed God’s divine design, placed himself in bondage, and experienced death in the process as a proposed god. In total surrender, the second Adam yielded to the Father’s plan, set the captives free, and rose to everlasting life as the potentate God of Glory.
It is only at the cross that God can have communion with man – these are His terms. These are His terms because the cross represents holy submission. If God could not commune with Adam because of rebellion, then that means the only way He can commune with Adam is at Calvary – where total surrender was once and for all offered.
Therefore, to follow Christ, we must, like Christ, yield our lives to the will of the Father. It is only in total submission that we find what Adam lost: sweet communion with Holy God.