Dealing with the Inner Rebel

Dealing with the Inner Rebel

Dealing with the inner rebel
Every time I come across this quote by Jim Elliott I cringe. Does this convict you too?

“Unwillingness to accept God’s ‘way of escape’ from temptation frightens me what a rebel yet resides within.”

When we pray that God would help us….that God would rescue us from our temptations…..and then do exactly the opposite even when God is providing a way of escape….that is rebellion against God.

The God-rebel tunes in to sedition—
    all ears, eager to sin.
He has no regard for God,
    he stands insolent before him.
He has smooth-talked himself
    into believing
That his evil
    will never be noticed.
(Psalm 36:1-2, MSG)

You see, I am not talking about anything big here. Small kind of rebellion works the same way as big. It’s the same spirit of rebellion in us. It’s the unwillingness to walk in God’s ways. It’s the desire to continue in our sinful ways.

But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. (Romans 7:17-23, MSG)

Let’s say you want to quit smoking or eating excess candy. You pray that God would help you to overcome temptations. But sometime during the day you get an urge to get cigarettes or candy and you go to a store. Suddenly you remember to pray. After the prayer… you do it anyway….or are you ready to accept God’s way of escape? Because they come in most unexpected ways…a neighbor will say hi….a cash register jams…a phone call. They will take your thoughts away from the temptation and you could walk away now. Do you take the escape route God provides? Or do you rebel?

The spirit of rebellion is in war with the Spirit of God. But the war has already been  won on the cross. The question is: do we want to live victoriously in Jesus? Or do we want to rebel against God?

There is a little rebel residing in all of us. Do we feed the inner rebel or do we fully submit it to Jesus?

Victorious living is only possible in Jesus. But it is possible. Not because of us but because of Jesus. Like Watchman Nee has said “there is no sin so strong that you have to yield to it.” Because grace is even more powerful.

What if we still want to refuse God’s gracious help? Give even that unwillingness to God. Christian living is giving everything, good and bad, to God as a living sacrifice. It’s not us living victoriously but Jesus through us. Our job is to submit everything to God. Day by day by day. Hour by hour by hour. Or as often as needed. Jesus is here to help us. All we need to do is ask and receive grace upon grace.


Gracious God,
Help us!
We surrender our inner rebels to you.
Make us to want to change.
Enable us to ask for help
and receive help.
Empower us for victorious living.
Fill us with your Spirit.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Do you battle with your inner rebel? How do you deal with it?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you ask and receive grace upon grace!

Photo courtesy of Anthony Schaefer Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Hear it on Sunday, use it on Monday, Playdates with God, and counting blessings with Ann Voskamp:  #1033 Jesus has already won the battle between darkness and light.

4 thoughts on “Dealing with the Inner Rebel

  1. “Small kind of rebellion works the same way as big.”
    Ooh, that is so true. I know I still have a ways to go with totally surrendering the “little” rebel in me. Praying for grace to let the Lord have his way with me all the way.

  2. Oh, yes, I do battle that inner rebel! I keep thinking about the little ways and remembering the good and faithful servant who was given much because he was faithful with the little. I want to make obedient choices even in the little and be called a good and faithful servant.

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