Years ago I was struggling with something and was in prayer about it when I felt God say to me, “You have a rebellious heart.” At first, I was like, “What?” But, then He began to reveal to me areas where I had been rebellious and not submitted to authority. Then, He gently urged me to ask for His forgiveness.
The person I remember the most was President Bill Clinton. During the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal, I sat there and watched with judgement, disgust and self-righteousness. God reminded me that we are to pray for those in leadership.
1 Timothy 2: 1, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Rebellion comes from a place of pride. We think we know better or perhaps are smarter than those in authority. Pride was the first sin. Satan thought he could do a better job than God, questioned His authority and rebelled. The Israelites rebelled against Moses. Once again, they thought they knew better than Moses (ultimately God) and didn’t enter the promised land.
Hebrews 3:8 & Psalms 95:8 warn, “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,[a] As in the day of trial[b] in the wilderness,” (NKJV) or “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,[a] as you did that day at Massah[b] in the wilderness,” (NIV). Meribah means “quarreling” Massah means “testing.”
We have all been in situations where we did not agree with people in authority. It may have been our parents, an employer or even law enforcement. However, we are still supposed to respect and submit to those we don’t agree with. 1 Peter 2: 18, “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.” Peter urges us to have an attitude of submission for it is the Christlike way to bring harmony and true freedom (1 Peter 2:13-3:12).
Sure, there are times where we need to stand up for what we believe in, especially if what is being taught is unbiblical. However, we must be bold and confidant in our faith, but humbled by our flesh. One of the best ways we can fight is through prayer. Let God battle for us. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Be mad at the devil. But, also, take a step back and examine your own heart. Are YOU the one being unreasonable? 1 Samuel 15:23 says, “For rebellion is a s the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry,” (KJV).
There may be a reason God has allowed for you to work for an “unreasonable” boss or under the leadership of someone you don’t always agree with. Perhaps He is trying to teach you submission to authority. Use the time to learn, to grow and to be patient through the process. Bless those in authority by praying for them, working hard for them.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily (from the soul), as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve,” (Colossian 3:23-24 NASB)