Maybe I wander around a little too much in the philosophical on this one. Well, if nothing else, scroll down and watch the Braveheart clip <3. Classic.
I’m a rebel.
Some of you who’ve known me, or know one version of me, are laughing at me right now. The girl who never wants to show up late. Who likes to follow all the rules. Who finds comfort in convention. But, I promise I’m a woman with a rebellious spirit.
My spirit is hidden in Christ Jesus, intwined. I am in Him, and He is in me (John 14:19-21). He has a plan for my life. I love that plan. It’s daring and wonderful. My spirit pushes me to grow, and become a new creature daily. It’s this wild adventure, always in pursuit of the mysterious lover of my soul with His unending depths to plumb. This spirit sees the world from Jesus’ perspective. This “new me” was born to stand out. Why? Because God made me with gifts that He wants to use to give Him glory, and draw people to Him. Those giftings are not projects or careers (though he uses those, too.) It is the unique language He’s given me to express His love to the world.
I have the old me. It’s quite happy with the status quo, and is like a fog blocking the perspective Jesus is trying to show me. The old me likes to stay in the boxes that I’ve made for myself based on my life experience, my limited perspective, even if the boxes have gotten too small. Even better are the boxes other people have made for me as they watch me interact with the world, and make decisions about who I am. To step outside of that threatens this “old me,” “flesh,” “human nature,” whatever label you want to throw on it. It has a very strong will to live. Growth. Change. Challenge. New Horizons. All threats to a neat existence.
Who wins, flesh or spirit? You have a choice. Most people think of their flesh as the rebellious one. But what is at the heart of rebellion? A desire for freedom. Where is true freedom found? In Christ. On this earth, it’s our spirit that gets it. It tells us the the world’s conventions aren’t okay. It tells us that there is something more, a better existence that what we now live. We talk so much of how we have to fight our flesh, like it is an unconquerable feat. I’ve heard many a man and woman of God say, “Oh….fighting the flesh again,” in that defeated tone. I prefer the image of William Wallace’s freedom speech from Braveheart.
(Out of respect for my more conservative readers, in effort to provide full disclosure, there is one word in this video that you may or may not find to be objectionable. If that one word will distract you from the overall message of everything I’m writing, please don’t click on the video, and keep reading.)
Yes, the inner war seems impossible at times. Disorienting. And it’s not pretty. Something has to die. But we forget. The spirit is so much greater than the flesh. The flesh is the thing that is truly frail, it’s temporary. The spirit is eternal. With Christ in our hearts, we do not fight alone. You want to win the battle? Feed your spirit with healthy relationships and the Word of God.
Sometimes we confuse the “rules” of Christianity with chains. The enemy of our spirit can certainly twist them for his purposes. But, scripture isn’t a rule book or a measure of worthiness. The Word is a road map to get out of the wandering wilderness, past the things that block our view of who Christ is, and how He wants to function in our lives. We can follow that map, or try an cut our own path when we get the bright idea that we can take shortcuts to spiritual growth. As for me, I’m going to follow my sovereign God. I’m pretty sure He knows better than me, even if it doesn’t make sense to my human mind.
Choose daily (or by the minute in some instances) who you want to be. Do you want to stay the same and listen to your flesh? Or do you want to be transformed (Romans 12:2)? Do you want to be free from what binds you?
My rebellious spirit says no to fretting and negative self-talk. No more letting the fear of looking stupid keep me from breaking out of my boxes. On my cross I place my perfectionism, my inferiority complex, my fear of rejection, and my social anxiety. I pick up joy and peace.
Joy and peace win. Why? Cause I am a woman with a rebellious spirit. I’ve been obsessed with pushing myself to my best since I was a kid. I didn’t know it then, but it used to be because I thought I had to attain certain things to be thought worthy and good enough. Not anymore. Now, I have to get past the things that blind me to who He is, and who I am in Him. Why? Because it is what my heart craves. Above role-identity. Above any definition of earthly success. Above…being liked. Yikes…that’s a hard one. I won’t pretend I’m this empowered victor every day, or most days. But I am still in the fight, and I don’t fight alone.
Fighting the fight isn’t synonymous with “feeling good.” A fight is just that…a fight. Particularly those of you battling mental illness, not every moment looks like William Wallace’s bold declaration on a hilltop. Sometimes it’s the midst of the valley in the middle of what feels like a losing battle. The good news? Even if it looks dark, if you are still fighting, you are still winning.
Where are my people with rebellious spirits?