I think I have always balked at obligation in some way or another. I am called rebellious often, I even call myself rebellious, I think though that is an unfair characterization of my heart. It calls to mind a wayward heart that doesn’t get with the program just for not getting with the programs sake. It calls to mind the person who thumbs their nose at institutions and societal or religious norms just because. I think of a 3 year old screaming “NO!!!!! I DO IT!!!!! Or a kid refusing to do something just because others think they should.
Surely rebellion is in me, it always has been and until I meet Jesus it always will be. But does that necessarily mean that I am rebellious by nature? I don’t think so.
I rebel against what is expected of me to be sure, but it is the expectation that I be someone I am not. I rebel against an authority that tells me I must hear and obey because they are the authority, even if the teaching is unbiblical. I reject that anyone has all the answers and I will look for myself, I will question. You have the right to teach me only if you truly know more than I. Like me, I am fat, I don’t tell other people how to get unfat because obviously I haven’t figured it out. Conversely, don’t try to teach me about holiness while you walk in bitterness.
I did everything out of a sense of obligation for so long. I am obligated to minister. I am obligated to act a certain way, got to church on sunday and attend womens meetings. I am obligated to prove that I have had spiritual growth, I am obligated to take care of others because I need to be selfless so that others don’t have to.
So yes, I rebel. I rebel against all of the above. It took me a long time to get there, to lose the obligation to people and being who they think I should be.
But here is the thing. I am not in rebellion to God. My heart is soft toward Him. I am convicted ( not shamed ) of every little thing I do. I feel in my heart when I am grieving the spirit with my thoughts and behaviors. I feel it when I let Him down. That does not speak a rebellious spirit to me.
I will not be obligated to an ideology, a theology, a person, church or ministry ever again. I will however do my best to honor my obligation to the Lord. God is the only one who should be able to expect certain behaviors out of me. If I am living up to my obligation to God, whom I love more every day, I am surely going to be able to do better the things that God sets before me.
Let me love my God freely, let me serve my God freely, and I will likely not disappoint you. Tack me up to your expectations and I won’t meet them sometimes because I can’t and sometimes just because.