Tabernacle Cardiff

» Letters to the Soul » Dear Rebellious Heart


I have heard many people say, with an element of pride in their voice, that they have always been something of a rebel. This is usually an excuse to be difficult, for no real reason at all. There are other reasons, however, that can cause us to be rebellious. There is one, in particular, where a person blames their background or their upbringing in a Christian home. Sadly, there are occasions when a person’s childhood has been somewhat rigid and legalistic. This can understandably cause a child to feel resentful towards parents and cause a longing to be free and to go their own way. They see other children and young people apparently enjoying freedom without any restraint. What they often do not realise is that there are great perils in the world that a young person has not considered or imagined. No doubt parents can be over zealous in their protection and produce the opposite to their desires in their children. This is a shame, however well meaning. Nevertheless, a child can be brought up in a good Christian home with parents who have kind and understanding hearts. Such parents endeavour to present the Christian faith in a gracious and appealing manner, as well as guiding their children in the principles of a Christian life. Strange as it may seem, this can still cause a person to rebel and have no interest in that which is so dear to their parents. There are many, many more reasons that can cause a heart to rebel.  It can be an unfortunate and sad incident, or a great disappointment in people or in circumstances. There are a myriad of reasons.

Let us consider the real reason for rebellion and face the fact that, ultimately, it is rebellion against God. It is so easy to blame others for our circumstances and not face up to the fact that it is our own relationship with God that is the problem. The problem of rebellion is very real as it basically deals with our own will and wanting our own way, and finding it impossible to accept being told what to do. Forget yourself for a moment and consider the alternative to a Christian life and submission to God. Peer pressure makes heavy demands on our lives. The rebellious heart dislikes conforming, whether in dress, speech or interests. It cannot tolerate any kind of conformity and yet in a strange way conforms and adheres strictly to the ways and interest of all other rebellious hearts. Once you are on this road, however pleasant or unpleasant it may be, you will find it difficult to change. Behind the grasp of the world is the hold of a powerful hand that is not willing to let you go. It is the hand of Satan. This is the way of spiritual death. Is this what you want, especially considering its distressing destination and conclusion? Your friends will reassure you and help you to drown any feelings of uncertainty by some kind of comfort such as drink, drugs or other indulgences. Surely this is hopeless.

On one occasion, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, preached a sermon on the Bread of Life. He was illustrating His point by describing bread as essential for life and drawing the parallel that spiritual bread is essential for spiritual life. He makes a very bold statement that He is that Bread of Life and that it is a relationship with Him that both rescues and feeds the soul. When He delivered this message, some began to murmur, others heckled and then the people turned away. He asked His own disciples if they would also like to leave Him, and one of His disciples, Peter, said to Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life (John 6.68).’ There is no one else to turn to and nowhere else to go, for our immortal souls to be satisfied. Why not rebel against the world and follow the Lord Jesus Christ?

Consider for a moment what you are turning from, and the One to whom you are turning. I hope something of this turning has already started in your heart. If this wonderful movement of the soul has begun, you will be turning to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is full of grace and truth. He came to this world to change hearts, from being miserable and rebellious to being full of love and compassion. At one time, we were all like this, until we were conquered by the power of God. Let me explain to you what the Lord Jesus Christ has done. Although He was without sin, He took the blame of our total sin upon Himself and died on the Cross in our place. In other words, He was our representative and took our punishment for us.  This is foretold in the Old Testament, in all its details. Behind it all was God’s plan of love: ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ (John3.16). It is here that faith comes in. You trust Him with your own soul and turn away from your own sin. As well as this, He fulfilled something which we could never achieve: He fulfilled all of God’s expectations. This He did in our place, with His own life. When you have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, His life counts as if it was yours. What about it? Consider this moment your rebellion and pride before God, and ask for His forgiveness. Consider Jesus Christ, and ask for His salvation.

There was a man called Isaac Watts who wrote a great hymn. In the first verse, he is asking you not to glance at Christ or give Him a brief thought, but to survey and to consider: ‘When I survey the wondrous cross, On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.’


Letters to the Soul