Mike Tyson once famously said ‘everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth’. I think this quote applies well to rebellion. Everyone who has signed up for rebellion has a plan on how to last until they get knocked down. Indeed, rebellion has a perfect record against all its opponents. In Symptoms of Rebellion – Part I, we started to look into what God showed Prophet Isaiah about the direct effects of rebellion on the individual. In this second installment, we will look at what God showed prophet Isaiah about its indirect effects.
Symptom D: Loneliness (Isaiah 1:7)
This verse starts off with “Your country is desolate”. A desolate country is one that is left stark and uninhabited; a ghost town where nobody lives and no one wants to visit. Unfortunately, this is exactly what rebellion does. It makes our country unattractive and drives people away. Though people may be close to us physically (we are not alone), we still feel a sense of loneliness that we cannot place. No matter what we do, there is a sense that something is missing. That missing something is God.
Light-bulb moment: Though we may not be alone, rebellion has the effect of producing loneliness.
There is a part of our heart that only God can fill. Though we may rebel against God and fill those things with idols, we find that those things (whether relationship, money, food, or achievement) leaves us empty handed.
Question to Ponder: Am I looking for someone or something to fill a part of me that only God can fill?
Symptom E: Destruction (Isaiah 1:7)
The second part of the verse says “Your cities burned with fire”. For our cities to be burned with fire is for everything we spent a lot of time and energy building to be destroyed. An example where many people have built relationships for years only to lose it because they built the relationship without God (in rebellion).
Now, the bible warns us that we should take heed on how we build on our foundation (Christ) for everything built will be tested with fire (1 Corinthians 3:12-13 paraphrase). Hence, we see that the fire is not the problem, the problem is what we decide to build with. If we build on love ( Christ our foundation) with faith (gold), then we find that the fire only refines it. If we build on love but with faithlessness leading to rebellion (chaff), then we see that the fire will destroy the things we worked so hard to build.
Light-bulb moment: Whatever we build in rebellion burns, but what we build in faith endures.
Question to ponder: What am I building right now that does not conform to God’s building codes?
Symptom F: Powerlessness (Isaiah 1:7)
The third sentence of this verse states “Strangers devour your land in your presence”. Another way of saying this is that things that are not welcomed in our lives (or we would like out of our lives) wreck havoc in our lives and we have no power to stop the carnage.
A person who knows what they are doing is wrecking havoc in their lives but cannot seem to stop the destructive behavior, is a person who understands what is means to be powerless. They know it is coming, they see it coming, they watch what it does, and they can do nothing about it.
Light-bulb moment: A rebellious person is a punching bag for the enemy.
Question to Ponder: Are the hay-makers I am taking on the chin a result of rebellion in some area of my life?