Our high school football team, the West High Rebels, hosted the Maryville Rebels in a Thursday night match up. It was a festive sight, as Maryville is a perennial state championship contender and winner. We aren’t too shabby ourselves. All that being said, it was a colorful mixture of fans- students and adults dressed in blue, red and black. All fans. All Rebels.
Our daughter Carson is a sophomore at West High. Because of her athletic involvement in soccer and basketball, we find ourselves at many of the West High athletic events. My boys are especially fond of the football games. So there we were last night- decked in our red and blue gear- watching our team try and upset the visiting Rebels from Maryville.
My youngest son, Britton, was talking about the Rebel mascots for both schools. “What does it mean?”, he asked as we rode to the game. I explained that rebels are generally known as people that go against the established order. They are fighters, often in opposition to the government or other rules and established guidelines. He asked if that was a good thing…as it sounded a bit devious to him. I explained that- in the case of our West High Rebels- he could be assured that it meant our student athletes are strong and fierce…not afraid of anything.
It caused me to think about the approach to our fight against what’s wrong on this earth. God calls us to be rebels….nonconformists. We are to resist the pleasures and delights of this world. I struggle with this concept, even though the message is clear.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2
“Be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” We are to not settle on what the world offers. It’s temporary fulfillment. God asks us to transform ourselves to focus on delights of a spiritual nature.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. I John 2:15-17
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4
Being a christian rebel can cause trouble. Be prepared.
If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-19
What should you fear? Nothing. We’ve been given the promise of eternal protection and the hope of a heavenly reward.
Don’t be afraid to be a rebel. God expects it from us.
God bless you.