How to Recognize a Rebellious Heart (Isaiah 14:13)
By Lynette Kittle
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.” – Isaiah 14:12-15
My family was surprised with my results from the online quiz we took just for fun, designed to see which of a favorite classic TV show’s character we’re most like.
Yet when my answer identified me with the rebellious one, I wasn’t shocked. “You’re not rebellious at all,” they said, dismissing the outcome, trying to comfort me and make me feel better.
While I know the silly quiz was a marketing tool designed to engage online readers’ participation, it still seemed as if God was gently speaking to me. Inside, I know the truth. And God knows the truth, too. Sometimes my heart has been rebellious.
So what is rebellion, where does it come from, and do I need to be concerned?
Although worldly culture celebrates rebellion and loves the heart of a rebel, like the 1955 classic film Rebel Without a Cause, rebellion is nothing to celebrate. There is arrogance behind it. It is all about rejecting and challenging God’s authority, setting ourselves above Him.
Isaiah 14:13-14 describes the scene where Satan rebelled against God. “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’” Satan’s rebellion was the height of arrogance, rejection and challenge.
Unlike the world’s opinion, God sees rebellion as a serious issue. In response to Satan’s rebellious uprising, Isaiah 14:12 reports the results. “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You’ve been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!”
Luke 10:18, further describes the scene. “He (Jesus) replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’”
Revelation 12:9 gives us another angle on the story. “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.”
Why does this all matter? Finding where rebellion originated and the consequences of it helps to lessen its day-to-day appeal. Still, simply identifying the origin of our rebellion doesn’t mean we are aware of the ways it might express itself in our lives. Here are just a few ways rebellion shows up:
- Refusing to listen to God’s instructions for life (Isaiah 30:9)
- Being disloyal to God in our thoughts and actions (Psalm 78:8)
- Carrying out our own plans rather than God’s will for our lives (Isaiah 30:1)
- Forming alliances with ungodly businesses, entertainment, and personalities (Isaiah 30:1)
- Turning away from God and going our own way (Jeremiah 5:23)
- Selling out to the world by following their counsel rather than God’s Word (Isaiah 1:23)
The next time we’re tempted to be rebellious, instead of turning away from God, let’s choose to turn toward Him. Joel 2:13, urges us to return to God, who is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, iBelieve.com, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, Startmarriageright.com, growthtrac.com, and more. She has an M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as an associate producer for Soul Check TV.
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