confessions of a rebellious soul

This is a repost of a previously published blog post. I’ve dusted it off, added and deleted and tweaked, and now I’m reposting. Because I’m still going through this thing, and I needed to feel the weight of that. I also needed to encourage myself with the fact that I’m still in the fight. That I still want, and believe, that I can walk free from bondage. 

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True confession:  I’ve always hated the word ‘obey’. In all of its forms. In any kind of sentence.  Obey seemed oppressive. Controlling. Demeaning. Surely there was a softer way to put it. A gentler call to do what God wanted.

Surely it isn’t rebellion that feeds these thoughts. Surely. 

The change began a few years ago. That’s when I stopped arm wrestling my bondage to food and admitted that it was stronger than me. Much stronger. Overwhelmingly stronger. And I wept and wept because dammit I was tired. Tired of needing to be free of yet another thing and wondering when the last shackle will fall from my soul and thinking this one will be with me to the end.

Then I read  this book. Really, you should read it.

Turns out, it was step one. I had to stop pretending that I didn’t have an idol. Seriously, how can you be this overweight, this miserable, this unhealthy and think idolatry isn’t your deal?  I say you but don’t be offended. We all know I’m pointing at me. I just like saying you more than I like saying I. I think a lot of us are like that. I think it’s a thing we do. But I digress.

Another confession: I have an idol. Actually, my idol has me. Ha Ha. Get it? Yeah, I know, but if I don’t laugh I’m gonna cry and no one wants to see that. Trust me.

I saw the idol. Admitted what it was. Wished I could just wrestle it to the ground and then kill it. But that’s never going to happen. I don’t know about your idol, but I didn’t pick a weak one. No sir. This thing is the Incredible Hulk of idols.

Anyway. Then, I read about Abraham.

{Did you really think I would tell you a story that didn’t include some reference to the Old Testament? You’re new here, I can tell. It’s ok.}

“The Lord said to Abram:  Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.  I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, I will curse those who treat you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” {Genesis 12:1-3}

Blessing flows through obedience. From one generation to another it flows through people who obey God. 

Next confession:  While I avoided the word obey, I’ve always known that obedience was a good thing. Something a Christian is supposed to do. And I did. I obeyed the easy parts. But if you’ve been following Jesus for more than an hour, you know there are hard things and mostly I just turned my head from those and pretended to be busy doing something else. Can I get a witness? It’s ok. Don’t raise your hand. This is about me and as much as I want company right now, I think you’d just distract me. Sooth something in me that shouldn’t be soothed. Excuse something I can’t keep excusing. But thanks for offering.

We’ll just move on to the next step in a process that has actually been harder than it sounds. And not nearly as glamorous.

“For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” {Romans 5:19}

Adam so disobeyed and I so disobeyed, but God so loved the world and Jesus so obeyed His Father and now I am saved. Because of obedience that comes from love.

Love and obedience are holding hands and they can’t be separated and salvation flowed through obedience. From a cross made bloody by a Son who loved  and obeyed His Father, it flowed to me.

Confession number (what number are we on?): I’ve had a number of bondages, but none of them were my fault.  That’s not the confession. The confession is that I believed that lie because it was so much easier than the truth.

Every bondage I’ve had came through disobedience. Not through generational blood lines. Not through curses or entrapment or some kind of disorder. I wasn’t born that way. It is true that food addiction, and addiction in general, runs wild and free in my family line, but that fact does not remove my ability to choose differently. I became addicted to things because I didn’t say no to them. I had a stronghold of anger in me because I disobeyed the scriptures on forgiveness and dying to self. I let the sun go down on my anger for years. Seriously. Years. 

I believe it is not generational sins that caused my bondage to food, it is the fact that I have gone to something other than God to find comfort and solace.

Disobedience brings bondage. And the truth will set us free.

I will always obey Your instruction, forever and ever.   I will walk freely in an open place because I seek Your precepts.” {Psalm 119:44-45}

Freedom flows through obedience and that’s the truth.

And finally, we come to this…

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil.” {Matthew 4:1}

You know the story. We all know that Jesus overcame temptation by speaking the word of God to Satan. Except He didn’t.

Let’s be honest. It’s just us here, so why not? It is not a lack of knowledge of the Word of God that keeps us circling the drain of defeat. It’s our lack of actually doing what that Word says. Disobedience, not ignorance, is our issue, wouldn’t you say, just between you and me?

Jesus overcame temptation and defeated Satan not just through speaking the Word of God, but by obeying it. By refusing to make bread when He was –no food for 40 days hungry.

(I would have made the bread. I would have made bread out of every rock I could find. I would have surrounded myself with rock biscuits.)

Power and victory flow through obedience.

And that’s where He got me. Because apparently, dying from a bondage to food wasn’t enough motivation. But if you tell me that obedience is warfare that will break the back of the enemy, I’m in. Well, I’m interested in being in. I’ve long ago learned that I tend to over commit.

Confession # whatever: Here I go again. Choosing steps of obedience. I will fall and flail about while doing it, because I know me and I know this thing that is gripping me. I will not beat my idol. The only way to be free is to walk away. To obediently walk away from self-soothing and self comfort. From feeding my emotions. From trying to escape by way of the fork in my hand. (I have no idea what I’m even trying to escape, but if you know my story at all, you know that escape was my very first addiction, and that horse is very much still in the race.) I know from experience that it is harder than it sounds on paper. But I also know Jesus, and that alone gives me the advantage.

So if you think of it, pray for me. However God leads you, pray.

2 thoughts on “confessions of a rebellious soul

  1. Thank you for this, Karla! You really laid out your vulnerable heart here. I love you!!! Last month He exposed an idol I loved. I had no idea it was an idol until He put His light on it. Yep! Idol! I am walking this out tenderly – I want to get it right, to not backtrack. I pray you gain lots and lots of ground!!!

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    • Thank you Elizabeth, for the camaraderie! It’s a harsh reality to face when you discover idolatry in your life. I’m finding God to be far more kind and patient than I would have thought. He has allowed my idol to be seen for what it is, as well as the spirit behind it. And now He is telling me to choose. Obedience or disobedience. His way or my way. Can’t do both. Thank you for praying! He will have my prayers for you as well!

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