I am a big fan of Star Wars. I’ve watched each of the movies countless times. There are a lot of reasons that I am a fan, but perhaps the biggest reason is the idea of a small group of people who chose to fight against the tyranny and evil of the Empire with not much on their side besides hope. I love an underdog story and the Star Wars saga delivers in that way.
As I was watching some of the newer installments of the series over the weekend I began to think about the notion of rebellion. I was reminded of my own rebellion against God. I was reminded that I have always been a rebel. I like to play by my own rules and do things my own way. I am a rebel through and through in a lot of different ways and contexts. We tend to associate rebellion in the Christian faith as a bad thing because we usually associate it with rebellion against God and His will for our lives. But, I’d like to suggest that there is a type of rebellion that we are called to in the Kingdom of God.
The Bible lays out for us that there are two kingdoms, A kingdom of darkness that we reside in before we are followers of Jesus and a Kingdom of light that we belong to when we follow Jesus. Paul explains it in this way:
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – Colossians 1:9-14
We have been rescued from the kingdom of darkness and now our citizenship resides in the Kingdom of light when we follow Jesus. However, as long as we live in this world, we are surrounded by and often influenced by the kingdom of darkness. As ambassadors of the Kingdom of God (2 Corinthians 5:20), we proclaim Jesus to the kingdom of darkness in holy rebellion against the darkness that surrounds us.
I know the language of rebellion sounds a little different than the language that we are used to when we discuss faith, but to live our faith in this world is an act of rebellion against brokenness, sin, death, and darkness. Every act of worship, stewardship, faithfulness, and obedience to God is an act of rebellion against worldly wisdom and understanding. Every moment of love, peace, patience, generosity, hospitality, kindness, gentleness, joy, and hope stands in opposition to those who would use hate, violence, pain, greed, and selfishness to get their own way. When we stand for justice, grace, and mercy we are saying that God’s way is better than the world’s way. God’s ways are certainly not easier, but they are better. When we live that out, we stand in rebellion against the kingdom of darkness.
The beauty of this is that we do not stand alone as rebels against the kingdom of darkness. We are in alliance with our brothers and sisters in Christ all around the world who are standing up against evil and proclaiming Jesus. When we do this, we help people in the kingdom of darkness to see the Kingdom of God breaking into this world and to see that it is far better than the alternative.
Questions for Reflection:
- Are you following through with your call to be an ambassador from God’s kingdom?
- What things might be keeping you from fully embracing this role?
- In what way might you seek to rebel against the kingdom of darkness this week?