When I was in middle school, I was in love with the world and all it had to offer. I loved the pleasures it gave, the affirmation it brought, and the carefree lifestyle it promoted. Most of all, I loved that the world told me that I should be the one in control of my destiny. It encouraged me to live however I wanted to live, believe whatever I wanted to believe, and do whatever made me happy. This idea from the world around me became very appealing to me and I fell into this philosophy of self-centered living.
I had an amazing upbringing as a kid. I had two phenomenal parents, five wonderful siblings, and a caring church family who loved me and taught me to live for God. I grew up memorizing Bible verses, going to church every Sunday and was homeschooled by my mom.
So, why did I give in to the world during middle school and live a selfish, rebellious life if I knew I should be living for God? Looking back now, the answer couldn’t be any clearer.
I started living the way the world taught me to live because I gave in to the one part of my nature that is characteristic of every human being: rebellion against God. We are all sinners who rebel against God. King David says in Psalm 51:5, “Surely I was sinful from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”
Our natural, inherited inclination is to rebel against the authority of God and make ourselves the lord of our lives. When we do this, we suppress the truth of God. This is what prompts God’s wrath against humanity as verse 18 of our passage describes. Because we want to run our own lives, we ignore God’s existence and the fact that we’re accountable to Him. God is worthy of our worship, adoration, and submission; but by our own sinful actions, we live as if there is no God.
The issue usually isn’t that we don’t know the truth, it’s that we don’t want the truth. Deep down, we know there is a God. Romans 1:20 says that nature itself testifies to God’s existence so that we don’t have an excuse for not believing in Him. Because there is a God, we are accountable to Him and will eventually be judged by Him for our rebellion. Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed for man once to die, and after that to face judgment.”
Until we stop suppressing the truth of God and humbly admit these truths to ourselves, we will never come to grips with who we are, what our condition before God is, or what the solution to our sin is.
Are you suppressing the truth of God in your own life? How are you doing this? Where do you need to humble yourself and ask God to open your heart to receive His truth? We are all naturally hardened in our hearts towards God’s truth and we need to ask Him to soften our hearts so we will be receptive to his truth.