I like being a rebel. I find pushing the boundaries, especially with authority over me, natural, exciting, and often helpful. My mother reminds me that I started doing this at a very young age, unwilling to let parental guidance and discipline deter me from my course of rebellion (implied destruction is the way I always heard it). Things have not changed much. My corporate bosses remind me that I am high maintenance due to my independent and strident approach. They like it because I am able to achieve unusual results, but at what cost?
Early on, I am sure that my father does not remember the conversation; dad gave me a bit of instruction that changed my life. “If you believe in what you want to do, do it and ask permission later. Getting authority after the fact is always easier.”
I believe the reason that my rebellion does not get me in more trouble is that I fully and completely accept the role of authority over me. I grant them the final call and accept any discipline that might come my way for my actions. I also know, with full knowledge and willingness to accept that they have the right to fire me should I become too insubordinate.
Initially this approach carried over into every aspect of my life. I knew what God wanted and needed for me to do, so I did it first and reminded him of my great actions later. I understood God's mandate, thought I could anticipate his agenda, and aggressively went for it! I never needed permission; I already had it!
Sometimes, I am very and totally wrong.
I see three things when I look back at my efforts. First, my actions were wholesome decisions backed by good motives. Second, my actions frequently were for my own benefit. Third, I failed to maximize either God's or my own potential. The reason is that my agenda was and is never His.
Getting in harmony with God releases awesome results. My desired approach is; “Then, God willing . . .” (Romans 15.32)