Defiance (def) – Open resistance, bold disobedience.
We know that in our world there is a strong apathy among followers of Jesus and that affects churches, homes, businesses, and just about everything. Apathy is an indifference to whatever is happening around you. Basically it is a disinterest to things happening in your life and world. Apathy is affecting the presidential race too in a huge way, and Donald Trump, who is the opposite of an apathetic life, is gathering support in an unprecedented way and it is confusing many people. He is just standing up to the weakness in Washington and people are loving it. Apathy is comforting, lazy, and non committal at best and it is the easy way to live life to the half fullest…. The apathy of today has morphed into a whole new thing in many people’s lives. It has changed into “defiance.” Defiance steered in the wrong direction is one of the most dangerous sins that can become a part of a Christ follower’s life. Defiance can be good and it can be bad, but it is definitely a deal breaker. By deal breaker I mean it can destroy that which is good and right and redefine some basic principles for living that our heavenly Father has put in place.
The good side of defiance is when we resist the devil at every turn, saying “Get behind me satan. I belong to the King of kings!” Jesus, God’s son, was defiant many times when tempted by satan. That defiance was modeled by Him for each of us to learn from and pattern our life after. In Proverbs 28:4 it says, “Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them.” When the instruction is from a bad source, it should be resisted. But when the instruction is from a source of position or authority, it must be at least considered, and also followed. Our police officers are people of authority. And it is their job to “keep the peace.” They have a set of laws that they enforce in order to keep the peace as they need to. When their authority is compromised by those who are defiant, they must act, and act swiftly, or the whole thing could fall apart. If the defiant one wins, then the laws from that moment on have been compromised and will continue to be compromised, making their position of authority ineffective and weak. All of this is because of a defiant heart and mind. That is the bad side of defiance and the result of that attitude makes everything just a little more weak. The defiant heart undercuts everything God teaches us about authority and the end result is chaos. The Apostle Paul in Acts 7:51 said “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” Wow! What an indictment!! How can we resist the Holy Spirit? It appears that finding a way to be defiant against God’s Word opens that door. The door that leads to resisting the Holy Spirit. We let human reasoning and earthly common sense override what God has commanded us to do in His Word. Sometimes believers will configure God’s Word to make what they are doing seem right. But it isn’t! In our churches the pastor is the authority, as he follows God’s authority. But in most churches that authority is ignored, questioned, and minimized. What is the end result? A weakened church. There will be all kinds of excuses given for not following that authority. Examples of pastors using the authority in the wrong way will fuel the fire of defiance again and again. But the truth still remains. The pastor is the authority in a very shepherding way. Of course, we don’t live our life in Christ through a pastor, but we do need to have someone who leads the way and in the church it is the pastor. A basic teaching about submission is found in Ephesians 5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” As a pastor that is not the senior pastor, I must submit to the senior pastor and do everything I can to help him in accomplishing the work of the Lord through that local church. If I am defiant my resistance will weaken the effectiveness of the ministry of the church and I become a part of the problem, not the solution. In our homes there is a need for a heart of submission, not defiance, or the home will be going in the wrong direction. God’s word says in Ephesians 5:22- 27 “wives submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loves the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” If our homes were built around this truth, our homes would be better equipped to raise children in the Lord, keep marriages together, and grow each individual in their faith. What keeps this from happening? A defiant heart and mindset. Women who have too much pride to submit as to the Lord to their husband and husbands who are too weak and apathetic to take their position of authority. Of course, there will always be those who say, “What about the husband who abuses that authority?” There will always be abuses to the living of God’s Word, but it is still God’s Word isn’t it? Yes!! Another bad type of defiance that is prevalent today is children being defiant toward their parents. This defiance is fueled by a very weak, unbiblical, humanistic type of teaching. We scoff at the Proverb 13:24 scripture where it says “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but he one who loves their children is carful to discipline them.” What it is saying is “if you hate your children don’t discipline them!” You may say, “Oh that can’t be right.” But that is what it says….Here are some examples of the right kind of defiance. Acts 16:29 Paul and Silas were jailed for proclaiming the gospel and were put in jail. Their defiance was to sing hymns and pray. God delivered them. In John 18 we read of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and the soldiers coming to arrest him. Simon Peter cuts off the ear of the high priest’s servant and Jesus heals the ear. Jesus was loving in the worst of situations and gave no regard to striking out. Here are some examples of bad defiance. The High Priests rejecting Jesus claim that He was God.(Matthew 16:21) The Pharisees and Sadducees coming against Jesus and spreading lies about Him.(Matthew 16:6) There are many more examples of those who were defiant against God and His Word.
So there is a good defiance and a bad defiance. Which are you? One lines up with God’s Word and the other is contrary to God’s Word. Which side of God’s Word do you want to be on? If you don’t want to follow God’s Word, do you have a better plan? How is that working for you? Right now anything different than God’s plan is not working at all in the world we live in. Morality has taken a huge hit in the past 20 years and we continue to ignore what God’s Word says. How much further from God do you want to get to make your lifestyle and your pride acceptable. Defiance. We MUST follow God’s Word at all costs Revelation 2:10 “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.” Some may criticize me for sharing the scriptures I have shared today, but it doesn’t make it any less the truth. Be moldable so God can use you and don’t harden your heart to His Word and He will bless you, your family, and our world. Isaiah 64:8 “Yes you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing reported, “Light, bearing on the starboard bow.” “Is it steady or moving astern?” the captain called out. The lookout replied, “Steady, Captain,” which meant we were on a dangerous collision course with that ship. The captain then called to the signalman, “Signal that ship: ‘We are on a collision course, advise you change course twenty degrees.'” Back came the signal, “Advisable for you to change course twenty degrees.” The captain said, “Send: “I’m a captain, change course twenty degrees.'” “I’m a seaman second-class,” came the reply. “You had better change course twenty degrees.” By that time the captain was furious. He spat out, “Send: ‘I’m a battleship. Change course twenty degrees.'” Back came the flashing light, “I’m a lighthouse.” We changed course. Are you willing to change course and allow God’s Word to be the authority for your life? He is the lighthouse and He will stand and guide you in the storms of life, but you must be willing to obey. If you are defiant to God that will be your deal breaker for life. The Pilgrimage continues… David Warren