I’ve been thinking about authority lately. Satan is the origin of our problem with authority and we all inherited his defiance. Since Adam joined Satan in the lie of independence we have all defied authority. You only have to observe a little child to see this is true. What is one of the very first words learned? You guessed it, No! Where do you think that comes from? It comes from our inner lost, sinful core. It comes with its very own built in defiance. This is a display of an inner revolt that is being carried out from within us. One of the next things a child will do is blame someone else when he disobeys. You ask him “who broke this lamp?” and you can bet he will blame his sister, the dog, the wind, the next door neighbor or even say it leaped off the table on its own rather than fess up to it. So defiance and lying are two things that come natural to us even from early childhood.
There was a great black and white movie that came out in 1953 called the “Wild One” starring Marlon Brando. Brando is the leader of one of two rival motorcycle gangs. The whole thing has a sort of tongue and cheek feel about it compared to our modern day graphic depictions but it is still a great film. There is a line in the movie that makes me laugh every time and yet it is exactly what this subject is all about. The cute girl, Brando,s love interest in the film, at one point turns to Brando’s character Johnny and asks “What are you rebelling against Johnny?” Brando (Johnny) says, “What have you got?” That says it all doesn’t it? It doesn’t matter what it is I’m rebelling against it.
It seems there is only one answer to the dilemma we find ourselves in and that’s dealing with the source of the rebellion. Paul tells us in Romans 7:18-21 “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.”
The Apostle Paul discovered the source of the rebellion is within man but it isn’t man himself. He said, “I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.” It seems a rebellious spirit had taken up residence in the human without our knowledge. Of course God knew what had happened and that’s why he gave us his Law. He gave us the Law, not thinking we could or would keep it, but knowing the Law would expose the rebellious usurper within. This spirit is the one and only spirit of the prince of the power of the air, the one at work in the children of disobedience. The same one who said, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God…I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
While Satan thought he could make himself like the Most High by rebelling in an attempted overthrow of God’s throne Jesus made himself a servant. In fact the Bible tells us “he came in the form of a bond-servant, and being in the likeness of men. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name…” When it comes to dealing with the innate rebellion of the enemy we will never gain victory on his turf. We too will only win this battle through humble submission to the authority of God.
Written by Louie