A child is born out of wedlock. As a result, he suffers from rejection, bitterness, and rebellion throughout his life. Being conceived in a moment of lust, not love, he also struggles with lust, impurity, and the staying committed in marriage. The moment of conception is very important. However, not only in human reproduction. The moment of conception for many of our decisions is what determines how our future will manifest.
Rebellion against authority is too common in our land. And unfortunately it is a growing problem in the Church. Whether passive indifference or open defiance, it is still rebellion. The following displays steps and the progression of rebellion.
Rooted in Pride – When Satan challenged God’s authority before the foundation of the world, he made several bold ‘I will” statements. It was all about him. He saw himself as the center of all things. The issue was pride. Someone said, “Pride is like bad breath. You’re the last one to know you have it.” Pride is a blinder.
For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Isaiah 14:13-14
Sense of Hurt, Injustice – Later when Eve was tempted in the Garden, Satan tempted her to doubt God’s goodness and entertain the thought of injustice from God. He wanted Eve to think God was withholding something from her. When we have a wounded spirit we are vulnerable to make bad decisions that sooth our pain more than fulfill our destiny. And as you know, wounded people wound other people without even realizing it. Often times, rebellion begins in such groups. Pastors, be aware of this. If you have wounded people in your church, they WILL find one another. You must have a plan to help them find healing and freedom, before the group grows, assumes a larger position of power and influence, and begins to manifest dysfunctional behavior that could include a lack of submission. I have seen churches split and church plants fail over this very issue.
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4
Greener Grass, Better Fruit – Eve looked at the forbidden fruit and it looked good! Her rebellion was justified by the contemplation of a new and improved product. We do the same. We have already made up our minds about something, so we try to find some justification for our rebellion. “It’s not rebellion”, we tell ourselves, “how could it be so wrong as the circumstances look so positive?” Sometimes we even call our rebellion a “blessing”, but inside the shiny bait is a hook.
I want to interject here a warning about the deceiving momentum of “the crowd.” Just because many others are jumping on board does not mean it is the right thing to do. Let’s remember that it was not the pagans of Jesus day that cried out “Crucify Him.” It was a crowd organized by religious leaders. Sobering!
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” Genesis 3:5
Reap What You Sow – Misery loves company and rebels also seem to have an innate ability to discover one another and group together. However, tighten your seat belts! Eventually the reaping will come. A vision that is sown in rebellion will eventually reap rebellion in the first generation. This usually manifests in disunity (they rebel against each other), and other types of covenant-breaking.
This reminds me of a church that was planted in a spirit of rebellion in a neighboring state where a friend of mine lives. The group did not have the blessing of the parent church or the community spiritual leadership. So the launch team accepted the blessing of an outside sending group, a group that was scheming in rebellion as well (how ironic) as they were actually competing with the local sending group to get more church plant notches in their belt. Long story shortened – several years later the church folded and the pastor and his wife divorced. Many people were hurt. Some never returned to fellowship in church life.
In summary, we need to be very sensitive about how and in what conceptual environment our decisions are made, especially major ones. As spiritual leaders, we need to be extra careful, as our decisions affect so many other people, and Bible says we will face a stricter judgment and accountability as well. One time I heard someone say, “It is not what we do that is as important as to WHY we do something.” So true. The moment of conception speaks more to the ‘why”.
I heard a older, wise gentleman tell me one time, “Never make a major decision in the heat of the battle.” What he was saying is this: never make a major decision when you are wounded, hurting, confused, your mind is not clear, your marriage and family is in conflict, or your spiritual foundations are shaky.
Time is on your side. The Bible speaks a great deal about “waiting on the Lord.” No need to rush into anything. Pray, pray, and pray about it. Be careful about using the “God card” (“God has called me to…God told me…”) unless you are 110% sure He said so. If you are deeply wounded from something in the past, most likely your soul is crying out. Be careful about clamoring for a solution too quick. Be careful about seeing things as solutions to your pain that are not, and could even set you up for more disappointment. Seek counsel from independent people outside the situation, not your closest friends. Your close friends are most likely to be just like you and will jump on your bandwagon, whatever it is, say what you want to hear, but are the least likely to give you good advice. Remember, real, genuine friends will not always tell you what you want to hear, but will tell you what is best for you, even when it hurts!
There is one rebel you should follow – Jesus! He rebelled against man-made religion, superficial love, and the god of this world. His ways are quite opposite of this worlds. For example, He said if you want to find your life, you must first lose it. Die to your selfish desires and let him resurrect you to new life in Him. Your wounds will be healed and the things of this world will no longer look so attractive anymore.
When God conceived you, this is what he said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart… Jeremiah 1:5. Walk in it!