S212P7 – Bad fruit: defiance

Gal. 5:19-23

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.

The classic struggle between parent and child often comes down to trust.  When I wanted to stay up late on a school night but my parents made me go to bed earlier than I would have chosen, I saw it as an act of unkindness.  I thought they were being mean by not letting me have my way.  I did not trust that they knew what was best for me and that their approach would be good.  Even as I progressed to adulthood, I often rejected their advice because I thought I knew better.  The child who defies his parents instead of obeying and honoring their wishes has decided that he knows better.  This act of disobedience shows a lack of trust and also shows a complete disregard for authority.

Faithfulness to God includes many different things.  This touches on obedience, honor, trust, and respect.  The faithfulness He expects from us is not just the faithfulness of a child but also the faithfulness of a bride.  We serve a jealous God, and He does not want us to share our love with other gods.  He does not want us to sacrifice ourselves for idols and give our allegiance to them.  The God we serve deserves our obedience just because of who He is but allows us the free will to obey him out of love.  He does not compel faithfulness but wants us to want to be faithful.  This requires God’s own intervention so that we can deviate from our natural compulsion to defy him.

When we start to practice disobedience and defiance, it should cause us to question why this fruit is being produced in us.  This is a red flag that we are living not in the Spirit but in the flesh.  If we trust God, then we will trust his instruction and direction.  If we love him, then we will obey him.  We know that the Lord works for our good because his word tells us that.  Beyond that, God deserves our obedience and faithfulness simply because He is God.  As his children, it should be our desire to please him by not being disobedient and defiant.  Father, give us the desire to want to please and honor You in obedience and faithfulness, trusting that your way is best for us.