The other day I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office when a mother asked her daughter to go out to the car and get something. The mom didn’t want to miss her appointment but needed what was in the car.
I have to admit that I was surprised when the daughter said, “No, I’m on my phone.”
I was even more surprised when the mother calmly accepted her daughter’s reply and went and did it herself.
Jamie and I laughed later as we said, “Can you imagine getting away with that kind of public disobedience when we were kids?” Yeah, our mom would not have gone to the car herself, and Jamie and I wouldn’t have seen t.v. for a week!
DIsobedience. It seems to be the norm these days.
Not just among children but throughout our society, it seems like the standards and morals we held as cultural norms have been completely abandoned as people choose to disobey God’s Word. Sadly, it isn’t just outside of the church. Even among God’s people, many choose to openly disobey God’s Word while still expecting God’s blessing in their lives.
Many rationalize it with the same lies the enemy used to lead Eve into disobedience in the Garden of Eden. “The Bible doesn’t really mean that” and “God is trying to keep you from something awesome.”
These two lies are at the very heart of progressive Christianity.
Yet, it is also the lie that trips up many well-meaning followers of Christ every day.
That’s why it is so important that we recognize these lies for precisely what they are: the trap of disobedience.
When it comes to the enemy’s playbook, this one is as old as it comes starting way back in the Garden of Eden.
If you go back to Genesis 1 and 2, we see that God created a beautiful garden for Adam and Eve. Everything was perfect! There was no pain, no heartache, no hard work, even the bugs weren’t a problem. (Which seems really nice this time of year!) It should have been happily ever after…except that Satan decided to set a trap.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Twisting God’s Words and persuading Eve that God didn’t want what was best for her, the enemy convinced Eve to disobey God.
With that disobedience, sin entered the world.
Disobedience has been separating men from God ever since.
We can see it throughout the Bible.
Take Israel, for example.
They are a people chosen by God…birthed out of a promise to Abraham. God delivered them from slavery in Egypt, led them through the desert, and ultimately conquered their enemies and gave them a land that they did not deserve. Everything God did for them was good and for their benefit.
And yet, the Israelites constantly struggled to obey God’s Laws. Even though God clearly laid out the path that if they obeyed, they would be blessed, and if they didn’t obey, He would remove His hand of blessing from them, and they consistently chose to disobey and suffer the consequences.
Throughout the history of Israel, we see the story repeated over and over again. Even into the prophets, we see God begging His people to repent and return to obeying His Laws only to find them rejecting Him.
Finally, their disobedience brought the same consequences as Eve’s—heartache, pain, and destruction.
Fast forward a few thousand years, and we see that many Christians today are still struggling with the same battle.
They want to be Christians and experience all of the benefits of being a child of God, yet they don’t want to obey God’s Word.
Yet, just like Eve and the children of Israel, we can’t have it both ways.
Disobedience has consequences. Disobeying God’s Word will cause problems in your relationship with God. It will remove His hand of blessing from your life, and if carried far enough, will ultimately cause you to backslide.
So how do we avoid this trap?
First, we need to recognize that God meant everything He said in the Bible.
Everything in the Bible is relevant for today’s society.
God’s Word is not a salad bar—you can’t pick what you want and ignore the rest.
As His children, God expects us to obey the Bible.
Secondly, we need to believe that God’s Laws are for our good.
One of Satan's arguments to deceive Eve was by saying that God was keeping something from her. He acted like God was being vindictive and keeping them from knowing everything just like He did.
The enemy is still using this line of reasoning today when he says, “The Bible is old-fashioned. Look at everything you are missing if you obey God’s Word. God just doesn’t want you to have fun. He doesn’t want what’s best for you.”
If we want to avoid disobedience, we need to accept that this is a bald-faced lie. Instead, God’s Laws are written for our good—to protect us from harm, to keep us from sin, and spare us the heartache and consequences that come from going against His ways.
Just like it did for Eve, disobedience always ends in heartache. It always has and always will. Whenever the enemy comes at you with the line, “You’re really missing out,” you need to be prepared to answer him, “Yeah, on a lot of heartache and problems…no thank you.”
Finally, you need to choose obedience.
Sounds simple, right?
And yet, there comes a time when all of us need to determine in our hearts whether or not we are going to live in obedience to God’s Word.
John 14:15 says, “If you love me, keep my commands.”
Again, pretty simple. And yet, in a culture that says we can do whatever we want whenever we want, as Christians, we need to recognize that part of being a child of God means obeying His commands.
Ultimately, it is a choice.
Will we obey and experience God’s blessing or disobey and suffer the consequences?
It’s pretty clear cut—it’s always been clear cut—we are the ones who muddy it up because we want to compromise and do things that are against God’s will.
Still, it is how it has always been.
Disobedience leads to destruction.
Just like we have to stand against drifting and distraction, Christians need to avoid disobedience. We need to choose to know God’s Word, love God’s Word, and live by God’s Word.
Heavenly Father, I want to live like your child. I want to be a strong Christian living the way you want me to live and fulfilling the purpose you have for my life. Please help me to resist the 3D’s. Please help me not to fall into the trap of drifting, distraction, or disobedience. Help me see the devil’s lies for what they are…sneak attacks coming against my soul. Please help me to be sober, alert, and stand firm in the faith. In Jesus’ name.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.