• Todd Render

sons of disobedience


photo by Bruno Figueiredo on unsplash


Ever catch yourself, when you pick up your device or turn on your TV, that you walk away looking for a fight? You want to complain to your spouse or your friend how lame or inappropriate or unconscionable it is what we are being told what do. Further, you are already plotting how you are going to disobey.


Seems like we are brought up that way, saying we do not really have to follow the rules. But then why do you hit the brakes when you see a police car? You catch yourself shouting some expletive when you get surprised, then look around to see whether anybody heard you. We think, I don’t need to apologize when I said something unkind or mean or just plain wrong to someone close. But then why do things get weird when you go talk to that person that you have let down? Whether it is waiting in line, or wearing a mask in public (in order to protect other people), or – come on, church folks – confessing and asking forgiveness, or tithing to your church, in how many spheres of our lives do we willfully and routinely disobey?

There is a battle that goes on inside us, and much that is unseen around us. There is a spirit of disobedience at work. We can see it, we can hear it, and we each feel it.


  • “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” Ephesians 2:1-2 NAS


What spirit is at work in you?


Today that spirit is speaking loudly. Voices say there is no sin in people, only the consequences of being oppressed and deprived. This spirit says there is no shame from responsible moral agents making poor moral choices, whether prostitutes or politicians or protesters or pastors, but that we should only affirm that everyone is a victim or justified in acting out immorally. This spirit tells us we are not accountable to anyone else, neither the parents that bore us and nurtured us, nor our own families, nor our church, nor the organization that we serve, nor the society governed by laws in which we live.


Be clear, the message that the devil wants you to key in on is revolution. What voices are making you fearful or fighting mad, or both? Do you feel like a victim under attack by someone you have never even met? The truth is, you probably are – and it’s the ruler of the air and his minions that seek to kill, steal and destroy.


“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 NAS)


Call that spirit of disobedience what it is, recognize from where it comes, and tell it to go back where it came from. Pray. Lead out with confession and ask forgiveness, from God and from anyone we have wronged. Pray for grace to obey, to speak truth out of that same grace, and for wisdom to know what is the Lord’s leading. Pray for the courage to walk according to His will, just as Jesus did.

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