Satan is the fisherman. We are the fish. The bait which Satan uses are the deceptive lies that cause us to doubt God’s truth.
This second hook that we will begin to look at this morning goes hand in hand with family fragmentation. This second hook is rebellion against authority.
Timothy O’Leary was an American psychologist who advocated the exploration of the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs (LSD). He was once described as on of the most dangerous men in America. Among other things, he popularized the phrase...
“Think for yourself. Question authority.”
The counterculture of the 1960’s grabbed onto that (and every generation to follow). From that “philosophy” has come a host of other popular sayings..
Question authority but never your mother.
Question authority before authority questions you.
Question authority; unless, of course, I am that authority. In that case sit down and do as your told.
Do not question authority; they don’t know either.
Patriots question authority.
I was raised to question authority.
Question authority; Jesus did.
All of these “philosophies” seek to cause us to minimize the importance and the roll that authority plays in all of our lives. We must fully accept the truth that Biblical authority, for all of us, is a protective fortress intended by God to shield us from spiritual attack. Thus, the attempt of the enemy is to literally draw us out from behind the protective hedge of Biblical authority so he can get a clear shot at us!
Read Psalm 147:11-13. In ancient times, if the people of a city wanted to be safe, protected, and “blessed,” they would fortify the city. They would build thick walls, strong barred gates, and heavy defenses against potential enemies. The walls and gates served not to imprison people, but to protect people by keeping the enemy out!
That is why, when the people of Jerusalem were told that the Lord hath strengthened the bars of the gates of the city, they responded, "Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; Praise thy God, O Zion." (Psalm 147:12)
God’s Design of Authority Is Universal
Why is God’s design of authority universal? Because He is the universal authority. All authority is found in God. All authority comes from God. (Colossians 1:16-17; Philippians 2:9-11)
Everyone lives under authority.
Paul understood this truth.
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." (1 Corinthians 11:1-3)
Everyone lives under authority. You will never live a day of your life, ever, when you are not required to answer to some authority. Therefore...
Accept authority as a God-given part of life.
The sooner you accept authority as a God-given part of life, the sooner you will grow in spiritual maturity. Unfortunately, we often spend our time looking at “the fence of authority” trying to figure out how to over it, how to get around it, how to get under it, and gain our “freedom!” Those who fight godly authority fight against their own safety.
Earthly Authority Will Never Be Perfect
If you are looking for failure as a reason to distrust and defy God’s plan for authority, you will never have to look far. Humanity is fallen; our world is a corrupt place; and no earthly authority will ever be perfect or accurate 100% of the time! Consider King Saul and David. There are two truths that we can learn from King Saul & David:
Human authority can be forfeited.
King Saul, in rebelling against God (Read 1 Samuel 15), forfeited his position of authority as king of Israel. However...
God commands us to honor earthly authority in spite of imperfection.
In spite of the fact that God had taken the kingdom from Saul and had given it to David, David continued to honor Saul’s earthly authority until God saw fit to remove King Saul.
Speaking specifically to teens: Your parents will not always be right; they will not always respond with perfect grace and godliness; and they will not always make the right calls. Yet, young people, they are still your parents, and they are still God’s greatest gift to you!
Earthly Authority Is Given for Our Protection, Not Our Persecution
(Read Ezekiel 22:28-30.) The picture that we have in this passage of Scripture is one of oppression, fear, distress, and devastation. One group of people is being afflicted by another group. God is displeases, and He is searching, seeking, looking for a man who will “stand in the gap” - a man who will “make up the hedge.” The gap in the hedge - the hole in the wall - was allowing tyranny to reign and freedom to die. Now think...
Authority is a hedge of protection.
Your parents, your pastor, your teachers, your youth pastor - they are diligently laboring to stand in your gap - to make up your hedge.
Inside the hedge is safety. Outside the hedge is the enemy.
Remember that “roaring lion seeking whom he may devour? That authority - whomever it may be - is standing between you and an enemy that wants you rip you to shreds.
Parents are a teenager’s greatest spiritual defense.
Young people, I want you to think of this from your parent’s perspective. On one side, there is a teenager who can only see the hedge. It’s blocking your view. It’s ticking you off! Who do these people think they are? They are restricting your freedom and controlling your life! So you, in all of your grand foolishness start kicking, screaming, punching, biting, and spitting at “the hedge.” You decide that you are going to break free - escape - resist at all costs.
On the other side of the hedge is a fierce lion hoping that you break out! He’s cheering you on, “Yeah, break free! Look at you locked in all those rules and authority…come on out here where the air is clean and the view is wide. This enemy is hoping that your parents let down their guard just long enough for you to escape because, when you do, Lunch Time!
Authority Is a Protective Gift from God
"He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him." (Ecclesiastes 10:8)
Spiritual authority carries the burden of spiritual battle.
Those who shoulder true biblical authority shoulder spiritual battle on the behalf of others. Notice what the writer of Hebrews has to say about this...
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." (Hebrews 13:17)
Being in a position of authority is no picnic! In fact, the easiest way to live life is to avoid becoming anyone’s authority.
Engaging in spiritual battle is an act of fiery love.
Have you ever realized that when your parents go toe-to-toe with you; when your pastor powerfully declares spiritual truth from the pulpit; when your spiritual authorities engage in battle on your behalf, that this is an act of passionate love for you? They risk your hate, your resentment, your rejection, but they love you too much to let you get hurt. However, this should come as no surprise because of the love which Jesus Christ had for us which caused Him to endure the rejection of mankind and the terrors of hell so that He might give to us eternal life!
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)