In Luke 7 we read the story of the Roman centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant. Jesus concluded the story with … I have not found so great faith, not in all Israel.
What was Jesus hinting at? What clue was He giving us about how to enter the kingdom of heaven?
Clearly, Jesus was telling us that faith and authority are very closely aligned. You can’t have one without the other. If you want faith you must be under authority.
Most people believe they are under authority. Most believe they are willing to be told what to do; but is that the real truth?
- You’re certainly not under authority if you won’t do what you’re told
- You can’t be under authority if you do what you’re told with a mood.
- You aren’t under authority if you do what you’re told with a defamatory questioning of the instructions.
- You are not under authority if you do what you’re told, your way (eg. King Saul).
- You are not willing to be told what to do if you do it with an expectation of gaining a benefit or reward.
The tree of life
All of us are actually born with the inherent defiance of resisting authority. You don’t have to teach a child to be defiant or to be proud; it’s already in them. That’s because Eve took the fruit against God’s instructions. The tree of life became the tree of death. It wasn’t Satan’s tree to offer it. Satan deceived her into thinking that when she ate the forbidden fruit she would become as god ie. no one would tell her what to do. She herself would know what was right and wrong (but only what’s right in her own eyes); she wouldn’t need God to tell her. But it was a trap of servitude to the evil one who himself won’t be told what to do, and all of humanity has inherited that trait. It has to be killed to be saved.
I’ve lost count of how many Christians I’ve met who at some point won’t be told they’re wrong yet they’re absolutely bound by what’s right (but only what’s right in their own eyes). That’s because Satan has sold everyone the lie of the fruit, so everyone thinks they know what’s right and wrong. The irony is, they do but they don’t. They’re under the influence of Satan who more often than not appears as an angel of right but in his heart is seriously defiant. Your rightness is a lie if you won’t be told it’s a lie.
You don’t understand
I recall talking with a Christian woman who can’t stand knowing anything negative about herself. Any time you hint that there is an unhealthy issue in her spirit she would just reply with “you don’t understand.” But what she’s really saying is … “you won’t tell me. I know me, not you.”
This woman uses silence and knowing right & wrong as her tool of displaying her Christianity, but it’s just a scam. In this case, silent rightness is a satanic technique to control anyone who might expose her inner fear and inFEARiority. Consequently, her goodness is fake. It’s really just a scam under the occupation of a spirit of fear and a spirit of lying. She actually lies to herself that she doesn’t have a problem with her spirit. Using your truth in order to refuse the see the truth, is demonic, not God. You’re simply munching on the fruit you were told not to.
Who do you think you are?
I also recall another woman who controlled others around her by using her fear to aggressively intimidate people who might challenge her inFEARiority, with, “who do you think you are”? She became a church leader on the back of using her self-trained knowledge of knowing right & wrong to counsel people. It gave her great self-value.
Signs of Satan
Rightness and goodness are not necessarily signs of God; Satan can perform the same degree of sweetness. You can camouflage fear and pride with coolness, helps and silence, but it doesn’t mean you’re good or right or fearless. The thing that separates a fake from a genuine Christian is they’ll be told what to do because they love and trust the Father. This is exactly what Christ did. He made Himself of no reputation and took on Him the form of a servant and became obedient unto death and torture, simply because He loved and trusted the Father (Philippians 2:7). Your inner attitude to authority will define your Christianity.
Don’t tell me what to do are the words of Satan, not Jesus. Besides earthquakes, wars, famines and pestilence, the ultimate sign of Satan, is “don’t tell me what to do.” You’ll never hear Jesus say them, even against the Pharisees. Yes, He didn’t do what the Pharisees wanted but that’s because He loved the Father, not Himself.
What’s a Christian?
Simple. A true Christian is one who does what they’re told (without a mood, without defamatory questioning, and without expectation of reward) because they love and trust the Father. Without the love of the Father in you, all your goodness is a scam. It’s not someone who has just invited Jesus into their heart; it’s someone who’ll be told for Christ’s sake. If you’re not into the love of the Father, you’re not a Christian.
Why is this the definition of a Christian? Because Satan is the exact opposite.
How do you know if you have the love of the Father?
He’ll test you by asking you to do something you don’t want to do. Your moodiness or lack of it, will define your heart’s true condition.
The tree of life only gives life through the death and blood of Jesus Christ; not through a fake gift from Satan, and certainly not from eating it. Eating it simply fills you with the idea that you are special and important.
If the basis of your Christianity is founded on the belief that you are special, or gifted, or important then you are not genuine. Just because your mother told you that you are, doesn’t mean she was telling the truth; she was more likely feeding her own pride as she encouraged yours. Your belief will be tested when you are told to do something you don’t want to and you have a mood. You’re simply munching on the fruit that Satan’s offered you from the tree. You need to spit it out.
The self-judgment of God
When someone says “don’t tell me what to do”, they’re actually telling the other person what to do. A good shepherd doesn’t tell people what to do, he advises them away from the direction of the wolf and the cliff. A righteous pastor isn’t telling you, he’s counselling you. When you say “don’t tell me”, you expose, not the counsellor, but yourself as the defiant tell person. You expose Satan in you.
Some time back a young man called me intolerant, but what he exposed was the fact that it was himself that was intolerant of people. You make judgement against people based on what is your rightness. If you think it’s right to just tolerate those you don’t like, then when you are corrected you’ll judge the authority as intolerant, but it’s actually your own judgment on your own head. Christ is always tolerant of people; the only thing he’s intolerant of is the demonic. There’s a time to be intolerant against evil, but general intolerance against people is Satanic.
I recall a man who said I was angry, but when I challenged him, he agreed that it was his anger he was feeling, not mine. Whenever he didn’t get what he wanted he got angry.
All of these judgment reactions against people are simply the fruit of “don’t tell me what to do.” It doesn’t look like it, but they are. It really means that you’re munching on the fruit Satan’s offered you.
Spare the rod and spoil the child
The modern world has outlawed corporal punishment. Under the influence of fake rightness the world contradicts the instructions of God to smack the child when they act defiant. The modern school systems endorse the belief that children should be allowed to learn for themselves without parental discipline. The only consequence of this policy is anarchy. You don’t stop paedophilia by removing discipline to the child; you stop it by not letting the child grow up to be a paedophile. You stop it by retaining disciple not removing it.
We’re in a warfare against evil. Satan is selling the church a cheap ticket to self-importance. Will you keep blindly eating the fruit or will you stand up and own your sin and come under Christ’s authority and rule? The truth is, no one truly respects authority until they die to themselves because they love Christ who died for them.
Pastor Norm Wakefield