Beth Armstrong

Christian wife, mom, & author. Doing life with my eyes fixed on Jesus. I walk, I stumble, I fall. But God is big. And this is what I write about… Thanks for stopping by!


We were told to lock the door and stay inside because there were two fugitives (armed and dangerous) on the loose in the neighborhood. My friend’s husband, who was a police officer on duty patrolling the nearby area, called and insisted we stay put and not open the door for anyone. We heard sirens everywhere and police helicopters hovering above. We were right in the middle of the action. The kicker was…we were missing out on it. We were inside and the excitement was taking place outside.

So you can probably guess where I’m headed with this story (which is all true, by the way). Curiosity got the best of us. We snuck out of her apartment in the dark of night, covertly dashing between cars, running from one “safe” spot to the next trying to secretly be a part of the action up close. Mind you…there were two of us. The excitement! The adventure! The risk! The adrenaline!

search helicopterWe were somewhere between laughing our fool heads off and scared to death, when all of a sudden one of the police helicopters above, spotted us with its humassive spotlight. Yes, the two knuckleheaded women who were ordered to stay inside safely behind locked doors were now running through the neighborhood with the police spotlight on them. To be honest, we too were fugitives, but only because we had escaped from the safety of her apartment complex. 🙂

After about a minute of being “chased” by the police helicopter, they quickly figured out we were the wrong two fugitives. Needless to say, when my friend’s husband got home later that night we were in deep trouble. When he heard over the police radio that they spotted two women running through the neighborhood during their search, he knew exactly who they were referring to. Oops! Busted!

What is it about receiving a command that sometimes makes us want to break it? What is it about being told not to do something that occasionally makes us want to go do it? (Be honest…how many of you see a “Wet paint—Do not touch” sign and touch it anyway?) Where does this defiance come from?

Well, I hate to tell you, but it’s innate. We were born with rebellious DNA. There’s something inside us that wants to be in charge, wants to be in control, and wants to call the shots. So when we’re given some kind of instruction, rule, command, or direction, it occasionally trips the rebellious trigger within us. No, I’m not defending this behavior in us, I’m just saying it exists. And occasionally it exists in full force.

The Apostle Paul totally related to our struggle. “I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.” (Romans 7:19-23, MSG).

Paul goes on to admit he’s miserable and wretched. And truth be told, so are we. We’re sinful and rebellious, defiant and evil. I certainly don’t like to think of myself this way. Worse yet, I hate to admit it, but it’s true.

So, what’s the solution to it all? How can we overcome this messy, ugly state we get ourselves into? Funny…Paul asked the same question: “I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me?”

Paul’s answer…our answer…the answer is Jesus. Jesus, who is God in the flesh, works in us and through us to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. The answer is Christ in you, the hope of glory. You see, if it weren’t for Jesus, we’d all be helpless and hopeless. But indeed, it is Christ in us, the hope of glory—the hope of salvation, the hope of redemption, the hope of transformation, the hope of taming our rebellious DNA.

What about you? How do you struggle with rebellion or defiance? Please feel free to share your thoughts.


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