A sermon from Ken Cramer.
In the many years of working with shoes, there were a few business applications I was able to learn that I found to be applicable in all facets of life.
Would you consider yourself to be a defiant person? How about Default? Or Design?
These may seem like odd ways to classify yourself. But this morning I’d like to take a look at what these would mean in our Christian life, and for all of us to take a look in the mirror as to how we lead our walk.
And most of all, how others view our walk… How God views our walk
To start, let’s take a look at what these each mean
Design– Design is someone who works with plan (blueprint). What does this mean as a Christian?
Genesis – Creation – First prophecy of Jesus – part of the plan, not Plan B
Gen 1:1– In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Gen 3:14– The Lord said to the serpent “Because you have done this, cursed are you more than the cattle, and more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go and dust you will eat all the days of your life; And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel.”
God made us by design, and from the beginning man has attempted to forever remove himself from His presence. Man was not created to be separate from the Lord, and still to this day, we are not meant to separate from God.
Quick Reference: Moses – Old Law –was created as a stepping stone to make way for the true
And even though we continually sin against God, He makes it so we can continually return to him. He always provides the opportunity for us to be a part of his family.
Paul writes about this in his letter to the Romans, when referring to our deliverance out of bondage.
Romans 8:15-23– For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption(Greek – huiothesia, sonship in respect to God) as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
Next I’m going to skip default. From Design, we then move to Defiant.
Defiant–Obviously, we can see the negative connotation defiant has. I would venture to say that most of you may be thinking of the atheist, the humanist, maybe even the Calvinist. And most of us would like to think we’re not defiant against God. Before we pass over this, let’s look at some examples of Defiant people and moments in the scriptures:
Babel – Gen 11:4 – And they said, “Come, let us build a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
Have you ever walked into a situation, knowing you’re probably not on the right path, and pretty much know the outcome. But you still do it. It’s quite fascinating how the people of Babel could foresee the fact that would be all over the earth.
v 6 –And the Lord said, ”Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they begin to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come let Us go downand there confuse (balal – to mix) their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was balled Babel, because the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.
But of course we’re not trying to build a tower to the heavens. But we do have rockets that go into space, we can video chat with our phones. Our idols might be the building blocks of a tower, but Satan still has a full arsenal of weapons to come after us. Another example of the defiant heart is Pharaoh.
Pharaoh – Exodus, from the burning bush where the Lord told Moses that Pharaoh would not listen. Through each plagues the Lord sent, Pharaoh continued to dig in even harder than before until he finally broke after the death of his first born. Pharaoh becomes a renowned character synonymous with defiance when he still pursues Moses after letting the Israelites go.
I know it’s easy for us to look at these examples from the 30,00ft view we have when we read the scriptures. It’s easy to feel removed from the stories of Babel and Pharaoh. But what about those who were chosen by God.
Obviously it’s easy for us to see how to come to the conclusion that people like Pharaoh and the people of Babel. But what about those individuals chosen by God.
Samson – Judges 13:24 – Then the woman (wife of Manoah) gave birth to a son and named him Samson; and the child grew up and the Lord blessed him.
Even though Samson was raised in the Lord, he then, after divulging the secret of his strength to the harlot Delilah, the Lord left him.
There are many more who were defiant against the lord, both in the OT and NT.
I find it truly ironic that those in the NT who claimed to be of God the most (Sadducees and Pharisees) were the MOST defiant of all.
We’ve addressed the polar opposites, being Defiant and Design. And for the most part it seems pretty simple. You’re either in the fold or you’re not, right? The main goal is to be a part of the design of God, not out of it.
In the remaining few minutes I’d like to bring another point of view to light, and suggest to you there is something even more dangerous than being defiant.
The one identifier we haven’t spoken about, being Default.
By no means am I suggesting that remaining defiant to God is not a bad please to be (to put it mildly). But I am saying that staying in a default place is extremely dangerous. By not consistently focusing and driving towards God we put ourselves at great risk. Vulnerable
Who are some default individuals in the scriptures:
Judas – Judas traveled with all of the disciples and followed Jesus for years. Witnessed miracle after miracle.And after being tempted by Satan through the lust of money. Jesus then predicts his betrayal
Ananias and Sapphira – Acts 5 – Willing to begin the journey with their congregation, once the threat of losing their possessions led them to sin, and ultimately destroyed.
What we need to be cognizant of is MAINTAINING our obedience. That becoming a Christian does not mean we have arrived. It’s not a parking lot.
It’s just the beginning on the path. Jesus tells us the path of righteousness is straight and narrow; the path of destruction is broad.
Paul tells us constantly to beingmoving forward Philippians 3:13 -Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on to toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Nowhere are we told to sit and wait for the arrival of the Kingdom. In fact it’s the exact opposite.
This is not a cry about becoming foreign missionaries, but to be a constant Light of Christ in everything you do. Many Christians fall away when they put themselves in a position to be stagnant. What happens to stagnant water? (down here it means more mosquitos).
What we have to be aware of is being Default is sitting still, just as much as being Defiant.
How do we begin on the path to follow the design.First by hearing the Word, and keeping ready in the Word.
1 Peter 3:14-17 –