Self-Inflicted Judgment

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By resisting authority, we bring judgment on ourselves. We don’t want that—and neither does God!

Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. Romans 13:2 NKJV

Those who honor authority walk in great authority, and respect follows them. They have attracted the blessing of God. Those who revile or lightly esteem authority sow disrespect and cause judgment to follow them.

Experiencing judgment for resisting spiritual authority is more often than not an opportunity to learn and grow. Resistance does not always proceed from an evil heart; it is often committed out of ignorance. In such cases, once realization comes, repentance immediately follows.

Decades ago, a movement within the church got out of hand and submission to leaders teetered out of balance. Because spiritual authority had been abused, people opted to despise it. This mentality contributes to the secret power of lawlessness Paul warned would occur in our day, and it places us in a danger zone. For this reason we are warned:

…Watch out for those who cause division… Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. Romans 16:17–18 NIV

Child of God, let me warn you: rebellion is contagious and deadly. The Bible does not say God dislikes it. Scripture makes it clear that He hates it. By resisting authority, we bring judgment on ourselves. We don’t want that, and neither does God!

These truths may not bring you excitement, but they may save your life. Such a message isn’t pleasant, but the benefit of its protection far outweighs the discomfort of its application.

Do these scriptures bring a prick of conviction to your heart? Respond by turning to God, not by hiding in shame or fear. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His love through these sobering words, for He always brings warnings for our protection and greatest good.


Adapted from Under Cover: The Promise of Protection Under His Authority (Thomas Nelson, 2001).

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