Fighting Against God

We all love a good story and the best stories are epic battles between good and evil.  Your typical story will be a good guy laying waste to some bad guys, then the leader of the bad guys defeats the good guy until some moral lesson is learned.  The story ends when the good guy finally beats the bad guy.  In our human made stories, it is generally easy to see who is good and who is bad in the story, but real life is not like the movies.  In a real battle, we all think that we are the good guys and we all think that our enemy is the bad guy.  Though this is a human reality of arguments, and we should seek wisdom in these matters to hopefully battle less, but that is even more imperative when we are battling with God.

We should not trifle with God as the people in Noah's generation learned.  He simply decided early on that the human race a evil continually and put the world under water, repopulating it with the sons of Noah.  This is the God who delivered the Israelites out of Egypt, and let's not forget this passage:

Whom have you reproached and blasphemed?
And against whom have you raised your voice,
And haughtily lifted up your eyes?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
(2 Kings 19:22)

And God then said this:

He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there; and he will not come before it with a shield or throw up a siege ramp against it. By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he shall not come to this city,” declares the Lord. "For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake (2 Kings 19:32-34)."

And then God did this:

Then it happened that night that the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead (2 Kings 19:35).

Only a fool would intentionally fight against God, but fighting against Him in ignorance will not lend to a better resolution. Gamaliel knew fighting against God would not result in victory.  Gamaliel counseled the Jewish leaders:

Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God (Acts 5:35-39).

This advice to not fight against God is certainly good advice if we are able to figure out who is truly God.  But one Pharisee of that day did not head his advice.  Saul gave approval over Stephen's death (Acts 8:1).  We read further about his hatred of the Christians:

Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem (Acts 9:1-2).

Saul adamantly fought against the Christians, and by extension he fought against God...until one day:

As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting (Acts 9:3-5).

How terrifying indeed that Saul hears from the God that he has been claiming to serve for his whole life that his is actually fighting against God.  The most ironic part of this battle is that Paul's teacher was Gamaliel, the very one who counseled the leaders not to fight against God.

We should humbly ask ourselves daily if we are fighting against God.  What would it look like to battle God?  What would our daily battles look like if they were about God?  What would it take to rattle us out of our battle with God and put us instead on His side?