“You may not like it, but unless they lead you to do something you know is wrong, He even desires for you to serve and follow the authority of the instructors here at Tarvin Hall as well as the emperor.” – Sam (Resistance, Chapter 6)
It may not be immediately clear in the series, but the difference between resisting and rebelling is something I began to consider about halfway through writing Resistance. Actually, the original title for the book was Rebellion. (I was sort of disappointed and stubborn about changing it because I thought ‘Rebellion’ looked cooler on the cover, but I’ve since gotten over it.) It hit me one day that, from a biblical standpoint, ‘Rebellion’ didn’t sit right with me. Now, I believe there’s a place for revolutions. After all, we wouldn’t be the USA if we hadn’t rebelled against the rule of England, however, that place wasn’t in Ilyon Chronicles. Instead, I felt God calling me to take into consideration Romans 13:1, Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. (NASB)
It has been a key point in the overall storyline of the series. Aside from a few who have a more rebellious streak (they are human, after all), it is never the goal of any of my good characters to overthrow the rightfully ruling authorities. Though the antagonists may see them as rebels, my characters are not out to start a rebellion, but rather resist that which would involve denying their faith, as well as fighting to protect each other when their resistance threatens their lives. In fact, some of my characters work very hard to show the proper respect to their authorities, even when their beliefs are entirely different. It may not be in our nature to want to respect and obey our authorities when we don’t agree with them, but it is clearly something God intends for us to take seriously, and I think it’s pretty cool that it was one of the many difficult areas of life that He called me to explore in this series. It has been incredible to see how He has worked the story around it.
So for anyone used to a stories of rebellion and oppressed people rising up to overthrow their oppressors, Ilyon Chronicles is a bit different. It’s about resisting evil, but still honoring the authority God has established and trusting it to be part of His overall plan. And when you eventually come to the end of the series, looking back, you’ll see there was definitely a plan in place. That is one of the most thrilling parts of writing for God. Though fiction, it can open your eyes to the fact that He works in our lives and in our world exactly the same way.