Pt. 2, Wisdom Directs Your Steps

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“Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NKJV‬

A few days ago we learned what Solomon said about wisdom in Proverbs 16, Old Testament. Today we are going to learn what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2, New Testament, about wisdom. In the last Post, we learned about knowing God’s Voice and acquiring wisdom. I also shared that through this wisdom we develop our character, in fact, I wrote an earlier piece on knowing the Voice of God (February 2018) entitled: Change Your Filter, Hear His Voice. Today we are going deeper into our relationship with our Lord and the benefits of building a Christ-like value structure. 1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:1-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬ is a message written by Paul about hearing the Wisdom of God, referred to as the Mystery of God.


“When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined, what God has prepared  for those who love him.” 10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person’s thoughts God's Master Planexcept that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. 13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For,“Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

‬‬1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:1-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Corinthians 2 is about power and wisdom. Power and wisdom are reliant upon one another and together keep the Christian life balanced. Warren Wiersbe succinctly stated, “Allow the Spirit of God to teach you about the Son of God from the Word of God, and grow up in Him.” Holy wisdom calls for us to rely totally on God for spiritual wisdom and rejecting the wisdom of the world. The discussion about Christian maturity speaks to our belief in the cross. Jesus’ accession to heaven by way of the cross. Do we believe God’s wisdom is greater than our interpretation of wisdom?  Do we believe that Christ’s crucifixion is part of God’s unfolding plan?

Without the light of God’s Spirit, we’ll be in the dark. We can either believe in the wisdom of this age or the wisdom of God which is eternal. One theme in most of my Posts is the belief that as Christian Warriors we must live a Christ-like life. As Christian’s, we must first accept Christ as our Lord and Savior to establish our faith. As Christian’s, it is important that we believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – the Trinity. It is important that we establish a relationship with our Lord and learn to hear His voice in prayer.  It is our responsibility to read and study the Word. It is our responsibility to know and embrace the Fruit of the Spirit. Once these have been accomplished we begin to mature as Christian warriors.

1 Corinthians 2-9

The question then becomes, do we apply the Word to govern our lives? Is our faith enough to address how we act or respond to difficulties in our lives? Does it support reconciliation, the restoration of friendly relations? Do we use our faith as the justification for overcoming conflict at home, social settings and work? Do we rest on our faith to maintain a respectful relationship with those we are at odds with or did harm to us? Do we have the right perspective and maintain our Christian walk regardless of what this world offers us?

The Trinity5True wisdom is accepting that God has a master plan that we will never fully understand but accept as the truth. This faith resides in our relationship of the Trinity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The wisdom of accepting the Trinity opens the door for our relationship with the Holy Spirit who communicates with us through prayer.  God’s thoughts are revealed through the Holy Spirit, who reveals these deep thoughts to us, the believers.

“According to Paul, the Holy Spirit searches the very depths of the heart and mind of God. He can do this because He is God-the third member of the Trinity. Paul’s point is that the Holy Spirit functions within the Trinity the way our human spirit functions within us” (Ben).  The Holy Spirit knows God because He is God. We know our spirit because it is our spirit. The Holy Spirit has access to the workings of the Godhead.

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the direct link to God, do you ask him in prayer to share the Lord’s wisdom in what you are praying about, asking for his guidance? Do you spend time in prayer until you hear from the Lord or is your prayer a drive-by prayer? Spend a few minutes in prayer, do not maintain silence and calmness, say, ‘okay’ get back to me and then, guilt-free, having done your due-diligence, act on your own wisdom? This is exactly what Paul was concerned about so long ago. Do we say we are Christians and live by the wisdom of the Word of God, or do we say we are Christians and default to our own understanding? Paul 00-end-time-bible-prophecy-word-of-god-is-aliveexplained that some people do not respond to the Holy Spirit: “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually appraised.” The natural man is someone who does not have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. If you do not have this relationship you cannot understand the deep wisdom that is being shared. People that do not understand the wisdom of the Word are controlled by their behavior, feelings, urges logical choices, moods, and worldly goals. People who have access to deep wisdom and abide by the Word have Christ-centered lives, Christ-like values, and behaviors, and live according to the Word.

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”  

Romans 8:11 

Are Christians perfect and live Christ-centered lives 24/7? No. The beauty is that through Christ, we are not only saved, but can repent of our sins, our shortcomings, and are forgiven. Our responsibility then becomes a journey to eliminate the sins of omission we commit by not doing something we should have done, as well as sins of commission which we knowingly commit, sins that the Holy Spirit warns of and we do them regardless.  It is difficult to commit a sin of commission and get away with it, but it is quite easy to commit a sin of omission without others knowing.

Omission, comission3Some sins of Commission are:

Committing sexual sin, adultery, fornication, bestiality, molestation, homosexuality, pornography; theft, covetousness, murder, physical abuse, bullying, mental abuse; gossip, slander, backbiting, lying, manipulating, cursing, etc. Many of these things are opposite the Fruit of the Spirit.

Some sins of Omission are:

Failing to pray regularly, failing to pray for others, failing to tithe, failure to be faithful stewards in our finances, failing to help others when nudged from the Holy Spirit, failing to provide for your family, failing to read and study the Bible, and failing to fellowship with other Christians (corporate fellowship is important), etc.Sin is Sin2

The fact is, at the end of the day, sin is sin, and God hates all sin. Sin keeps us from our fellowshipping with the Lord and strengthing our relationship with Him, as well as other Christians.

One sin stands out more than any other, the sin of rejecting the Holy Romans 10-9,10Spirit and not receiving Christ as your Lord and Savior. The most important thing we can and should do is receive Christ as our Lord and Savior and ensure our Salvation through this simple prayer. It is not enough to say it, you must believe it with all your heart in faith.

 

Johne 316

Romas 8_1

Resources

Hayford’s Bible Handbook. 1 Corinthians 2
Wiersbe, Nelson’s Quick Reference. 1 Corinthians 2

Websites

lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com
Sins of Commission vs Sins of Omission: The Two Types of Sins Humans Commit. www.revelation.co/2015/07/21 by Ben

Scriptures – Bible.com
Images – Google Images. LAB’s photo collection, CanStockPhoto.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

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Who Directs Your Steps?

Proverbs 16_9

One of my favorite Books of the Bible is Proverbs, written by King Solomon in the height of his reign. It is one of my favorites because it tells us how to order our values and establish our character. Proverbs 16:9 speaks of wisdom and the direction we should follow, juxtaposing wickedness and obedience (following the Word of God).

A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Who directs your steps? Are you led by God’s sovereignty, or do you take responsibility for your own affairs as acts of free will? This scripture describes the actions of two types of people, the wicked, self-determined person, and the good, righteous person. A wicked person directs his own steps, and is in lockstep with the world, coming to his own ends. He does not look for guidance or direction from the Lord. The end justifies the means. The wicked continually sow discord which seems to be common practice in today’s society.

“with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord;”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭6:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Hawaii-rocks

While is true that we are not all wicked, we are all sinners. Many of us are saved by grace, but even those of us who have received salvation tend to walk a worldly path. We aspire to greatness in our careers and our relationships. We are comfortable cutting corners, aligning ourselves with questionable associates and engage in company practices that in our hearts know are wrong. We direct our own steps, we listen to the evil one that paves our road with gold overlay. We reenact the days of Rome in our daily lives. And, to many, the question becomes, if we have free will, why would we want God to direct our steps when we have the freedom to discover and conquer at will? The wicked man, the sinner, charts his own path and when disaster strikes, calls upon the Lord. How many find that our own actions, intentions, and plans cannot stand the test of time and eventually cry to the Lord for help, promising to change our wicked ways only to head down our own path once He has placed us on solid ground?

“The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way? Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.”
Proverbs‬ ‭20:24-25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Hawaii-road

The second half of the scripture focuses on the godly person. The saved person who seeks after the Lord, the person who applies the Fruit of the Spirit in their daily lives. The good person who is a righteous person. The person who is influenced by the Spirit and grace of God to think and act in a Christ-like manner. He does not order his own steps, the Lord directs his steps, he does not veer to the right or the left but walks safely through difficulties, challenges and day-to-day activities, all the while listening to the voice behind him directing his steps and avoiding the landmines of life.

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it.”
‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Hawaii-ocean

PONDER THIS – Who do you listen to? Who directs your steps? To quote Shakespeare’s Word in Hamlet, “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-new them how we will.” Septuagint, “Let the heart of man consider what is just, that his steps may be by God’s directed might.” (Pulpit Commentary)

I am providing a summary of the Book of Proverbs to provide the scope of this discussion and offer a blueprint to acquire wisdom, direction, and obedience to the Word.

Nelsons’ Quick Reference, Proverbs 16 Summary

A prepared heart (1-3, 23) is a heart that receives God’s truth and submits to God’s will. Since the mouth speaks what the heart has treasured up, the Lord can guide your words when your heart is prepared (Matt. 10:19-20).

A proud heart (5, 18-19). Pride is one sin that God especially hates. It leads to all kinds of trouble and robs you of the blessings of the Lord.

A purposeful heart (7, 9, 25). If your heart is not devoted to God’s purposes, then it will lead you astray. Take time to think and pray, meditate on the Word, and make your plans; and then trust the Lord to guide you.

A prudent heart (20-24). When wisdom is your food and drink, then you will be able to make prudent decisions. A prudent heart is revealed by lips that speak sweet words of wisdom.

A perverse heart (27-30). What is in the heart eventually comes out in the life, and the life described here is anything but beautiful or useful. No wonder Proverbs 4:23 is in God’s Word! Are you heeding it?

Supporting Scriptures

“O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”
Jeremiah‬ ‭10:23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.”
Proverbs‬ ‭16:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Resources

BibleHub.com. Commentary Proverbs 16:9, Benson Commentary, Gill’s Expositions, Pulpit Commentary
Hayford’s Bible Handbook. Proverbs.
Wiersbe, Nelson’s Quick Reference. Proverbs 16

Scriptures – Bible.com

Images – Google Images. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

 

God, Crisis, and Grace

How often do we find ourselves in fervent prayer when we find ourselves in the midst of uncertainty and crisis? The answer is all too often. We seem to call out to God most often with heartfelt tears during these times. And, our God is so loving, He returns our prayers with grace. His grace is stronger when we are at our weakest. It is through faith that we receive God’s free unmerited grace.

“My grace is sufficient for you, For my power is made perfect in weakness.”       2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

It seems that when we are in constant prayer, we open our hearts to Him in search of help. How wonderful would that be if we always prayed as if we are in crisis, and in some respect, we are, maybe not as obvious, yet in crisis? The battle over our soul rages daily. The evil one does not want us free, he wants to strip away our salvation, shackle us to demons and lead us to hell. I would say that is crisis enough to stay in fervent prayer.

But through our Lords grace, we survive to tell our stories, our testimonies, to others to show them the way. It is through these testimonies that we share our relationship with God with others. It is through these experiences that we become disciples.

As the battle rages and we become more intimate with God through reading the scriptures and applying them in our daily lives, the stronger in the Word we become, the more we take the mantle of Christian Warriors, and the greater the number of people who want to follow Christ and establish the same relationship with God as you. Through our testimonies, others come to Christ and more readily receive God’s Salvation. “My power becomes perfect in weakness,” says the Lord.

When we are weakest, His grace is sufficient (enough) to carry us through times of uncertainty. When we are weakest, we stay in prayer. When we are weakest, we seek His lifeline.

When are we weakest? The answer is every day because we are under attack every day. The evil one wants our soul. We must be ever vigilant and stay in prayer.

Our strength rests on our weakness. Our weakness connects us to His grace and mercy.

Active Practice

To Young Christian Warriors, we might think of the word, weakness as lacking strength, fitness or vigor, a liability. However, biblically weakness is defined as dependence upon the Lord. This dependence cultivates the endowing of grace. It is not until we run out of our own options that we, in weakness, call on the Lord. Man is weak by nature. We succumb to our weakness, human frailty, finding it easier to give in to the negative behaviors than those defined as the Fruit of the Spirit. When our weakness abounds,  it is at this point that God reveals His power and grace. (BibleStudyTools.com/weakness)

In line with the mission of this site, we learn that to become a Warrior we must become equipped with the power of The Word and how the Holy Spirit uses it to communicate with us. It is through God’s grace that we have been invited to receive His grace and unmerited favor, and it is through His grace that we are strong in our weakness as Paul says.

Steps:

  1. Receiving Gods grace means we must practice living in our weakness, stop relying on ourselves and begin calling on the Lord for guidance and direction.
  2. We must learn self-restraint. When we begin to exhibit negative behaviors and our internal self-talk begins, we must listen. Self-talk is often the Holy Spirit prompting us to stop what we are preparing to do or say.
  3. We must identify scriptures that affirm our strength in the Lord and use them when we begin to tell ourselves that only we can resolve what is before us.
  4. Finally, we must tell our experiences, our testimonies, to others about how God provided a way of escape, supplied our need, open doors, healed us and loves us.

 

Image from: Google Images

Children Expect God’s Blessings and Favor

Jesus with children of the World

As a former principal, I found that our children did not expect God’s blessings and favor in their lives. They were victims of self-talk. Early on in life, they became what their self-talk said they were. They were defined by what others told them they were. It was during this time that I discovered and tested my theory. When children reported to my office, I would ask them why they were acting the way they did. Most would start verbalizing the negative self-talk. I would hold several meetings with them to change their negative self-talk into positive self-talk. I’d use the Fruit of the Spirit as the essence of who they are. Over time the children would begin to see themselves differently, and their self-talk would change, which led to a change in behavior.

Diverse Children

When I spoke with the children doing well scholastically  and socially, about their self-narrative, I found their parents reinforced a positive self-narrative from birth. To be clear, not all of the students were Christians, so their self-talk may have differed a bit, but none-the-less, it created a positive self-talk narrative for the children. Their self-talk would say, I am smart, I am strong, I am kind, I am honest, I am trustworthy, I make good grades, I am friendly and so on.

Since the world helps define us, we must counter it by instilling the Word of God in our children’s lives. Our self-talk defines our expectations; our children should expect God’s blessings and favor.

Jesus said, bring the little children to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to them as much as you (adults). (Mark 10:14 NIV) We self-talk as many as 30,000 times a day. Self-talk is a type of meditation. Joshua 1:8 says, keep the words of the Bible on your lips, meditate on it day and night.It is important that we learn to fill ourselves with the right thoughts of blessings and favor and meditate on what the Word says about us. The thoughts that work for the good for those who love him (Romans 8:28). Right thoughts are the messages we tell ourselves every day. Our children should tell themselves that they are children of God and are important and valuable to him. Their self-talk should reiterate the Fruit of the Spirit (see September posts), stating that they are good, kind, loving, strong, honest, trustworthy, patient, gentle, have self-control, are at peace, joyful, smart, thoughtful, have integrity, and are successful, If we do not edify our children, the world will reinforce self-talk that focuses on worrying thoughts, putting themselves down, saying they are stupid, clumsy, ugly, dumb, unloved, not worthy, less than, second best, and worthless.

Christ in the midst of people

Self-talk helps build our self-esteem, something so many children do not have in these times of bullying, alienation, and doubt. Negative self-talk can lead to low self-esteem, lack of confidence and perhaps depression.  Positive self-talk of blessings and favor is a form of encouragement. Biblically, we can say that positive self-talk is from the Lord, and negative self-talk is from the evil one, who is here to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). What we hear about ourselves from others is what we internalize and therefore what we create as our self-talk narrative.

Internal conversations can go on forever. Negative self-talk is very destructive and can derail a person from their God-given purpose in life. It is during the early years of life that the self-narrative begins. We can create our children’s self-narrative defined by God or allow the evil one to define our children’s self-narrative and allow him to destroy who they are in Christ.

“from infancy, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim 3:14-15)

Expecting Gods blessings and favor are gifts that we acquire through an understanding of the word and how God defines who we are in Christ. As we read the scriptures to our children and teach them how to apply the word to their daily lives they begin to self-talk using the words God uses to describe them. When someone tells our children they are stupid, ignorant or dumb, their self-talk will say, I am of sound mind. When someone tells them they are babies because they are afraid to steal the candy in the store, their self-talk will say, I am honest and trustworthy. When someone says you are slow, they will say, I am patient. When they say you are worthless, their self-talk will say, I am thoughtful, I am confident, I have self-control.

We self-talk at least 30,000 times a day, what do you want your children’s self-talk to say? Our children should have a Godly self-narrative to lead them through life. They should expect blessings and favor.art work of children

 

 

 

 

Children – Fruit of the Spirit

 

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22,23

 

 

Paul, the author of the Book of Galatians, used the concept of fruit because it created a visual image of the characteristics (or virtues) of Christ. When teaching the Fruit of the Spirit, we always see a chart or pictures of fruit. Most people can recite the nine characteristics, known as the Fruit of the Spirit, but how many look at themselves to make sure these are their (personal) characteristics acquired through their relationship with Christ? Reinforcing the characteristics of Christ, in our children, is the basis for who they will become as adults.

Definitions

LOVE (parent to child.)

Love is selfless, unconditional love. God loves us unconditionally, without thought, and we should love each other the same way. It is the way Jesus feels about us. This type of love is always giving and impossible to take or be taken. Agape love shows itself in action. (Focus on the Family, Agape Love.)

(Parent to child)  It is the way I feel about you when you behave or misbehave when you are sick or well. If you have a pet, use the pets’ relationship with your child. It is when Sam hides your ball, tears up your book, wets on the floor and when he retrieves the toy you threw, sits next to you, and sleeps on your bed. It is Sam being Sam and loving him for it.

JOY (parent to child)

Joy is a feeling of internal (inside) peace. It’s the warm feeling you get when you see Grandma, your new baby sister or, picked out your pet. It is how you feel the love God has for you and the love you have for God. It is a snuggly, warm feeling.

PEACE (parent to child)

Peace is the warm, snuggly feeling of joy and peace we feel in our hearts. Peace comes from the presence of God in our life. It lets you know God loves you by sending his only Son, to strengthen our relationship with Him. When you are using these characteristics (of Christ) in your decision-making, you will experience peace when you make your decision and will know God is with you.

PATIENCE (parent to child)

Patience is how we wait for something. For example, when you get a new pet, you have to be patient while you train him, he will not obey immediately, he has to be taught. When your little brother, sister, cousin, or neighbor is playing with you, and they do not treat your toys the way you want them to, you have to learn to wait without staying angry while they learn how to treat your toys. God wants us to learn to become patient with others, just as he is patient with us. Patience is being kind to others even when you don’t want to. Patience demonstrates how we trust God to answer our prayers while we grow to become more like Christ.

KINDNESS (parent to child)

Kindness is how we treat others, we are not rude, angry, or blaming. It is being generous. It is letting go of how a friend mistreated you and love them for who they are. It means we are concerned about others, such as when a friend gets hurt on the playground; you help them up, call an adult, and tell them everything will be okay.  Kindness helps us to become better-caring people.

GOODNESS (parent to child)

Goodness is more than kindness. Your friend got hurt, you were kind because you wanted to help him. The act of goodness is helping him. Many people want to help someone in need but do not follow through. Goodness is following through because you know that is what God wants you to do. It is having a good heart and acting on it. We saw goodness in people during Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria. Neighbors were helping each other to survive the storms. Why, because it was the right thing to do.

FAITHFULNESS (parent to child)

Faithfulness is being responsible. If I (mother) ask you to put your clothes in the hamper and you do it, it is being reliable. I can trust you to do what you say you will do. It is being able to be trusted, reliable. Being faithful is demonstrating how Christ feels about us, the is trustworthy and reliable. He is true to his word. Our goal is to become trustworthy and reliable like Christ.

GENTLENESS (parent to child)

Gentleness is not blaming a person for doing something wrong but instead helping them to do better. Gentleness does not show conceit, envy or rudeness. God’s love helps you to become gentle, caring, and kind.

SELF-CONTROL (parent to child)

Self-control is when you stop and think about what you are getting ready to do and decide not to do it because it is wrong and you know Your parent expects a better outcome. self-control is self-discipline. For example, athletes are self-disciplined, they know how they should behave and how to exercise to be their best. The Holy Spirit helps us to have self-control and to behave ourselves.

ABOUT THE PROCESS

The nine characteristics of Christ are very powerful tools. Teaching our children and teens to rely on them is important. We cannot begin the process too early in life., though it is important to keep in mind your child’s developmental stage to ensure they understand the power our Lord has given us. It can be likened to Clark Kent growing up in Smallville, Kansas. Superman learned about and how to use his powers over time, learning to apply the characteristics of Christ in our lives is much the same. It is a process.

Please be patient with the process. This lesson may take a few weeks to teach the definitions to your children and months to reinforce what they have learned. You will reinforce the virtues by asking your children about how they use them. Questions and discussions reinforce what they have learned.

Good questions to ask your children each day during dinner to help reinforce the use of the Fruit of the Spirit in their daily activities:

  • How was your day?
  • What characteristics of Christ did you use today?
  • What did you do and what was the result?
  • Is there an instance when you did not use the Fruit of the Spirit, why not, what happened?

Activating the Fruit of the Spirit in Children

All saved Christians embody the Holy Spirit. He dwells in us. Our children need to understand that they are his host. Everything Jesus represents resides in our children and needs to be activated in their being. You can compare superheroes to Christ and the hero they morph into as the Holy Spirit. The hero that lives in Clark Kent is Superman, and the hero that resides in Wonder Woman is Diana Prince. Now, this is stretching it a bit, however, the Holy Spirit resides in us and we must activate by incorporating it with our personalities to manifest the character of Christ in our own lives.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.

In the previous lesson, Armor First, I spoke briefly about the Fruit of the Spirit and named each, but did not define them. How many of us read this scripture to our children but did not teach them how to become more like Christ? The question is, how do we share the power of these words with our children? We teach through defining and applying the Fruit of the Spirit in how we should live, act and think.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. – Galatians 5:22, 25, 26 NLT

When I was a Teen Bible Study teacher, I found that our kids were so vulnerable. The world so easily tries to gobble up our young people through social media, and TV exposure is pervasive. Today, peer pressure is heightened through smartphone access. The outreach and exposure through these avenues are pervasive. Our children’s friends, sometimes innocently entice our children and teens to join in ‘the fun’ which can be immoral and sinful. In a world of ‘fake truths’, it is difficult for them to know who they are and how to stand in the face of evil.

So back to Fruit of the Spirit. We need to teach our children that they belong to Jesus Christ, that they embody the Holy Spirit, and if they are going to emulate someone, it should be Christ, and not blindly following the crowd. They need to understand that if they practice love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, they will succeed in life. The fruit will make them stronger in the Lord, and along with the Whole Armor of God, they will ward off the tricks and traps of the evil one.

What does this mean to you and your children? To begin, teaching your children the spiritual definition of the words increases their understanding of Jesus, his Disciples and men, and women in the Bible. It provides them with a framework of what it is to be a good person and become more Christ-like. They need to know that they are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). They are the children of our Almighty God.