Greater Than Kryponite

Through the crucifixion of Christ, we received the most powerful gift we can ever be given, the Holy Spirit, and now he lives in everyone that has accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Knowing this, we have the most powerful element of life within us all the time, even when we don’t feel his presence. The Holy Spirit is like kryptonite to Satan. To put this in perspective, kryptonite is a fictional mineral that deprived Superman of his powers. Our kryptonite, the Holy Spirit (not fictional) denies the evil one from destroying us. Our kryptonite, the Holy Spirit, takes away the evil one’s power over our lives. When we rely on Jesus and him alone (in a state of dependence), there’s no stopping us because Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to reside in us in his absence. We’ll be challenged and tested but remain victorious in the Lord. When we know we are in a struggle but hold fast to our faith; we are victors. Our challenges test our faith and produce perseverance, endurance, and patience, all things that equip us for the battles of life. If we have faith, even as small as a mustard seed, how can we fail? The power is ignited by our faith.

“We will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us, and we will be his witnesses.”  Acts 1:8 NIV

“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Luke 17:6 NIV

The Holy Spirits gives us the words to speak to our troubles and command them to move, to leave, to evaporate.

There is a God-given lesson in each of our life’s experiences. Faith shifts our perspective and you will see the beauty of the struggles and even losing a battle from time to time. The struggle is God preparing us to continue our journey more empowered through the testing of our faith and the lessons learned.

We are Christian Warriors and part of a strong army whose leader dwells within us. Our kryptonite (power) lives within us. It is the Holy Spirit, who is always glowing brightly within us, and through us for others to see. We are his powerful witnesses that have kryptonite within us. It is through the Trinity that we live. The Holy Spirit is one part of the Trinity: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.

  • God is our Father.
  • Jesus, our Lord and Savior, sits with The Father and intercedes on our behalf.
  • The Holy Spirit lives in us to direct and maneuver us around the traps of the evil one.

Image from: Google Images
Scripture from: BibleGateway.com

Alienated from Man and God

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God did not create us to live in a bubble or vacuum, he created us to be part of the body of Christ and have fellowship with one another. He created us to interact with other human beings. He created Adam and realized that one being was not sufficient for growth, hence the creation of Eve. He created an immaculate relationship between himself and man. Their sin of not listening to God (conversations about the Does and Don’ts) led to the fall and their estrangement from the Garden of Eden. This is the moment man became alienated from God.

“I have become estranged from my brothers and an alien to my mother’s brothers.”
Psalm 69:8

In swept the 21st century and the advent of social media as a norm. Not all norms support personal or spiritual growth. As we become more addicted to life online, we begin to (only) find satisfaction in cursory relationships, human interaction becomes secondary. Verbal communication becomes infrequent unless we are in forced social settings such as school or work where interaction, teamwork, and meetings require you to hold a conversation. We are quickly becoming estranged from other people and going down the wormhole of alienation from everything, other people, family, and Christ. Once you are locked into your addiction, nothing else matters.

Verbal communication creates a dynamic environment where people practice the characteristics of Christ; kindness, honesty, faithfulness, trustworthiness, compassion, forgiveness, commitment, patience, gentleness, self-control, humility, loving and prayerful. Verbal communications create a form of harmony between neighbors. True reconciliation can only be accomplished when we acknowledge our sin and repent asking God’s forgiveness.

“ Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

When we move away from real human interaction and into the world of a limited number of characters and meme’s, we find that we create versions of ourselves that are often ruthless, arrogant, diabolical, self-obsessed, and dangerous. We create alternate self-images. Bullying becomes comfortable, there is no guilt in this setting, life, and death are reset and/or erased. At some point, we lose the ability to comfortably interact with people on a daily basis and begin to ease into an estranged and self-imposed isolation and alienation from others.

We find that the people on the other end of the smart chat, the game, and the community groups are pretending to be someone they aren’t. Their world becomes a fake world, much like fake news. It is created in Petri dishes, which leads to depression and often suicidal tendencies.

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The most deadly trait we lose is that of being prayerful. We neglect our relationship with our Lord and soon become estranged. Not because he does not want to communicate with us, but because we shut him out. We reject our relationship with him, it is not the reverse. We begin to live in a world of isolation.

Alienation is the mother that gives birth to other alienation’s: the alienation between God and man, man and God. (Ferguson)

Isolation opens us up to spiritual attack. Sin, depression, selfishness, anger, and hate become comforting.

“Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”
Romans 7:21

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Christians should never isolate themselves from other believers. The church is built on community. Through community, we establish corporate prayer. Through corporate prayer, we establish a relationship with other members of the community and God. Our world becomes more welcoming when we support one another and establish a norm we lost when society changed from small-town life to city life. We lost a sense of connectedness that some think is reignited in online social and gaming communities. The truth remains that they are alienated from the World, isolated from their family members and estranged from God.

“And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
Thessalonians 5:14

Let us encourage the disheartened and lost to re-enter life and reconcile with our Lord, the guardian of our souls. ‘Alienation from God is not only real but dangerous-and the depth of the alienation is evidenced by the fact that we think we are in no danger at all.’ (Ferguson, Ligonier Ministries)

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Images from Google Images

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

The Power of Thanksgiving and Prayer

The last post focused on Prayer, Praise, and Worship. We learned that giving thanks is part of prayer. This Post is an elaboration on the Power of Prayer and Thanksgiving.

Paul wrote Philippians 4:6 to let us know that our requests are made known to God. “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Paul also shared

If praying was easy, everyone would be doing it. It is important to understand that the war between God and the evil one often takes place in our minds. When I was younger, I thought the battle was in the physical realm, and often it is, but the center of anything that happens in this world originates in the mind of world leaders, governmental officials, family members, friends, associates, bosses, villains, and you. We find ourselves at war in our minds. As believer’s we initially stand fast in pray, unwavering in the Word when our lives are going well, and at odds with ourselves when the prayer is not answered as quickly as we wanted. We begin to question God, we entered the war where the voice of doubt speaks out. This doubt, this darkness, is the stronghold of the evil one. His weapons are the attitudes of wrong thinking, of pride, and carnal thinking in general. They are designed to strip us of our blessings and throw us into sin.

So, what does this have to do with Thanksgiving? Everything! When we pray in faith, we stay in faith. God sends down blessings when we pray. If we pray and doubt, they cancel each other out.  Have you ever prayed and believed, and saw your blessing only to see it deferred? Think back, when did you begin doubting that God has control and started questioning yourself saying (self-talk) maybe God is not going to answer, maybe He did not give me direction, maybe it was just me. It was not you, it was the evil one that is speaking doubt to rob you of your blessings. The key is distinguishing between the Lord’s voice and that of the evil one. One of my favorite scriptures reads –

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27. We must learn His voice, and His voice is the Word which is the sword of the Spirit and part of the Armor of God to protect us against the evil one.

Yesterday we learned that praising the Lord as a way of thanking Him for all He has and will do for us. It is how we petition in praise and acknowledge that He is our Father and will answer us. Giving praise or thanks is how we express acknowledgment and appreciation of Him, His grace, blessings and sovereign work in our lives, and the world. But it is not easy, in fact, it is a battle. 

Most of us have experienced difficulty when praying and giving thanks, especially in times of anxiety. But, as we pray through, we become less anxious because we are letting our requests be made known to God so that He is glorified when answering them.  After our blessing, we should give Him more praise and thanksgiving for answering our prayer.

Now back to our children. We often read Bible Stories with young children and share the Word with older ones, but how often do we dissect the scripture to explain how to apply it in their lives? Young people are smart. If we explain to our youth that praise and thanksgiving are a way to acknowledge our Lord, and through praise and thanksgiving a relationship and bond is established between the Lord and them, most would become avid practitioners of praise and thanksgiving. They would begin to understand the formula we have been given to pray and receive God’s blessings. 

In general, people do not understand their relationship with God in real-time. They feel that the Bible was about people during its time of writing and does not pertain to us today. How wrong can we be? Our children deserve training to become Young Christian Warriors. His Words are our sword, part of the Armor of God.  Praying back His Word to Him and thanking Him for all He has done provides a sense of calm, diminishes anxiety, and protects from the world.

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I just listened to John Hagee, Scriptures on Healing at https://youtu.be/9qxfyyYDF58.

Take a listen, he is one of the worlds most dynamic healers. John is the founder and Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church, San Antonio, Texas. Website – www.jhm.org

Helping Children Put On Their Armor Through Prayer

Putting on your children’s armor is a process.

When you begin the lesson, it will take time to thoroughly train your children in understanding how and what they are doing.

When my Granddaughter and I began praying the Whole Armor of God, I would repeat the prayer after me. I began teaching the prayer to my Granddaughter when she was five. She is turning nine and no longer needs my help.

I always asked her what I said, quizzing her to decide if she understood the power of the prayer over her life. I would explain that putting on the Armor is like getting dressed every morning. You put on one piece at a time.

Over time your children will grow in their understanding and the prayer may take 4-5 minutes unless the Holy Spirit inclines them, or you, to speak to what is occurring in their lives. Today my granddaughter leads the prayer. She explains what each piece of armor does and what she specifically wants to include in the prayer. For example, my granddaughter was being bullied at school by one of her classmates, so she included protecting her mind when praying about the Helmet and what it covers, she prayed – “I reject Janet’s mean words about me, they have no power over me.”

A recommendation, ask your children visualize putting on the armor as you pray out loud explaining how each part of the armor will protect them.

At the close of the day I always ask her how her day went and did the armor protect her today, she would tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and if she visualized the part of her armor when the enemy came against her. If she did, she would tell me how it protected her and kept her at peace and, how she applied Jesus’ example in her actions. Often she will report whatever was causing her a problem stopped. We praise the Lord for the Armor.

Prayer

Today Lord, we are putting on the Whole Armor of God.

The Helmet of Salvation covers my head, my mind, and my eyes.
My helmet is my invisible sensor, and it keeps evil out of my mind. It helps me focus on the Lords will and not on sin. It helps me to ward off and reject harmful words and actions directed at me by others. It protects me from evil. It deflects hurtful things people say to me.

The Breastplate of Righteousness protects my heart.
Righteousness is the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit; it is a gift from God, I cannot earn it. Righteousness is much like a filter that strains out unGodly and reinforces our wish, to be honest, trustworthy, kind, good-hearted, loving, and joyful. (Fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23).

The Belt of Truth holds us together.
It keeps all the armor in place, like a belt holding up pants, blouse tucked in, secure in Jesus and the Word of God. It keeps our heart and mind focused on Christ.

The Sandals of the Gospel of Peace covers my feet.
Everywhere I walk I walk in and bring peace. My sandals, shoes or sneakers keep me from hurting my feet. The gospel of peace is the Word of God that we share with others as we walk in His Word. Without the Gospel of Peace, I am barefoot and cannot walk without fear.

The Shield of Faith protects me from the darts of the enemy.
It helps me when I do not understand. My faith is the thing God gave me to protect me from the things I cannot see.

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. It gives me boldness to reject and attack misinformation. I use it to defend myself from things I know and don’t know are wrong. The sword cuts through everything the enemy can send my way. The sword is the way, the truth, and the light.

Father, thank you for my armor. I go out today able to protect myself from evil, by acknowledging the power and strength you gave me though sacrificing your son, Jesus, to give me life.

I hope you found this short series about how to teach your children to cover themselves begins to visibly change their sense of who they are as Young Christian Warriors.

Next Post: Recipe for Success – Teaching Children How to Embody the Fruit of the Spirit