“The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life — life in all its fullness.”
John 10:10 GNB
Steal. Kill. Destroy. This is the enemy’s (thief’s) sole mission, and he has nothing to lose. He’s just as relentless as he is deceitful. And one of his most powerful tools is to weaken us through division. To convince us that we are, in fact, enemies of each other. To steal our truth, to kill our hope, and to destroy the unity of our power in Jesus Christ through toxic generational strongholds. But our God… will always be steps ahead, using any weapon the devil has for our good… to turn it around for his glory.
“The weapons we use in our fight are not the world’s weapons but God’s powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds. We destroy false arguments;”
2 Corinthians 10:4 GNB
God has the final word, which is our ultimate weapon. His word guides, convicts, and comforts us. His word helps us decipher right from wrong. And when we apply it to our lives, it sparks a long-overdue counterattack on the accuser of our souls. But we must choose to be open and vulnerable enough to give him access to our existing arsenal.
We can utilize the weapons He provides… and either gain wisdom and move forward, or hold onto ignorance and stay paralyzed. Yes, the enemy is the strategic mastermind behind confusion and our fallen culture overall. But as bright as the sun shines, God is good, and he gives us the free will and option to choose a different way of life. We must take up our cross (take up our responsibility) daily to carry on the work of Jesus— that is LOVE.
In conjunction with His word, there are three very powerful weapons He bestows upon us. Our children, our time, and His grace. These three things bring us to our knees, catch us by surprise, and show us just how much we have to learn. These three things also bring us our greatest joys, long-awaited milestones, and show us just how far we’ve come.
—–> —–> Our Children —–> —–>
If you have children, the enemy says “I’m going to use them as a weapon to carry on hate. I’m going to make them feel lost in worlds that fight each other. I’m going to make them arrogant against their brothers and sisters. I’m going to use them as pieces in my game to blind them to the REAL enemy.”
But God says our children are like arrows in the hands of a warrior. They are the what the enemy fears the most… another generation of warfare-trained soldiers, determined to bring glory to our King.
“Don’t you see that children are GOD ’s best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you; you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.”
Psalm 127:3-5 MSG
GOD says… If you have children, let’s train them up in the way they should go. Let’s train them to believe that they are loved, not rejected. Let’s train them to understand that love does not fit in a predetermined mold. Its uniqueness varies in as many shades as there are stars. Let’s train them to be wise but humble, strong but kind. Let’s train them to know we are all created by the same hands of the same creator.
What our children’s developing minds are trained to hear and see will become their truth. If they are fed love, patience, kindness, mercy… they will physically grow up to perceive these traits as their home base. If they are fed hate, intolerance, resentment, selfishness… they will physically grow up to mimic this type of foundation.
Let us show our children they are born into this world for a God-given purpose, not to roam the planet in confusion as if they don’t belong… OR TREAT OTHERS AS IF THEY DON’T BELONG.
Let’s teach our children how important it is to walk this earth with discernment and compassion. That tragedy and destruction is no respecter of class or person.
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris tells us, “The body of research sparked by the ACE Study makes it clear that adverse childhood experiences in and of themselves are a risk factor for many of the most common and serious diseases in the United States (and worldwide), regardless of income or race or access to care.”1
A child’s growth can be cultivated with love, or poisoned with hate. Hate has the potential to keep one imprisoned with lies that their lives don’t matter… or treat others as if their lives don’t matter. Love has the potential to heal wounds of injustice and ultimately ignite change, one Christ-obedient thought at a time.
—–> —–> Our Time —–> —–>
None of us know the amount of time we have. But if you’re reading this, you DO have this very moment. Sometimes the enemy can convince us we have all the time in the world. We casually carry on with empty promises to ourselves: “I’ll change the world tomorrow”. Sometimes we’ll go to the other end of the argument: “There will never be enough time to make any difference, so there’s no point in trying”.
But GOD… is over, above, and beyond time.
He knows the end from the beginning. And He knows there is never a better time for change than now. Regret from the past does no good if there is no present change.
Let’s take this moment to stop. Stop and question if what we believe to be true is actually true. Have you judged someone? Have you viewed someone as different than yourself, and assume that’s how God sees them? I have. Let’s ask Him to open our eyes to see how he sees. Let’s ask Him to open our ears to hear how He hears. He judges us according to the condition of our hearts, not our skin or our geographical origin.
Let’s take this time to unite under one mission. The mission to make this world a better place through our individual and collective societal contributions. Let’s take this time to accept each other as no-less important, required parts of one body.
“God has been kind to me so that I can serve him. Because of that, I say this to every one of you: Do not think that you are better than you really are. Instead, think about yourself carefully. Decide how much God has helped you to trust him. Then you will know how to serve him well. Each part of our body works in a different way. But all the parts belong to our one body. In the same way, we are many people but we all belong to Christ, like one body. We also belong to each other, like the different parts of one body belong to each other.”
Romans 12:3-5 EASY
—–> —–> The Grace of Our God —–> —–>
The enemy wants us to believe we are not heirs to the kingdom of heaven, and we have no right to our Father’s grace. He longs for us to believe that the debt Jesus paid was simply not enough to cover our mistakes. He wants us to spend eternity in regret. Sadly, we can end up spending our lives rejecting the very blessings we have been entitled to (by grace). The enemy wants us to believe our views can never be changed and our actions can never be turned around for good.
But there’s a stark difference between conviction and condemnation. Conviction says, “I was wrong. Let’s repent, make amends, and do better.” Condemnation says, “I’m wrong (or you’re wrong). There is no hope for change. And we will helplessly continue an endless cycle of blame.”
Thankfully, the miraculous change in a heart can only be done by God’s Holy Spirit. However, He never called us to do nothing. He has given us powerful weapons to effect change. We can use them to do better. We can do better. Let’s instill love in our children rather than hate. Let’s seize the time we have to use it for good. Let’s pick up grace and keep moving forward.
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. In love of the brethren be tenderly affectioned one to another; in honor preferring one another; in diligence not slothful; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing stedfastly in prayer; communicating to the necessities of the saints; given to hospitality.”
Romans 12:9-13 ASV
- Nadine Burke Harris, The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity