It’s tough to be a young person in this culture.
It seems as if society is bent on waging a war against it’s offspring, doesn’t it? Every path a youth travels seems fraught with land mines and ambushes ready to do long-term harm.
Why is that, do you think? Anyone….? Anyone…..?
You have to wonder why any culture would want to wound or ensnare their own sons and daughters? Or – if that’s too dramatic for you this early in the morning – why would any group of concerned citizens hunker down, huddle up, and wring their hands while the next generation stumbles and struggles on the battlefield?
Two words from me: fear and forgetfulness.
I’ve talked to many parents in the last month who think we are losing the war on all fronts. There is a paralyzing, unrelenting, gnawing fear of everything known and unknown as they raise their children. They can feel the lion prowling, seeking to devour their loved ones.
And while it certainly can feel that way in the muddy trenches, saints, we are not losing the war. We are in a scrappy street fight – yes – but the war has already been won. We have not been abandoned.
Do not fear.
Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the LORD, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes. (Nehemiah)
Who is the enemy, saints? How do we fight?
Our enemy is first and foremost a liar, and a deceiver. His war is with God, and his consuming mission is to separate humans from God forever. God’s enemy uses terrorist tactics intended to damage and mar God’s creation, so that we look nothing like the Creator anymore.
He wants us to wonder if God is really good – which is the mack-daddy of all his lies.
But parents, the truth is that the battle has already been decided. Decisively. In our favor.
God has set his mind and will on redeeming (making new) those he loves – both now and forever. So much so, that He gave over his only Son for the lives and souls of all of ours.
“You are my son, who I love, with whom I am well pleased.”
So, while our enemy sets ambushes (what a coward), we fight every day to remember the LORD, who is great and glorious. We remember that God is for our children, and never against them. We do not forget that God has set his mind and his will and all his power to making things new.
And then we give thanks.
The joy of the LORD is your strength.
Oh, we need more strength, don’t we? Do you feel paralyzed? Tossed around? Weak in your own self? Fearful of messing it all up? We are not prepared for this. It’s more than we can control.
The only thing that might be slightly more difficult than being a young person in this culture, is to be his parent! We have three boys under my roof (17, 14, almost 12) , and so I spend a great deal of wasted energy being exactly one step behind where I should probably be at each new stage in their lives. I generally arrive late and flustered to the scene, careening into new territory wildly unprepared on a good day – horrified and wrecked on a bad day.
Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the LORD, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.
How do we fight saints? Where can we find any strength for the fight?
The joy of the LORD is your strength.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Grace and peace to you in the battle that has already been won.
Much joy, in Him, who is your strength and your Redeemer.