The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete (Corinthians 10:4-5)
For anyone who has responsibility for children or the younger generation in general, e.g. youth leaders, care givers, child minders, you realise you are a role model whether by admission or indirectly. Teenagers, kids are watching you and they pick things up easily. They know when you are authentic, if you are living by example or not and depending on your level of living by example, you are able to gain their respect and/or correct them.
I am a parent and I wish to share my insights from a perspective of parenting. I hear someone ask, “How does this scripture on spiritual warfare relate to role modelling?”
As always, I will focus on my own revelation as it pertains to situations in my life. I never talk about anything from head knowledge only, but usually its an area I am working out, have worked out, observed in others but cannot confront or God is generally teaching me about. Like I like to say, ‘flesh and blood did not reveal this to me’. My revelations these days frequently come in the most unusual ways beyond prayer, meditation or worship. I may be drifting off to sleep, eating, walking, or just plain sitting and ‘being’ and the teachings come across my heart or spirit like a whiff – there is a knowing….the Spirit of God is speaking to me. So please hear me out. I am not a theologian and this is not a bible class, but I have prayed that this will be a revelation for those it’s required for.
In this scripture, Paul informs us that we have been equipped with spiritual weapons that will demolish strongholds. He identifies these strongholds to be arguments, pretence, thoughts, which stand up against the knowledge of God. Then he dovetails into talking about our readiness to deal with disobedience only when our own obedience is complete. I have often pondered what disobedience he refers to or what are the strongholds?
To make it simple, my learning so far has been – the only way you can spiritually and effectively work correction in anyone is by living in obedience yourself! Back to children and the youth, do you struggle in an area in your life yet you are demanding for change or praying for a breakthrough in the same area? We hear these words a lot in business arenas – ‘walking the talk’, ‘authenticity’, ‘saying what you mean and meaning what you say’ – all business/employee engagement workplace jargon, but guess what? It is so so real in our lives, day to day existence and interactions with our families.
The way I have seen the principle work and what I have experienced for real: Behaviourally, we cannot demand change from others, pray effectively for change in others or claim much victory in a specific change until you yourself are victorious in that area. I use the analogy of children and teenagers as it’s an easy way to understand this. Let’s look at some areas in which we all struggle:
1. Obedience & Timing: When God asks you to do something, speaks to you directly, through a nudge in your spirit, how do you obey and when do you obey? Do you debate? Delay? Do you defer or procrastinate? As a parent we know how it feels when we ask our kids to do something urgent – a task, a chore, and errand and they hear but are really not listening and, worse still, do not act and when you repeat the instruction, they say, “I’ve heard! I will do it, I will get to it.” OR “I am on my way”. In many ways, we do the same with God and yet we cringe when our kids do same to us. In fact, we get mad and go from 0-100 (as my boys would say). If this affects us as parents, then you can imagine how this makes God, our Father feel. We cannot do this with God and expect a different response from our own children! David admonishes us about God’s instruction and guidance; about needing special motivation and/or consequence before we grudgingly obey God.
Do not be like the horse or the mule which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with a bit and bridle, else they will not come near you (Psalm 32:9)
(to be continued….)