Youth Ministry Devotions
The Fight Filter”
I’m the least content.
And when I finally am able to reach contentment it lasts for minutes, maybe hours, before I feel the weight of discontentment again.
Spiraling me into trying to produce or accomplish something else.
The glory and lifted weight is short lived.
What a dangerous cycle.
It’s the downfall of living in a generation that thrives off of instant gratification.
We want Amazon to deliver the day of, because Prime 2-Day shipping isn’t enough.
(…did you hear they are developing a drone system so that can actually be a thing?)
We buy new shoes but then we see someone else’s on Instagram and we immediately want those too.
What we just purchased, new and pristine enough to still return, is no longer satisfying.
That guy or girl texts you but then they don’t say exactly what you want them to say or how you want them to say it.
It tugs at you and makes you antsy so you take longer to reply, use shorter responses, less emojis.
“Are you ok?”
No, no you’re not…
Recently I’ve realized how my worth and my identity have been placed in what I do and what I produce instead of who I actually am.
Most importantly, who I am in the eyes of my ever present Heavenly Father.
And it’s left me feeling frustrated that I’ve become so short sighted…
I want to do, and produce, what is easy so that I can get more instant gratification, more affirmation, and the constant security of locking down my value and my worth in the netting of who I am to the world, instead of who I am to the King.
For a split second I believe the lie that it won’t wash away if I can manage to keep up.
I can trace it back now, this endless cycle and constant frustration, like the maze you get with the kids menu at a restaurant
But listen, we are constantly in an arena.
Round after round, thing after thing, we are fighting, fighting, fighting.
Fighting to keep up with culture.
Fighting to make money.
Fighting to be with him or her.
Fighting to get into the right school.
Fighting our parents.
Fighting for our future.
What’s happened is this unspoken cultural expectation that anything slow, hard, boring, difficult, risky or really anything that takes effort, has become BAD.
We’ve bought and held onto the opposing forces lie that if there’s not a guarantee that we can win we shouldn’t even bother.
We go for the low hanging fruit that is probably on the verge of rotting or has been eaten by squirrels rather than the fruit at the top of the tree…untouched, unscathed and more fulfilling.
It’s harder to work for and harder to get.
God knew. He knew that patience and time would be virtuous to us in a world where if we fight hard enough, we can have all that we think we could ever need at our very fingertips.
But we are missing HIM.
He was sure that the fights would be bigger and more intimidating than us because
Peter and John weren’t spiritual scholars who were still ministering to the masses.
David had to face Goliath.
Moses had to lead an entire people out of Egypt and had shaky knees about it.
Abigail apologetically took on and pleaded for forgiveness for her husband’s actions that potentially could have gotten people killed, she physically put herself in the gap.
If you can, for a minute, place yourself in their dirty shoes (or lack thereof) that wouldn’t be Instagram worthy today…can you feel your heart begin to palpitate and your hands begin to sweat?
It’s all risk, courage, and bravery for a greater story.
There are countless stories for us to see how God allowed hard and difficult to pass through, but what came out of it was way more glorifying to God Himself than if He had just handed people the answers and the gritless routes.
Imagine…the Great Adventure Book, our Great Written Guide and the Word of God wouldn’t be all that interesting if God didn’t bring process into the product.
But, we need to shift our perspective a little bit…we don’t need to fight in the sense of works or worthiness or keeping up. We need to fight the GOOD fight.
And Paul gives us some very clear direction as to how to do that.
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. Ephesians 6:14-17
But there’s only one problem, with the armour we take off the shelf,
our backs are still uncovered.
Because that’s where God intended for us to…
FIGHT FOR each other
FIGHT back to back and back each other up.
Not pretend like we are, but actually do it.
Actually fight with the intentions of glorifying God and sincerely covering each other with love and protection like we care if our people get hit or not.
For ourselves, let’s be gritty and build resilience.
For others, let’s love well, protect, and not abandon ship.
For God, let’s give Him the glory.
The best things require a fight.
The “FIGHT” Filter Application
Prayer: Pray that God would give you the qualities of the armor of God…truth, righteousness, peace, faith and salvation along with His Word and our Helper. Pray also that God would give you the will and the desire to fight back to back with your people, protecting them…fighting for them.
Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-17
Say It To Yourself: The best things in life require a fight.
Journal: Journal about the things in your life that seem hard right now. Ask God for perseverance and make sure that when you see relief or resolution to those things that you thank God for carrying you through something difficult for His glory.