We are in a series called: What is your Kryptonite? Like Kryptonite to Superman, sin steals our strength. It steals our spiritual strength and it blinds us from seeing who we really are. Let’s quickly talk about our spiritual strength, what God has given us. We just can’t talk about this enough.
God has given us His grace to wash away all sin, guilt and shame [Galatians 3:3]. When we walk through life with sin and shame and guilt, it’s exhausting and defeating. But, when we bring it to God, God washes it all away to refresh our soul. That’s grace. And we do nothing to earn that, just come to God and He gives us that gift of grace.
God has given us the righteousness of Jesus [2 Corinthians 5:21]. When we accept Jesus into our life, scripture tells us God pours the goodness and righteousness of Jesus into us. That means every time God sees us, He doesn’t see our sin or failure. God sees the righteousness of Jesus in us.
God has placed the Holy Spirit inside us as a guarantee that He is with us [Ephesians 1:14]. God told us that the Holy Spirit is His guarantee that He is with us today and into the future. The Holy Spirit is God, part of the trinity, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God is literally putting God into us.
Think about all that. That’s God’s strength given to us. Grace. Righteousness. The Holy Spirit. It makes us spiritual Supermen, Superwomen. Quick question to think through: How many people do you know, who attend church, live like that? Living everyday with courage and joy knowing that God gave them grace, righteousness and the Holy Spirit.
Scripture puts it like this.
If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. NIV John 8:36-37
What God gives us is unbelievable. It literally makes us spiritual Supermen and Superwomen. What can steal our strength? Sin. It’s our kryptonite. What can steal our freedom? Sin. It’s our kryptonite. What can stop us from seeing who we really are, in Christ? Sin. It’s our kryptonite. Sin can have a kind of power over us.
Scripture tell us:
6 Your old evil desires were nailed to the cross with him [Jesus]; that part of you that loves to sin was crushed and fatally wounded, so that your sin-loving body is no longer under sin’s control, no longer needs to be a slave to sin; 7 for when you are deadened to sin you are freed from all its allure and its power over you. TLB Romans 6:5-11
We said, as you live life, our greatest battle will be in our mind. We will struggle to believe that God gave us His strength [grace, righteousness, Holy Spirit] while at the same time live in a world of pain and struggle. It’s called faith. Faith means I will believe that God gave me His grace, His righteousness, His Holy Spirit while at the same time live in a world that is filled with pain and struggle. Faith means, I surrender my life to God.
Scripture explains faith like this:
We live by believing and not by seeing. NLT 2 Corinthians 5:6-7
That means I believe that God gave me His strength [grace, righteousness, Holy Spirit] and I’m going to live like it. I’m not going to stay in control while I wait for God to show me and prove to me that following Him will work out the way I want. I’m going to surrender my life to God and live day by day and trust Him regardless of tomorrow.
If we are expected to live in faith, you can see how important it is to be in meaningful relationship with God. Times where you slow down, connect with God in prayer or reading or doing something fun. Times when God reminds you how much He loves you. Times when you realize the day to day drama of our lives means nothing when you connect with the God of time.
Jesus taught about how important it is to connect with Him. To put God first. To seek after God.
29 Yet King Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as beautifully as they. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you, O men of little faith?
31 So don’t worry at all about having enough food and clothing. Why be like the heathen? For they take pride in all these things and are deeply concerned about them. But your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well that you need them, 33 and he will give them to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to.
34 So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time. TLB Matthew 6:30-34
Jesus taught, put God in first place in your life. To explain that a little more, I want to ask you a question. At the end of the day, how do you know you had a great day? Maybe you got the job you wanted, or the pay raise you needed? Maybe you are in sales and you landed the big account? Maybe the girl said, ‘Yes,’ when you asked her to go to the prom with you? Maybe your husband texted you to go on a date later? Maybe the kids got to be starter on their sports team? All those things are good. But to put God in first place means, a great day is when you connected with the God of the universe and He reminded you that He loves you. When that happens, that is a great day.
What did Jesus say? Live in faith. Don’t worry. Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. Relax, God will take care of you. God knows what you need. Your part is to put God in first place in your life. To have a great day, spend time with God to know how much He loves you. That’s faith. Do you see the connection? When I put God in first place in my life, I can relax. I don’t have to worry or be anxious. I am reminded that God put His strength into me [grace, righteousness, the Holy Spirit]. In that relationship with God, I can be content.
Here is why it’s so important to put God in first place in our lives. Life unfolds and it doesn’t always unfold the way we want. We struggle to be content. We begin to wonder; is God going to come through for me? We aren’t so convinced that God will come through for us the way we want. We begin to strive and struggle through life. We have more questions than answers. We feel like we are in survival mode. We aren’t satisfied. We aren’t content. We feel tired, burned out and worn down.
What do we normally do? If we don’t think God will come through for us, we don’t normally turn to Him. God is kind of disappointing us. I’m no longer content with God. He isn’t working out. That’s when we begin to turn to anything we feel will satisfy us. We will seek out pleasure, money, achievement, work, education, bigger house, social media, newer car, alcohol, fame, validation from others, status, position, controlling others, companionship, power, authority, lust, anything to make us feel good. Not all those things are wrong: however, when we turn to those things to satisfy us more than God, that’s when we get into trouble.
When we turn away from putting God in first place of our lives to whatever will temporarily satisfy us, we call that a modern-day idol. That idol becomes the thing that we turn to, to satisfy us. We begin trust it. We begin to look for it. It becomes first place in our life. It makes us feel good. If anyone talks about our idol in a negative way, we might get angry and defend it by saying, ‘It’s no big deal.’ A great day for us is being with our idol, that thing that temporarily satisfies us. Being with God becomes a struggle or an interruption to what we need to get done.
The apostle John wrote this:
15 Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. 16 Practically everything that goes on in the world – wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important – has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. 17 The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out – but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. MSG 1 John 2:15-17
Do you see that? Our pursuit of what our world offers squeezes out our love for God, it isolates us from Him. When we turn to our idol, we no longer have time to put God in first place. We aren’t content with God. We no longer are experiencing God loving us. We don’t feel like God is enough. The things of this world seem so attractive, so right for us. The things of this world begin to squeeze out our love for God. We are no longer reminded that God has given us His strength [grace, righteousness, the Holy Spirit].
A modern-day idol, that thing you turn to instead of God, has no power to give you grace. It cannot remove the sin, guilt and shame from your soul. It has no power to give you the righteousness of Jesus. It cannot redeem your soul. It has no power to give you the Holy Spirit. It cannot put God into you. I would say, while it looks like it’s not a big deal or it might even seem right, it literally robs you of God’s strength and leaves you feeling worse. It’s like eating a twinkie when you are hungry.
The idol will give you a moment of satisfaction but leave you spiritually empty. To solve that feeling of being spiritually empty, normally, people go back to the idol for another moment of satisfaction. As we keep turning away from God and turning to our new idol, it steals our spiritual strength and it blinds us from seeing who we are in Christ. It becomes kryptonite to us.
A couple questions I want to walk you through.
- Do you walk through the day with courage and joy knowing that God gave you His strength [grace, righteousness, the Holy Spirit]?
- Is God in first place in your life and are you content with God?
- What is a great day to you?
- Are you worried, stressed and anxious about tomorrow?
- Do you wonder if God is going to come through for you?
- If you were honest, would you tell others, ‘God is kind of disappointing to me’?
- Do you struggle to see the importance of God – almost like God is irrelevant?
- Are you spiritually struggling, in survival mode, not really satisfied with God?
- What are you turning to, to satisfy you? Can you name it?
- What is it that seems more satisfying to you than God?
- Do you see the damage that idols can do to your spiritual life?
- What are you turning to that seems right, but leaves you tired, worked up, or depressed?
Maybe your kryptonite, the thing stealing your spiritual strength, is an idol. You feel like God has disappointed you or even worse, God is irrelevant. You are turning to anything to help you make it to another day.
Jumping into your work day without God because you are too busy. That’s pride.
Jumping into social media leaving you feel jealous, like everyone is happy but you, depressed. That’s like eating a twinkie when you are hungry.
Jumping into your day, making no changes and wondering where God is? That’s crazy.
Please hear me.
Nothing in this world has the spiritual power to give you grace, the righteousness of Jesus or the Holy Spirit.
Everything in this world is a distraction, and it will feel so right at first, but it will leave you spiritually empty.