We are in a series called: What is your Kryptonite? In other words, like kryptonite to Superman, what is it that is stealing your spiritual strength?
When you give your life to God, you have spiritual strength, God places it inside you.
For the Kingdom of God is not just fancy talk; it is living by God’s power. NLT 1 Corinthians 4:20
Let’s get practical. What does it mean to have ‘God’s strength’?
God has given you His grace to wash away all sin, guilt and shame [Galatians 3:3]. When you walk with sin and shame and guilt, it’s exhausting and defeating. But, when you bring it to God, God washes it all away to refresh your soul. That’s grace. And you do nothing to earn that, just come to God and He gives you that gift.
God has given you the righteousness of Jesus [2 Corinthians 5:21]. When you accept Jesus into your life, scripture tells us God pours the goodness and righteousness of Jesus into you. That means every time God sees you, He doesn’t see sin or failure, God sees the righteousness of Jesus in you.
God has placed the Holy Spirit inside you as a guarantee that He is with you [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 God the Holy Spirit. God is literally putting God into you.
Just think about this for a second; only God can put God in you. That’s spiritual strength.
So, before we jump into today, what is your kryptonite and what have you done about it? Let’s recap some of the things that might be your kryptonite.
There is a battle for your mind. You must hold onto what God said about who you are. If you don’t it can steal your strength.
We talked about modern day idols. Our affections, stubbornness and pride. We said modern day idols are like spiritual twinkies. They might make us feel good in the moment, but they always leave us hungrier. Here is why; only God can put God in you.
How do you view God? Maybe how you view God has stopped you from running to God. Maybe we need to see God for who He is. Loving. Caring. Available. Grace filled. If you believe lies about God, it can steal your spiritual strength.
Forgiveness and bitterness. Last week we talked about forgiveness. It’s an act of love and it literally pulls out the hurt that people give us. It heals us and doesn’t allow the hurt from others to control us. If you don’t forgive, I promise you, it will steal your spiritual strength.
Today we jump into Rebellion. Rebellion is like pride. You don’t see it inside yourself. And, if someone points it out in you, you are quickly offended. Think about it. When was the last time you walked up to a mirror, took a long look and said, ‘Hey honey, look, I think I am filled with pride.’ No one does that. And that’s what makes pride so dangerous. The individual filled with pride doesn’t see themselves as prideful but everyone around that person can see it. There could be a wake of broken relationships an commitments behind them, but they never see pride.
Rebellion is the same way. You don’t see it inside yourself. And, if someone points it out in you, you are quickly offended. Here is why we don’t see rebellion inside of ourselves. No matter how bad we are, we can always think of someone worse – right? You think, I might be whatever but at least I’m not an axe murderer. And because we can always think of someone worse than us, we always give ourselves a pass.
We look at ourselves, do a quick analysis, and decide, ‘I’m good people.’ I go to work to make money. I pay my taxes. I haven’t killed anyone. I don’t rob banks. I don’t cheat on my wife. I go to most of my kid’s events. When the grocery store asks me if I want to donate a dollar to a good cause, I do it. I’m a good person. I may not be perfect but I’m not rebellious.
Let’s read what scripture says. 1 Samuel 15:23 in the New Living Translation
Rebellion is as bad as the sin of witchcraft.
Same verse in the Message Version
Not doing what GOD tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult. MSG
Did you see that? Rebellion isn’t about axe murderers. It’s not about bank robberies. It’s not about finding loop holes. Rebellion is not doing what God tells you to do. And that is worse than fooling around with the occult.
In raising kids, have you bumped into rebellion? It’s something you don’t have to teach your kids is it? They come out with rebellion deeply planted inside them. At age two, what do they do? They say ‘no.’ They throw their food and pitch a fit if they don’t get what they want. As cute as it is on video, it’s rebellion.
As teenagers, you tell them what do and it’s a good day if they do half of it. You call them out and they look at you like you are nuts. They certainly don’t deserve to go to prison over it but it’s rebellion.
As adults, we live life our terms. We don’t fully surrender to God. We stay in control. We aren’t axe murderers but it’s rebellion.
So, I have a question for you that only you can answer. What has God asked of you that you are not doing? That could be your kryptonite. It could be the thing that steals your spiritual strength. Let’s look at a couple of topics.
Politics. Depending who is the President, then I will pray for them.
Finances. I love church, worship and grace but I will not be a person who gives back. That’s all mine.
Marriage. Scripture teaches to respect and honor your spouse. How would your spouse say you treat them?
Spiritually. God says rest. Sabbath. Be with Him. Are you able to slow down and go after God?
Sexually. It’s my body. I will do with it what I want, when I want and how I want.
Gossip. Does the drama and gossip of life bring you to life? Does that gossip and critical junk you hear from others, does it end with you? Or do you spread it like wild fire?
Do you see it? Rebellion isn’t about axe murderers. Or robbing banks. Rebellion is about not doing what God said.
The big point that I want to bring out to you today is about how you treat authority, those who are leaders in your life. This is hard isn’t? What do we all think? Our natural default setting is, I will follow my leader until I disagree with them. If I disagree with them or if I feel hurt, I will do what I want. Outside of them asking you to sin, that attitude is rebellion.
What do you think I wrestle with? Rebellion. Why? Because the way I want to do it is right. Another word for that is, pride.
Scripture says this.
Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow. TLB Romans 13:1-2
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you… Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. NIV Hebrews 13:7, 17
I want to tell you something. Leadership is hard. That’s why so few people want to do it. Do you know why there are less volunteer coaches for kids? Easy. Go to a game and watch how grown people treat them. Do you know why there are less paid referees at kids games? Easy. Go to a game and watch how grown adults treat a teenage referee. Leadership is hard.
To lead means you take responsibility. You make decisions and deal with the ramifications. And as you lead, you walk with an insecurity that you don’t know if every decision is right. It can be stressful, lonely and it can wear you out. Now think about that. How much harder is it for your leader, your boss, your kid’s teachers if you don’t engage. If you criticize constantly. If you fight with them constantly. If you are always sarcastic. It wears people out.
In my worse moments at MRC, some days you wonder, ‘Why did I ever leave the mortgage business?’ Why? Because leadership can wear you out.
We started Youth Impact Project that helped financially struggling families prepare for school. The point of it was to unite all local churches to serve the poor together. It reached over 40 school districts and we saw one year over 5,000 people come for help. Do you know what one person in MRC said? “Ken just wants to do things that are big.” That comment wears me out. Then another comment is, “What are we doing for people outside of MRC, not us be focused on ourselves?” I just want to take a nap. We just helped over 5,000 people as we united all the local churches to relieve poverty in the area. Ugh.
Leadership is hard. How do you respond to the leaders in your life?
How do you treat your child’s teacher or principal?
How do you treat your child’s coach?
How do you treat the cop who stopped you?
How do you treat your pastors?
How do you treat your volunteer leader?
How do you treat your boss?
How do you treat your spouse?
Here is what I challenge you to do. Stop and think. My leader is God’s delegated authority. Leadership is hard. It’s stressful, lonely and it wears people out. So, pray for them. Fully engage and celebrate every leader in your life. Don’t be the person who wants to make the leader quit.
That’s why Paul wrote:
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Chances are this will be hard for some of you. The rebellion you were born with, will need to be broken. You will need to understand that the leadership in your life is God’s delegated authority. I didn’t say they are perfect. I didn’t say they are fair. I didn’t say anything like that. I am only sharing with you what scripture says. Make their work a joy.
As you make their work a joy, something beautiful is being shaped inside of you.
The thing that stops you might be, maybe, rebellion.