He took a deep breath and began again, ‘Why is it we don’t seem to understand how much power we have?”
The teenagers sitting around the table looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.
“Karen, could you pass me my bible please?”
Reaching over to the end table beside the sofa and taking the bible, she passed it across the table to her husband, Robert.
“Andrew, please turn to Romans 1:3 & 4. Can you read it for us?”
“It is the Good News about His Son, Jesus, who came as a man, born into King David’s royal family line. And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit.”
“Did you ever think of it that way before? The same power that raised Jesus from the dead gives us power over the temptations of the flesh.”
Ben, the sixteen-year-old cousin of Andrew, who was visiting from out of state, hung his head.
“There is no reason to feel defeated,” said Robert. “ The struggle you guys are having with the flesh is normal. You just have to fight tough and smart by using the power and resources God gives.”
“But how do we do that,” asked Brandon.
“Let’s look up some more verses.”
“Here’s one that will help, it’s from James 4:7 and says, ‘Resist the devil and he will flee from you’ say, ‘no’. Say it out loud if you have too.”
Andrew crossing his arms over his chest and stretching his legs under the table they were seated at said, “I tried that and it didn’t work.”
Robert picking up his bible turned to another passage and read, “ Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 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 or prayers and requests.” With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
“Let’s break it down, what does it say?”
“Put on the full armor of God, so you can stand against the devil’s schemes. I never saw that word before, schemes. He’s plotting and planning against us, isn’t he? Said Ben.
“It will help if we will recognize this temptation thing for what it is. It is an all out spiritual war and we have to handle it like a soldier. What are we told to do?”
“Stand your ground, after everything stand, stand firm,” followed Nathan. “Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, prayer, the Holy Spirit, we are to use them all.”
Karen who had been working a jigsaw puzzle while the young men visited with their youth minister began to hum.
Her humming was soft but rose with crescendo as she hummed each stanza of the song. The three boys turned and looked at her.
Never looking up, continuing to work the puzzle, she hummed the tune of the song, “Just as I am without one plea…”
* * *
Early in the marriage of Robert and Karen, after several occasions when Robert would get most diligent in casual conversations and turn things into a sermon, they had developed a signal between them for her to let him know…enough!
This night of fellowship for the three teenage boys, their youth minister and his wife, Karen, had turned into some preaching. Softly and with all humility Karen drew the conversation to a close at just the right point to let this teaching of God’s word soak into their beings.
New Living Translation (Romans 1:3 & 4)
New International Version (James 4:7)
New International Version (Ephesians 6:10-18
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