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When I first sat down to write this article I was going to focus on the social networking that our youth are being inundated with. I was going to talk about Facebook, and the dangers, or the negative impact that such networking can have on our youth. However, as I considered my thoughts and tried to put my finger on what truly is the issue at the bottom line, I realized it wasn't the social networking that our kids are exposed to. It is not the Internet, or the information age that is to be faulted, or to be blamed for the negative, disrespectful and blatant ungodly nature of our youth today.

It's our fault. Deserted Child

Plain and simple, if someone is to be blamed for how the youth are in this day and age, it is us. It is the parents of those youth. It is we who profess to love God with all our heart mind and soul, and yet we fail to demonstrate and teach that very concept to our children. Teach it in a way that is true and heartfelt. Teach it in a way as if their very lives depended on in. Which I would hate to remind our readers, is completely true! Their lives do in fact depend on it.

Countless times throughout the Bible God warns us about our adversary and how we are to live lives in resistance to that adversary.

"Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity." Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will." - 2 Tim. 2:19,22-26

Young or old, the Devil sets snares in our lives. He knows how to get us bogged down in "life" and he will do all he can do render us immobile and paralyzed from doing the will of the Father in heaven.

Are we warning our kids about the snares of the devil?

What about this verse?

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." – 1 Peter 5:8

The word 'vigilant' means to "be wary" or to "keep watch" for possible danger or difficulties. Are we teaching our kids to be wary? Are we training them to keep watch? Or are we simply allowing their senses to be dulled, in the un-sober, mind-numbing, toxic, potent and inebriated world of the Information Technology age.

The passage reads that the Devil is a "roaring lion seeking whom he may devour." These are strong words. This means that Satan is sneaking around trying to devour our kids. How many of us would not sound the alarm, grab a baseball bat, or even call the police should we see a burglar sneaking around our house at night?

How many of us fathers wouldn't get protective to a point of physical confrontation if some strange man began to grope at our daughters and sons?

And yet, we sit idly by watching our evening television, or too busy at the office to take note of our biggest responsibility God has ever given us; To be the protector, the teacher, and the mentor to our children.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it." – Proverbs 22:6

"And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." – Ephesians 6:4

When our kids are young we teach them that hot stoves burn their hands, that running in the street is dangerous, that playing with knives can cut. Yet when it comes to spiritual things, we do nothing to warn our children of the deadly and dangerous wiles of the Devil.

Ephesians 6 mentions us putting on the whole armor of God so that we can stand against the 'wiles of the devil.'

"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." – Ephesians 6:11

The word wiles is defined in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as:

Devious or cunning stratagems employed in manipulating or persuading someone to do what one wants.

Do our children know about the armor of God and our defense? Ephesians 6 continues:

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" - Eph. 6:12-18

Our defense against the devil is clearly defined here as truth, righteousness, our salvation and faith. It is also interesting to note that our sure footedness (feet) seems to hinge on the gospel message.

James tells us to:

"Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" – James 4:7

If we resist the Devil, and shield ourselves from his fiery darts, the devil will indeed flee from us. God‟s Word promises us that he will grow weary of the tempting and flee; not walk away; not saunter off, but flee from us.

The dictionary defines 'flee' as "To run away often from danger; to hurry toward a place of security".

Do you realize the promise in that? It means we shall prevail when in truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, and the word of God, we stand firm and resist the Devil - the roaring lion that seeks to devour.

The picture painted in Ephesians 6 of our battle preparation against the Devil is finalized with the 'Sword of the Spirit; which is the Word of God'.

In the time of the writing of Paul's letter to the Ephesians, the sword was the most deadly weapon man could wield or possess. There were no guns, no explosives or things of that nature. The sword was everything to enforce, to ensure safety, and for survival.

Christ demonstrated the power of the Sword of the Spirit when the Devil tempted Him. Matthew 4 and Luke 4 document three times how the Devil tried to tempt Christ. Each time Jesus answered the Devil with the Word of God. Each time Jesus resisted the Devil and countered the attack with the Sword of the Spirit. The final outcome was just as promised to us:

"Then the Devil left him.” – Matt. 4:11a

We are to wield the Sword of the Spirit and wield it well. To wield means to be able to utilize the weapon efficiently and effectively. If we do not immerse ourselves in the Word of God daily, how can we be sure to wield it as required? Soldiers train for battle, and yet the modern Christian does not even pick up the Sword. It sits in the corner of the room and collects dust. Sure once in a while we see someone else pull out their Sword, say a few encouraging words about it and then put it back in their sheaths, but never do we think it's necessary to take ours out, to shine it up or to train for battle.

This holiday season (and thereafter) sit down with your kids and tell them the importance of their relationship with the Christ Child who once came to earth as a babe. Warn your children that the Devil wants to destroy them. Teach your kids and equip them with the whole armor of the Holy Spirit so they can extinguish the flaming darts of the enemy. Tell them that Christ is the most important thing to any man; that in a 100 years the only thing that will ever matter is whether or not they followed Jesus. Express to them that this is the most important thing in their lives; stress the importance of Christ, God's Word, and prayer in their lives. But most of all... show them.

Now go serve your King,

- J.R. Hall

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