“What's out there?” This question is asked by elementary school children, teenagers, and even reaches the lips of astrophysicists – the people that send deep space satellites out to investigate other planets for us.
So far we've been looking at the quartet of attributes at the end of what we call the POWER LIST that all played a part in the growth into and through the teenage years of Jesus. It follows that since we were created in his image, as scripture tells us, that we should understand this power list and follow its principles in our lives and share them with teenagers we feel burdened to minister to.
In the MENTAL and PHYSICAL parts of our quartet, we learned how to reach, and just what that reaching results in. In this SPIRITUAL part we learn the crucial need to first REACH UP (to Heaven's leading), and next time we'll learn how we can best REACH OUT in God-honoring love and order to others around us.
As with the other parts of the quartet, SPIRITUAL is best understood and applied by dividing it into its own quartet of four parts – Faith, Love, Obedience, and Prayer. Because we are presently humans with a spiritual awareness; a mind that reminds us there is a God that designed us and all that is around us. That spiritual part of us, if allowed, will draw us to know and accept that we have a responsibility to that true God and an obedience to Him.
As evidence that God doesn't want us to obey Him as robots, Faith is the partner of trust. We must accept Bible statements describing God Who is so much higher and majestic that our puny human minds can grasp. We have to walk in faith, trusting His written promises and fulfilled prophecies listed in scripture, that these will lead us to a life full of real joy, peace, and the purpose of life to magnify Him. Jesus certainly exercised faith growing into those teenage years. It wouldn't be much later before evil people would be trying to destroy Him and His mission here on Earth.
Great verses to lock our thinking into scripture would be, Romans 5:1, Romans 8:24a, 26.
This aspect of the SPIRITUAL attribute has been so diluted; so misused by the world, its deep value has been all but erased. Jesus grew with a deep love, first for God and His gifts to man, but as Jesus saw all the lies and deceitful teaching about the one true God; His heavenly Father, his compassion overflowed onto others that took up His mission in reaching out to others. Love finds its only true definition and appearance, in scripture and those who spread the teachings of God. Love finds its greatest picture on the Cross of Calvary; the full and final blood sacrifice for the sins of a world that still didn't understand verses like: John 15:13, Matthew 22:37-40, 1John 4:7-8.
Robots obey their programmed commands without feeling. Animals obey because they'll be rewarded with food. Soldiers obey because they'll be put in the stockade or jeopardize the safety of their team. To me, our obedience to God, isn't so much the kind that makes us obey God's directions out of fear. He wants us to obey Him out of love and trust. We obey, when we ask ourselves, “What would my life be like if God just walked away from me and left me totally on my own?” We obey knowing that someone obeyed God in telling me about Salvation and my horrible eternal destiny without that Salvation.
Some great verses Jesus would share with you, if He stood before us, in the flesh: 1John 5:3-4, Acts 5:29 and 32.
Prayer is not letting God know what we need or what is making us hurt, inside. He already knows all that, and even more, about us. Prayer is far more for our benefit. When we pray we show ourselves that we can't do things on our own, that we desperately need His leading, love, and provisions. We demonstrate that time spent personally privately praising Him is more important to us than any other activity in our day. Prayer is also a rich passionate time to invite others to join our devotion to Him and seeking His Will for us each day. Slowly read Jesus' prayer to His Heavenly Father, in John 17. Other great verses to use, are: 1John 5:14-15.
Next time we'll take a look at the final Power List attribute applied to Jesus as a teenager. It's SOCIAL. You may be surprised at its details.
(Note: adapted from “The Balanced Life – Youth For Christ (aka Campus Life)