I have been alarmed by the great number of youth and young adults who have been self-isolating in their rooms and shunning meaningful connections. The answers given are usually related to anxiety and depression, but is this the symptom or the root issue? We need to pray seriously and consistently for God to break through and deliver them into freedom. As parents I am sure that you wonder, “how can I help my child not to go in that direction?” My wisdom to you is to keep your kids oriented toward building others up. The devil likes to keep our focus on ourself; To question our self-worth, to question our identity. We are too busy wondering what others think of us to question what they need from us? Even if we do see their need, we have become to insecure to offer ourselves to their service. But God not only sends the Holy Spirit to address our self-worth but he points us to others and gives us a noble commission to be a blessing.
When I pray for myself I experience the presence of God and it is uplifting. But when I begin to pray earnestly for others it is like the heart of God overwhelms me and my connection to God goes 100x’s deeper. So the solution that I have found is to start by coming to God for my own sake (Lord, I need you) but then begin to think of others and pray for their flourishing (Lord, my friends need you). Pray against the work of the enemy that is keeping them trapped. Whenever we orient toward others we rise above our own circumstances and are in the position to be used by God to be a blessing. Whenever we get focused on ourself we move toward the dismal victim mentality and fail to bless others and lose our own flourishing in the process.
To our aid the Father has sent the Holy Spirit to indwell us. In the verses the kids are studying this month they are exploring how the Spirit makes them bold and gives them gifts. These are ways that the Spirit empowers us to make a difference in the lives of other people. Boldness to love on others and to speak out with the words of the gospel even when our thoughts are telling us to stay home and be quiet. The Spirit empowers believers with spiritual skills that can be used to build others up– especially when we gather as believers to do some kingdom business. Talk to your kids this month about how you were bold for Jesus and shared your spiritual life with someone else. Talk to them about the things you feel the Spirit has gifted you with and how you bring that to the table for ministry in the church.
As always, the kids learn best from what you model and not from what you say, so take time this month to challenge yourself to allow the Spirit greater room in your life for emboldening your witness and using you in the ministry of the church.