The Teen Challenge – Life As A Christian Teen

The following blog is from my nephew, our guest blogger, David DeLeon (16).

The battle of being a Christian teen is challenging. When a battle is fought and won, our character grows because we have learned how to overcome the enemy in a specific situation. When a battle is fought and lost, we stumble, but we can still learn from our mistake and grow stronger. This battle as a teen is a battle of the mind and it is an intense battle between the teen and the devil. It is essential for a teen to know what he or she is up against before the teen finds oneself miserably defeated.

For me, I had fallen into many temptations that looked good, at least for myself. Little did I know, the devil was playing with my mind. There are five main plans that the devil had against me and has against everyone:

DIVERSION:  Diversion makes the wrong things seem attractive so that you will want them more than the right things.

DEFEATED:  Feeling defeated means that you feel like a failure so that you don’t even try. I had felt so defeated after every mistake that I could not bring myself to try to overcome my mistakes.

DELAYING: In this case, the devil makes you put off doing something so that it never gets done. When I was in the process of not trying to overcome my mistakes, I began to just stop me and God time. I began to delay prayer, bible reading, and almost all communication with God.  The decision to be away from God will often result in a downhill spiral of feeling an overwhelming state of being alone, or dead to the world, or isolated, or unworthy, or hopeless, or unloved.

DISCOURAGEMENT:  Discouragement makes you look at your problems instead of God.

DOUBT:  Doubt, in my opinion, is the most dangerous weapon that the devil possesses. Doubt makes the right seem wrong in a ponderous confusion of the mind. Imagine you mind rejecting the very reason of your existence. That is what teenagers do sometimes for whatever their own reasoning is. Many varieties of doubts tend to come across the mind of a teenager. For example, “Am I worth anything?” “Is there really a God full of love and grace?” “Is there really that love that is so pure and divine?” Even the most simplistic questioning of God can easily lead to a person deciding to go their own direction based on the lack of trust invested in God.

“Life is a walk in the desert… until you reach the everlasting stream.” This is a personal quote I made for myself as reminder as I go through my teen years and the rest of my life. Sometimes I feel that I am walking aimlessly through a dry desert. I am in search for water. My mouth is dry, and I start to believe that I will not survive much longer as I lie on the hot, sizzling sand. When all seems lost, I cry out for God, and God pulls me up and gives me a drink. I feel my strength increasing more than ever. I feel refreshed. I feel renewed. Once again I am up on my feet.

Through the battles in life, whether you are a child, teen, or adult, God is the everlasting stream. God will not leave you thirsty, or unloved, or alone as long as you trust and follow him. He is the way, the truth, and the light in all darkness. It is a challenge as a teen to live life how God wants us to live, but God offers his hand to all people.  We just need to take his hand.

Image

Vote For Me! I’m the Bestest!

Well, today, November 2nd is the blessed day when political advertisements will come to an end. Certain politicians hopes and dreams come true, start to take place, or take a dive.  The political candidates spend many months raising support and spending money on advertising, sending a message on why they are better than the other candidates, in hopes that you will vote for them because they are better and they will get more done.

I can’t help but think that many live their lives the same way.  Instead of months, though, years are invested to get people to “vote” for them…or like them.  We put on certain “political” fronts (also known as masks), spend money getting the right clothes, electronic toys (iphones, etc.), boast about accomplishments or put other’s failures on the radar so that we look better…..It’s all about the presentation and projecting an image to have an identity that is worthy of respect….but is it real?  Is it genuine?

As a teen and even into the adult years, I can’t help but wonder how many of my actions have been a campaign for approval…to be liked, respected, and admired while my true self was hidden and known only by God.  When my campaign would fail, I would fail, and therefore become depressed.  I can tell you  with confidence that the campaign for approval will always end in not being elected by all voters, because that is the only way to win in this campaign.

The past few weeks, Cornerstone Church has been doing the r12 series (Romans 12 – Living on the Edge) by Chip Ingram.  This week, the focus is on having a sober assessment of self.  Not to think of ourselves too highly or too low, but that our identity or worth being found in Him who gives us worth.  Any campaigns for approval seek the votes from people who do not have an accurate assessment of who we are, only who we project or pretend to be (and that always changes!).  The real assessment of who we are can only be made by the One who created us, who chose to die for us, and who has adopted us to become His children.  This is based on who He says we are and what He has done for us on the cross….and not what I say about me, what others say about me, what I have done, or what others have done to me.  This is an awesome fact as stated in His Word that still amazes me to this day.

So, vote for me.  Don’t vote for me.  Do what you want.  All I know, is that in love, Christ died for me…and that is enough.