I’ve opened a new category…For The Brave of Heart only!
Please read this blog only if you are “FEELING BRAVE IN HEART”. It is a little STRONG in opinion and emotion.
With the death of Amy Winehouse making headlines, I did what I normally would when I’ve heard information of such a nature. I started praying for her family and friends.
Do I know them? No.
Your next (unspoken) question would probably be: “So why bother praying for someone’s family and friends that you don’t know?”
1. God loves them (saved or unsaved).
2. They’ve just lost someone they love and are brokenhearted. My Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted, and many people reach out to God for comfort on the death of a loved one. (another opportunity for people to find God, if someone is pushing through in prayer for them)
3. They are huge influences in their field. (This is the actual point I would like to expand on.)
I have kids in various age groups. And through the years they have listened to secular artists such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Katie Perry, Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Justin Bieber, Ricky Martin, Michael Jackson are just a few of the names I’m able to recall at this point. My kids have raved about them, googled them, hung on every word they’ve said, looked what clothes they wore, who they were dating, bought magazines because they were on the cover, bought clothes designed by them, bought clothes because their faces were printed on the clothes etc. Picture of “influence” starting to look familiar?
As a Christian, a parent and a leader in the church, I had no clue how to deal with this infatuation my kids had with “STARS”. Hollywood seemed so much more glamorous when compared to Christianity. How does a Christian parent cope with such a challenge?
After praying for several days and asking God for wisdom on how do I teach my kids that people are not “bad”, but just “unsaved” and that what they doing is “not wrong”, they have just not had the “Godly input” that our children have been privileged to have had. I was trying to teach my children the principle of “not judging someone” before you’ve even started praying for them.
God took me to the following scripture:
1 Tim 2:1-3
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
At that stage my answer was: “Yeah, I do pray for the government every now again. This does not solve my problem with my kids”
Until I took a closer look at v2: …and all who are in authority.
Authority means you have an ability to influence someone… good or bad.
God said: “Who is influencing your children the most: Me or the STAR they’ve obsessed with?”
The way to find out what’s in someone’s heart is to listen what comes out of their mouth! My kids were talking “stars, fame, money, clothes, Hollywood”
The main influencing factor in my children’s lives is the “STARS”!
The Stars where having more of an impact on my kids with their “flashy lifestyle” while not having the responsibility of discipline, their schooling, their manners around the dining room table, their manners towards people etc. All of the “unpopular stuff”, such as the list I’ve just rattled off, was left to the inadequate, boring, not-so-famous-parent!
Challenge: how do I change this!
After God showing me the real influence in my children’s live and bringing the scripture in line with the reality, I was able to tackle the problem from a Godly manner.
I approached the subject from a different angle. Every night when we prayed together, I would get my children to pray for the salvation of the person that “influenced” them at that stage. Very quickly, they started seeing through the façade of the fame and started lining up their behaviour with the scriptures and asking me if what that person was doing was right. And it became a powerful evangelical and equipping tool in my children’s lives.
The lesson they learnt:
1. Saved or unsaved: People are important to God.
2. Saved or unsaved: God loves people.
3. Saved or unsaved: Jesus died for people.
4. Saved or unsaved: I was to become more like Jesus and become the mediator between God and man by standing in the gap for the people. (Please refer to one of my previous posts: “I want to be more like Jesus”)
5. As a Christian, I can influence the destiny of someone’s life without them even knowing me or that I’m praying for them.
What sparked this post, was the Christians ungodly responses to Amy’s death on places such as Facebook, Twitter, sms’s etc (yeah, I am also subscribed to most of the social media networks). But sadly, this is not a once off trend I’m referring to here.
In 2011 alone, I have witnessed similar responses in the following situations:
1. When President Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, I was horrified at these people who, on a daily basis profess they are “godly” (and even scarier thought: these people were trying to input into my life and tell me they have a message for the Body of Christ), come out with statements: “The demon is dead! Finally!” “The devil can have him” “let him rot in hell”.
2. When Japan was hit by numerous disasters earlier this year! “This happened because the Japanese do not serve God and He is judging them” What junk!
I’ve read what Christians have said of Amy Winehouse: “a tool used by the devil”, “a drug addict”, “wasted talent because the devil used her voice and God did not get the glory for the voice He gave her”.
Christians, dare we change our outlook of people and see these people as “unsaved children that My God loves and wants them in heaven”. Hell was created for the devil and his angels, not for people who the Christians have not wanted to pray for.
We all want to be leaders and Fathers in this wonderful Faith, let’s focus on what’s on God’s heart: PEOPLE and lets leave the judgement for Him to do on judgements day.
We all deep down have a desire to want to known as the person who impacts other peoples lives tremendously. Let’s learn to impact where it really makes a difference!
Heaven and hell are two total extremes. I reckon that is probably the biggest impact you could ever have on an individual’s life.
In prayer destinies are changed! This is probably the most important life changing impact you will ever have on an individual’s destiny, whilst obtaining God’s favour and been rewarded! What a great privilege to get approval from the one we love the most!
What a powerful testimony to your children that one of the “STARS/FAMOUS PEOPLE” got born again and is now ministering the Word of God. What would cement your child’s faith and trust in God more than seeing His power overcome the evil one.
Maybe the ending of Amy’s life would have been different if more parents with children following her music had adopted the response “Let’s pray for Amy’s salvation so she can glorify God with her beautiful voice”
Let’s trust that in her final minutes on earth, an obedient Christian somewhere was prompted to by the Holy Spirit and was praying for Amy’s salvation. Would it not be an awesome testimony to the power and grace of God’s salvation and forgiveness if Amy had cried out to God in her last moments and that she has been accepted and entered the Kingdom as a daughter of the Most High God!
Let’s pray for the “influences/authorities” that shape our lives, in doing so, we become destiny changers!