What Is Your Kryptonite?
Have you ever considered which superpower you’d most like to have? Well, remember, every superpower comes with a super weakness. Our favorite superheroes are rarely defeated, but their stories would bore us to tears if our champions didn’t have some chink in their armor to provide drama to their adventures. The most famous example, of course, is the Man of Steel, who is invincible to everything except chunks of ore from his native planet of Krypton.
Superman’s creator, Jerry Siegel, introduced the concept of Kryptonite in a 1940 tale entitled “The K–Metal from Krypton.” In that story, some fragments of Krypton landed on earth and drained Superman of his strength while giving superpowers to humans who came near it. These metals were first called Kryptonite in 1943, in the Superman radio show. That happened because actor Bud Collyer, who played Superman, went on vacation. For several episodes, the storyline had a fill–in groaning in pain until Collyer returned to the show.
In the years since, many kinds of Kryptonite have appeared on earth. Green Kryptonite weakens Superman and can kill him with prolonged exposure. Red Kryptonite is non–fatal, but it causes bizarre behavior for 24 hours. White Kryptonite kills plant life wherever it’s found. Red–green Kryptonite causes Superman to mutate. Red–green–gold Kryptonite can strip Superman of his powers permanently, but Kryptonite–X can supercharge him and renew his strength. Black Kryptonite can split him into two separate entities, one good and the other evil. And orange Kryptonite provides temporary superpower to any animal who comes near it.
The writers may have gone too far with the Kryptonite storyline, but oddly, it corresponds to reality. Though the followers of Christ are redeemed by a supernatural Savior, indwelled by a supernatural Spirit, and energized by a supernatural Book, we have a wide variety of weaknesses that can defeat us if we let them. Like the fictional tales of our comic book characters, we are ordinary people who discover a supernatural life—ours because of Christ!—and we have a Spirit–infused ability to do good. But each of us has our Kryptonite.
What is yours?
What one thing can you do today to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil at the point of your greatest struggle?
Biblical Characters With Chinks in Their Armor
With Abraham, it was his tendency to lie about his wife Sarah when he felt endangered by men desiring her beauty. With Moses, it was his temper. As a young man, he grew so angry at a slave being beaten that he killed the abuser with his bare hands. Later, he angrily struck the rock with his staff instead of speaking to it as God commanded.
With the Israelites, it was their tendency to murmur, complain, and discount God’s promises to bring them into the Promised Land. With David, it was lust. With Solomon, his multiplication of foreign wives turned his heart from God. King Asa became cynical and backslidden in his old age. Peter suffered a penchant for speaking too impulsively, and the young man Mark abandoned Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey. The Christians of Corinth drank too much during communion services, and the apostle John fell down and worshiped an angel in the book of Revelation. Yet these heroes had a way of defeating defeat by God’s grace, for He who began a good work in them carried it on to completion.
Do you ever feel defeated? Sometimes we hide behind the mask of some invincible character we’ve created, trying to project a force field around us that is generated by nothing more than human resolve. But the enemy exploits our weaknesses, and we all encounter times of defeat in our Christian experience. Sometimes it’s because of our natural human weaknesses. James warned about how we can be dragged away by our own evil desires, which, when conceived, give birth to sin (James 1:14–15). Paul warns against letting the devil gain a foothold in our lives (Ephesians 4:27).
Other times, our souls are sorely challenged by the external circumstances of life. Getting bad news, for example, can shake our faith and cast us into prolonged discouragement, which is understandable but not sustainable for Christ–filled disciples.
What is your Kryptonite right now? What battle are you facing? What area of weakness is turning your victory into defeat? You can defeat defeat and be more than a conqueror through Him who loves you. How?
- Identify Your Weakness
First, identify your weakness. Denial is self–deception, and it represents a lack of self–awareness and a failure to be honest. If someone tells you, for example, that you have a drinking problem or that you’re too opinionated at meetings or that you’re abusing prescription drugs, consider the possibility they are right. Don’t deny your issues. Be humble enough to admit your problems. Realize you need help.
Has a friend or family member expressed concern about your behavior? Did it make you mad? Maybe it should have made you glad to know someone was worried about you. Instead of responding with offended pride, try saying, “You may be right. That issue is like Kryptonite to me. What do you think I need to do?” The Bible says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
- Access Your God–Given Powers
Second, realize you can’t overcome your weaknesses in your own strength. You certainly have to make up your mind to be an overcomer. It may take the support of your friends or counselors. But our true victory is anchored in Christ. Jude 1:24–25 says, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.”
Cry out to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and plead for grace in time of need. The Bible says, “Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4).
- Design a New Strategy
Then give thought to developing a strategy to improve in the areas of greatest weakness. Nothing will help you more than delving into biblical passages like Ephesians 6. For every weakness you face, God has answers in His Book, and those answers were written, as it were, with the blood of Christ. His written Word is packed with verses to help you strategize, strengthen yourself, and overcome your weakness through His strength.
Envision one step God wants you to take today to gain victory over what plagues you. What one thing can you do today to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil at the point of your greatest struggle? There is a step you can take right now, and it’s important to do it.
- Dress for the Day
Here’s another thing. Make sure you dress for the day, putting on all the armor of the believer. Satan’s Kryptonite cannot penetrate the armor God has provided for your mind, heart, and soul. You must learn to wear the full armor of God every moment of every day.
- Don’t Give Up
Finally, never give up. Proverbs 24:16 says, “Though a righteous person falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin” (CSB). The number “seven” indicates multiplicity. No matter how many times we mess up, we’re to get up—not give up. In the overcoming life, defeat is never final. Our job isn’t to gain the victory but to increasingly live in the victory Christ has already gained for us.
Satan’s Kryptonite cannot penetrate the armor God has provided for your mind, heart, and soul.
Within the soul of every child of God lies a power, which, when unleashed, will make them a force to be reckoned with, and we need to behave accordingly. God has given you supernatural tools to use on earth to protect you from the enemy and conquer the obstacles in your life. Don’t let spiritual attacks defeat, discourage, and disillusion you. Live life as it could be, as it should be.
Be an overcomer and follow the example of the heroes of Revelation 12:11, of whom it was said: “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
This article originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of Turning Points devotional magazine, a ministry of Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah.
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