I’m not a comic book junkie. Really, I couldn’t tell you much about any of the comic book superheroes. I remember watching “The Avengers” and being completely lost, thinking, “I guess you have to know the back-story of these characters to get this!”
But even I know about Kryptonite. I remember the old 80’s Superman movies (I really thought they were dumb; I’m sorry if that offends anyone!), where I first learned about this fictional material that was the great superhero’s only weakness. The word Kryptonite has become synonymous with an Achilles Heel; it’s the one weakness of an otherwise invulnerable hero.
I don’t know about you, but I’m no superhero. And, to be honest, I have much more than one weakness; my list of weaknesses would probably be two pages long! But as I came across a familiar story in Scripture, I pondered the idea that many of us really DO have a spiritual “Kryptonite”, if you will, one area that tends to trip us up or cause us to fall.
Mark 10:17-22 recounts the following story:
17 As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’ ”20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” 21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
This story is so tragic to me. We see this young ruler, filled with enthusiasm and zeal. I believe he really DID love the LORD and desire to go after God. And yet… money was his Kryptonite. It was the ONE THING he loved more than God, and thus, it was the one thing that became his downfall.
Part of the reason this story breaks my heart is that I see it frequently repeated in those around me. In ministry, we get attached to many precious people, full of zeal and passion. They begin their walk with enthusiasm and a genuine desire to please God. And then… Satan finds it. That ONE THING they love more than God.
If you would ask them, “Do you love (enter their personal Kryptonite here) more than God?”, they would be quick to deny it. Yet, their lives testify to the fact that this ONE THING is what’s really sitting on the throne of this person’s heart. It is the line in the sand where their obedience to God cannot cross. “God, you can have all of me…but not this.” They hide this area from leaders and family, rationalize why what they are doing is not wrong and become highly defensive (or even leave the church) when this area is brought to light.
Spiritual Kryptonite can come in many forms: attention from men, a bad relationship, money, drugs, success, a music career, the inability to receive correction, pornography, alcohol, partying, being in the spotlight, even sleep. It is anything you love more than God (as evidenced by an inability to surrender this area to God).
We have all seen great men and women fall. We have watched as affairs have taken down even the greatest of spiritual giants. We have seen the love of money or power corrupt leaders who were once defined by integrity. We have seen passionate servants of Christ overdose and die in moments of weakness and depravity. What happened? Slowly, subtly, Satan convinced them that they could compartmentalize their heart.
Friend, do not let the enemy snare you in this web of deception! God wants ALL of you! He alone belongs on the throne of your heart. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” That word “guard” means to “garrison” or “put up a defense fortress” around it!
If God is putting his finger on an area of your life, do not be deceived into thinking that you can hold on to it and it not ultimately infect the rest of your life! We must stop rationalizing, justifying and making excuses for why we can hold on to this “one thing” and still be OK. We must live lives of TOTAL SURRENDER- yielding every area of our affections to the obedience of God’s Word.
In the Garden of Eden, God told Cain (a man struggling with the Kryptonite of jealousy and bitterness) this:
Why do you look so downcast? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master. Genesis 4:6-7
Only you can decide what will rule you. Today, I beg you not to “walk away sad” like that rich, young ruler who “almost” gave it all to God. Let me promise you this: once you finally release that ONE THING, you will experience freedom like you have never known, realizing that Kryptonite was never really worth your heart in the first place! You will understand the absolute PEACE in knowing that there is no way Satan can take down a life FULLY SURRENDERED to God.