Why Do You Want!?

 One Saturday evening, I sat in my mentors backyard, listening to him and his explanation on why we “want” things that we don’t “need.”

My friend reminded me that God will supply our every need. He then challenged me with this question:

Why do we want what we don’t need? Why do people want the big house they can’t afford? Why do people want the nice, expensive car? Why do people want the job or position?

Then, he asked me?

“Kendal, why do you want a truck or a Land Rover!?”

I sat there for a moment. I said “because they are nice!”

He looked at me and said…”and what else?”

I said, realizing he saw right through me, “so I could feel great.” 

The answer that he gave me was because it symbolized what was missing in us. It symbolized our chasing after something that only Jesus can satisfy. It was symbolic of us desiring something that was already put into us and that we can tap into that without having something materialistic.
When we get something really nice and new, we feel great at the time. In that moment, we have feelings of joy and excitement and happiness.

Then…it wears off! We get bored with it. And, in some cases, that “want” for some becomes a burden on time, money and life itself.

Think of the person who buys all the cars, nice houses, go on expensive vacations and just live the “good” life, but are never truly happy. Think of the people who daydream about living luxurious but are never content with where they are and what they have.

I’m personally convinced that God wants us to have the very things that He desires for us! But that might not mean for me a Land Rover LR4 or a lifestyle of riches and fame. That stuff will pass away and is temporary. 

Matthew 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 


Jesus was saying before this text not to worry about what we eat, drink or our bodies! And yet, how often do we get consumed in worrying about what we want, much less what we need. We get consumed in anxiety and fear and frustration. In no time we find ourselves comparing our lives to others only to declare that our lives are meaningless. 

My friend finished his point, telling me that if I believe in Jesus, and I obey and follow His Word and seek Him daily, the effects I get from getting things I declared I wanted will be overpowered by the feelings and mindsets that I have for Christ and for the things of God!

The things I thought I wanted, become the things that really don’t matter. And the things that I need will be supplied by my God who I serve and will trust! 

Identity, A Biblical View On Digimon: Digital Monsters

Digimon: Digital Monsters characters. From left to right, TK, Matt, Joe, Tai, Sora, Izzy, Mimi

Digimon: Digital Monsters characters. From left to right, TK, Matt, Joe, Tai, Sora, Izzy, Mimi. Digimon is owned by Bandai Entertainment.

Introduction to Digimon: Digital Monsters

Japanese anime series, “Digimon: Digital Monsters,” served as a perfect example of what happens when people with their own personal issues fight to struggle with restoration, wholeness and following their destiny.

“Digimon: Digital Monsters” is about 7 kids who were enjoying summer camp but suddenly were sucked into a portal that took them into the digital world. It is there the 7 kids meet their partner Digimon and are thrust into a destiny and purpose they were not too prepared for.

A friendship and partnership is built up between the kids and their partner digimon. Together with their digivice and crests that symbolizes each childs’ character attribute, they fight to protect each other as well the digital and real world.

The main characters in the first season starts off with Tai, Izzy, Sora, Matt, Mimi, Joe and TK.

Throughout the first season, each character represented a specific characteristic that was connected to the crest they carried around their neck.

Tai represented the crest of courage.

Matt represented the crest of friendship.

TK represented the crest of hope.

Izzy represented the crest of knowledge.

Joe represented the crest of reliability.

Mimi represented the crest of sincerity.

Sora represented the crest of love.

As the show progresses, we find out the issues and shortcomings of each of the characters. Tai, while he represented courage, was foolish. Matt, while he represented friendship, was not friendly. TK, who represented hope, was a cry baby. Izzy, while he represented knowledge, was disconnected from reality around him. Joe, who represented reliability, couldn’t rely on other people. Mimi, who represented sincerity, was beyond sincere, but insulting. Sora, who represented love, didn’t truly know or express love.

Each of the characters, whom we know as “the digi-destined,” had their greatest strengths and their greatest weaknesses in a bundle.

I liken it to that of God calling Gideon, who was in hiding, a “mighty warrior.” You couldn’t tell Gideon was one yet, but God was calling out what was in Him even though what was in Him wasn’t showing up JUST yet. Gideon would later be that “mighty warrior” when things got hectic.

Their’s multiple elements that we can pull from the “Digimon: Digital Monsters” series but for a moment I will highlight 2 things here:

Called, When You Don’t Fit The Call Yet

If you were to call me into the ranks of the “digi-destined” and give me a crest and call it something like “the crest of humility,” a few years ago that would’ve been something I would consider incorrect.

Even though I considered myself pretty humble, I had a lot of heart work that needed to be done.

Like Tai, Matt, Sora and everyone else, the following would’ve happened to me. Something awful, yet wonderful.

The purpose and the destined position would’ve place me in a position where I would have to change and become that person that I truly am. I would be challenged to change. I would run into things that would question my heart. The entire time, as we battle together to save both worlds, I would have to question if my heart was truly set to be “humble” and “self-less” as the so-called assigned crest would say I am.

Case in point, Ken, formerly the Digimon emperor, was cruel and harsh and mean, and yet later he received the crest of kindness. We learn that he forgot about who he was because of some things that happened in his past. His partner Digimon and others later remind him that the person He was was NOT the Digimon emperor. That persona was built from pain. He was made for the crest of kindness. It was the truest thing about his identity.

So, for me, if there was such thing as a crest of humility, I know I would represent it better than what I could a few years ago.

In the Bible, God calls out so many different people and Jesus does the same thing. He calls us out from the darkness and into light on multiple levels. He calls us who we TRULY are to Him, not the stuff we made up for ourselves. Often times, He will call us who we truly are in order to do the things we were destined to do.

The Enemy Doesn’t Want You To Know Who You Are

Your identity is so important! It is important for you and it was incredibly important to the “digi-destined.”

You ever notice that each of the enemies, especially the major enemies, worked tirelessly and strategically to try and keep the characters from knowing who they really were. They worked to bring confusion, battles, suffering and even separation (if you would recall the episodes on file island).

Izzy was hit with confusion when he was tricked into giving up his knowledge. Matt was hit with lies when told he must fight against Tai and the others. Tai was hit with guilt when his sister, Kari, was sick. And the list goes on!

Much like with the understanding of the Bible, the devil is interested in separating you from God and His love through His son, Jesus.

And yet, as the series went on, not only did the “digi-destined” learn more about themselves, they began walking in there true identity. They began to heal from the wounds of the past and the present and they learned to trust each other. The bad guys kept going down one after another the stronger the kids got.

Destined For Greatness

Everyone has something to bring to the table. Everyone! You too! Yes, you! Before writing this article, I’ll be honest, I thought I had literally lost my mind.

But, then, I started thinking about what this meant. This meant that even in my imperfections, even in my weirdness and geekiness, God is able to use me to reach out to a generation of others.

Cartoons and anime for me are a passion. I love watching them, drawing them, reading about them and talking about them. But I especially love talking about God and my relationship with Christ!

At first, I didn’t think the calling on my life really fit. Now, I’m learning that not only does it fit, I’m learning why.

Because, I’m a broken, destined man, destined to do the work called for me to do by my savior Jesus. After all, my identity IS in Christ.

My hope is that not only do you pull the truth of the Gospel from this article, but that you also really enjoy sitting down and thinking about how God, even now, is speaking to us through nature, through art, through creativity and is leading us straight back to the truth of His word and the Gospel as a whole.

Detective Conan on Humility, Servant Leadership and Being Like A Child

Detective_Conan_Characters

For the past few days, I have been watching one of my favorite anime’s, “Case Closed,” which is also known as “Detective Conan.”

“Case Closed” is about a high school student, Jimmy Kudo, whom after being drugged by a crime syndicate and left to die, turned into an 8-year-old boy. Adopting the alias, Conan Edogawa, the famous young detective now has to solve crimes as a little kid while using his close friends’ father, whose a detective, as a cover and a way to find the men who poisoned him.

Humility

A gifted detective, masterful in deductions and all things mystery, Jimmy Kudo lived in the spotlight of popularity. Girls loved him. Men were jealous of him. People were amazed at his work at such a young age.

But, Jimmy Kudo, now known as 8-year-old Conan, was not humble at all. Kudo was so into his own world, his own interest and his own desires and the attention he was getting, he was missing out on the fact that ONE person really cared for him deeply, Rachel Moore, a girl he’s known since childhood. But, his focus was on the thrill of doing what he loved to do and the fame that came with it.

Then…everything changed. He was not careful enough. After being ambushed, he was knocked out and poisoned. He should’ve died, but the poison caused a side effect that turned Jimmy into who we now know as Conan. And to make matters more interesting, he’s forced to stay undercover under his new name at Rachel Moore’s house, where her father, Richard Moore, was a detective whose work was not all that great.

While watching the series, two things I noticed immediately. Both Jimmy Kudo (Conan) and Richard Moore had the same problem: humility. Jimmy lacked humility while he was brilliant in the art of detective work. Richard Moore lacks the intense skill that Jimmy has but genuinely believes he’s the best and is incredibly prideful.

Second, throughout the series, Conan is helping Richard solve every single one of his cases without him really knowing it. Throughout the series, this makes Richard Moore become the famous detective whom many will later know. Conan was the greatest. Now, Richard is the greatest.

Conan was literally humbled into a position that would require him to serve someone else in order for himself to be served. Conan understood that he wasn’t going to get to where he needed to go in life unless he helped Richard Moore go from mediocre to great!

Servant Leadership

I could only imagine the kind of heart and mind change it took for Jimmy Kudo, now Conan, to go from being a great detective who was admired by all to being a little kid.

At first, solving cases was just for personal interest. Now, it was a matter of life and death. It was a mission. There was a purpose behind it.

It was more than just for a rush and admiration. It was now all about determination and getting his real life back. But, he couldn’t become great again…until he became a child again.

What we can take from the series and from the main character is that to be the greatest is to be a servant.

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Being Like A Child

In Matthew 18:1-5, the disciples were discussing who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Much like Jimmy Kudo, the disciples saw the Kingdom of Heaven as a big prize here on earth, not something of higher, eternal value.

Jesus calls a little child to Him and set the child in the midst of them. He explains to them this:

Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

The New King James Version. (1982). (Mt 18:3–5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Much like Jesus makes the point of being converted, which here literally means, “to change.” The Message Bible, as I paraphrase it here, says that unless you go to square one and start over like children.

Greatness comes from serving. Humbling yourself as a child is a part of the Kingdom of Heaven living style.

“Life” – A Poem

Life has a way of taking hearts,
And hardening them like sun-dried clay.
The person who once was happy and glad,
Could be sad and depressed the next day.

People and places and situations,
Can leave a man bitter.
And yet it would be impossible,
For that driven person to be a quitter.

But many have fallen into a sleep,
We call it recreation.
Men retreat into a cheap and short paradise,
Sports, video games and women and movies as a vacation.

Who could blame those men though,
It’s a form of escape from pestilence.
But they just don’t know the damage they cause,
When they extend their adolescence.

So where can we go to escape our struggle,
And when we grow weary from pain.
And when we feel like giving up hope,
When we get ever so closer to going insane.

My hope is still found in the one who died,
Whose sins he paid of mine.
The one whose life he gave for all,
Jesus put His all on the line.

So, yeah, I’m not at all the best and the brightest, And not exactly a intellectual prodigy, I just remind myself of the scripture that starts off, As greater is He that is in me.

Kendall Lyons (c) 2015