Verse: 1 John 2:14
I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.

In this verse, John continues on addressing different groups within the church (see verses 12-13 for other groups) – fathers, young men, and children. Each group is at a very different stage in their spiritual journey, but they all have something in common – they know God and have overcome the enemy.

First he addresses fathers, those who have been walking with God for a long time. John commends them for their deep knowledge of God. Their faith has stood the test of time, and they have a life full of experience to draw from. They are an example to the younger generations of what it means to know and love God.

*Pause here for a moment- I just want to commend many of the fathers I’ve come to know through our time at CityLight, specifically through small groups. This rings true. It has been an honor and a blessing to see many of the men around us share their knowledge and experiences. You are a light in a broken world and an example of what it means to know and love God, I have learned so much through these relationships and am so grateful for it.*

One more note, though this is written in language specifically addressed to men, this doesn’t exclude women. In each of these verses, you can swap in different examples that are still in the same stage of life. Men without children who have followed God for years are still examples of what it means to know and love God. Women and mothers still have experience and value in teaching the younger generations. Although John uses specific language here, you can still identify with and focus on the attributes of each stage he speaks on.

Young men, on the other hand, are strong and full of zeal. They are in the prime of their lives, eager to serve God and make a difference in the world. Their strength comes from the Word of God, which they have in their hearts. It is this Word that empowers them to overcome the temptations and challenges that come their way.  As someone in this young adult stage, I absolutely identify with what these verses pinpoint. Young adulthood is a pivotal moment where we figure out who we’re going to be for ourselves. It’s a time where the ground we walk on can feel unsteady. Things are rapidly changing as we learn and grow. We’re trying to establish ourselves in a broken world. Most days, all we can do is cling onto the word of God for dear life as we’re bombarded with information and changes.

*Here’s another place to dig in to the meaning though. This stage is people who are believers, but not yet seasoned veterans like the previous group. We have some years behind us, but not many of life’s major challenges as believers clinging to His word. This doesn’t mean you have to fall into an age bracket, but instead an experience bracket. You can be 70 years old when you come to know Christ for the first time and still have to experience a broken world though a new world view and cling to His word with the same zeal.*

And finally, children, those who are new to the faith and still learning, are also included in John’s message. Even though they may be young in their faith, they too have the potential to overcome the enemy through the power of God’s Word. This can apply to any age group again. Brand new believers all experience the phase of learning and delving into the Word for the first time. It’s such a special time to experience God’s presence and get to know His character for the first time. I experienced this childlike phase for the first time in college and I will always cherish those sweet moments getting to know the Lord as some of the best of my life.

As we reflect on this verse, let us consider where we are in our spiritual journey. Are we in the first phase, with a deep knowledge of God and experiences that have strengthened our faith? Are we young, full of strength and zeal for the Lord? Or are we children, still growing and learning in our faith? Wherever we may be, let us take comfort in the fact that we have overcome the enemy through the power of God’s Word. This is true for every single group. In every single group, we still have room to learn and grow as we walk through life with Him. Let us continue to grow in our relationships with him and walk in victory each day.

For today’s prayer, before beginning, take some time to reflect and pinpoint what phase you may be in.

Lord, thank you for a diverse world of believers. Thank you that we can be a part of this kingdom, whether we’ve known you 100 years or 1 minute. Help me to keep my eyes focused on You. Help me to cling to Your word as I navigate walking through a fallen world, but filled with Your hope and light. Guide me in walking into the next,  deeper phases of my faith as I come to know You more each day. We love you Lord. Amen

Author: Becca Artymenko