I’m sure most of you are familiar with the fictional element called “Kryptonite.” It was introduced in the radio drama “The Adventures of Superman” in 1943. It resulted from the radioactive remains of Superman’s native planet, Krypton. Kryptonite ore came to earth inside a single meteorite from the exploded planet. In the Superman mythos, Kryptonite was the one thing that could weaken or kill Superman. Superman’s cells would absorb electromagnet radiation from stars like the Earth’s sun, energizing him and giving him his super powers. Kryptonite’s radioactivity interfered with this process, drawing the energy out of his cells in painful fashion.
Alexander Joseph (“Lex”) Luther was the super-villain who was introduced as the arch enemy of Superman in “Action Comics” in April, 1940. Lex was a power-mad evil scientist of high intelligence and incredible technological prowess. His goals centered on killing Superman as a stepping stone to world domination. He wreaked havoc on the world with his futuristic weaponry. When he realized the effect that Kryptonite had on Superman, Lex Luther used it as his main means to attempt to destroy Superman so that he could rule the world.
Superman and Lex Luther are, of course fictional characters, but I can’t help but see a number of spiritual parallels to our lives and the attempts of our enemy, Satan, to weaken and to destroy us. Kryptonite has become a synonym for “Achilles’ heel”–the one weakness of an otherwise invulnerable hero. Because we, as Christians, still have our old, sinful, Adamic natures, we have areas of weakness where we are susceptible to the “schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11). While the devil cannot make us do anything, he knows well what our weak areas are and will attack us through the “lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life” (I Jn. 2:16). Like Superman being energized by the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, we are energized spiritually by our exposure to the Son and from spending time in His Word, the Bible. We grow in Christlikeness as we spend time with Him and in “letting the word of Christ richly dwell within you” (Col. 3:16). Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you” (Jn. 15:7). The Apostle Paul proclaimed, “I can do all things through Him (Christ) who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). He exhorted the Ephesian believers to “Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:10,11).
As believers in Christ, those who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit (Tit. 3:5), and become “partakers of the divine nature” (II Pet. 1:4), we, like Superman, are invincible as long as we abide in Christ, have the Spirit of God controlling our lives and live in obedience to His Word. We have the same power at work in us that raised Christ from the dead (Eph. 1:19; Col. 1:29). “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Ro. 8:37). “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 15:57). “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ…” (II Cor. 2:14). However, we need to heed the warning that Paul gave the Ephesians to keep our spiritual armor on (Eph. 6:10-17), to “Lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Eph. 4:22-24). Paul goes on to give several examples. He says, “quit lying and speak the truth; stop letting the sun go down on your anger; quit stealing and work with your hands; stop speaking unwholesome things and speak only what builds up and gives grace to those who hear” (vv. 26-29). And inserted in that passage is a key commandment: “And do not give the devil an opportunity” (v. 27).
Each of us, through our old sinful nature, has a particular area of vulnerability to Satan’s attack. It might be lying, or anger, or stealing, or our speech, or our thought life, or immorality, or unkindness, or any number of things. If we allow our old nature to be in control, we become susceptible to Satan’s “Kryptonite”! (Remember the story of Samson and Delilah! Remember how he allowed Satan’s “Kryptonite” to cause his loss of strength.) We need to be aware of the areas where we are vulnerable and make sure we equip ourselves with God’s Word, which is our offensive weapon, the “sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17). We should memorize verses that help us say no to temptation, especially in our special areas of weakness. David knew that principle, and wrote: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word. With all my heart I have sought Thee; Do not let me wander from Thy commandments. Thy word I have treasured (hidden) in my heart, that I may not sin against Thee” (Psa. 119:9-11). I’ll bet David wished he had followed that advice when he spotted Bathsheba bathing on the roof top! Because he allowed his old flesh to rule, he succumbed to the “Kryptonite” of the enemy and was definitely weakened both physically and spiritually. Before he confessed his sin, he wrote: “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer” (Psa. 32:3,4). But, praise God, there is an antidote to the enemy’s “Kryptonite.” David went on to write: “I acknowledged my sin to Thee, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD;’ and Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin” (v. 5). “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit!” (vv. 1,2).
So, what’s your “Kryptonite”? Have you equipped yourself with God’s Word to be able to resist the devil’s fiery darts? Don’t give him an opportunity! He doesn’t need a very big opening to barge his way in. Don’t give him an inch or he will take a mile. Don’t give him any room at all. Stay “strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”