Paul Tripp gives five signs that our teenagers understand and participate in the spiritual battle. While he is addressing teenagers, the list is a good one for all of us.
1. He will have a heartfelt, internalized fear of God…He does what he does not because someone is watching, or out of fear of the consequences, but ultimately because of a deep, worshipful love and reverence for God.
2. Second to fear of God, but directly related to it is submission to authority…If a person fears God, he will be submissive to the authorities that God has placed in his life.
3. The next quality evident in a person who is engaged in spiritual warfare…is separation from the wicked…If a teenager is serious in his desire to participate in the spiritual struggle, if he is seriously seeking to live a life pleasing to the Lord, and if he is living in a willing submission to authorities in his life, then he is going to want to spend his time with people who share his values.
4. It is impossible to participate in the spiritual struggle if you do not have the ability to think through your faith and apply it to the situations of life. What a teenager needs, if he is going to live a God-honoring life, is a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures that allows him to apply its commands, principles, and perspectives to the many different situations that arise in everyday life.
5. The final piece of this goal of focusing on the spiritual struggle is biblical self-awareness…We want to be used of God to produce teens who can regularly examine themselves in the perfect mirror of the Word of God and who can humbly accept what is revealed there.