(A rough draft excerpt from the book I'm working at writing, Falling In Love With Jesus)
The Lord has a special heart for young people.
He created it so that our youth is full of energy, life, and potential.
Our years of youth are the most important years;
we are becoming who we’ll be for the rest of our lives.
Satan knows this, so he will try even harder
to get the hearts and minds of us in our youth.
He’s going to try in any way that he can
to keep us from being all sold out for the Lord.
If he can get us now, it’ll surely be easier to keep us later.
(Likewise, if we’re on fire for God now,
it’ll be more likely to stay that way later.)
Those blessed with the vigor of youth should use every opportunity
to do for the Lord that which they won’t be able to do in the future.
Sadly, most of the time when I converse with elderly people,
they’re constantly telling me how they
wish they started living for the Lord sooner.
Oh yes, they may be ‘on fire’ for God now,
but they are more physically restricted now than when they were younger.
Think of how greatly the Lord can use someone who is all sold out for Him,
and still has their whole life to do it!
Young men and women who are not bound by physical limitations
can use their strength and energy to glorify God.
Unfortunately, teenage years and young adulthood is often
the most misused times of too many people’s lives.
They often take their abilities and strength for granted,
and as a result, they limit their effectiveness for Christ.
There are so many things we allow to steal our time
that we should be using for Christ and abiding in Him.
The majority of our youth today are so consumed with dating,
relationships, rebellion, selfish pursuits, or whatever it may be;
And thus, they are wasting the very precious years of their youth,
which could be used completely for the glory of God.
Romantic relationships, particularly, are the biggest snares
that Satan uses to tempt our Christian young people;
And through it, will gradually yet surely destroy their lives and testimonies.
Just take a look at an average youth group!
The most common topic of discussion is to hear about
“who’s with who” or “how nice looking so and so is”.
Instead of edifying one another and talking about what the Lord’s been doing,
so many of today’s Christian teenagers are too busy being ‘on the make’.
That’s a sad situation!
How sad it must make the Lord as He sees His youth
throwing away their precious years.
He’s said, “Let no man despise thy youth;
But be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation,
in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
We are to be using our youth as an example;
to edify other believers in the faith.
The purpose of youth is not to live a ‘carefree’ life and
“have all the fun we can get while we can”;
it is the most valuable time in our lives that we only get once!
It is the only time we have to prepare for the rest of our lives!
What a great and essential task, yet so many are so careless with it.
“Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee
in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart,
and in the sight of thine eyes: But know thou that for all these things
God will bring thee into judgment.” Ecclesiastes 11:9
I think this is a great reminder to beware about following our hearts.
We must remember that we do give an account for every thing we do.
If we think that we can live our youth in selfish pursuits
or rebellion, we must remember:
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man soweth,
that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:8
So many times, it’s easy to fall for the mindset of enjoying
and spending our youth, forgetting the purpose of these years.
These are the years that we need to spend seeking
God’s perfect will for our lives, being completely surrendered to it,
Getting prepared for the life He has meant for us to live,
and serving Him to the fullest of the ability that He gives us.
We need to be dying daily. (“…I die daily.” 1 Cor. 15:31)
Now, dying is not suppressing.
When we die to ourselves, it brings forth much fruit.
We must not suppress our sinful desires,
but rather put those away and use all that energy for the Lord.
Instead of using our passion and energy being focused on romance,
earthly pursuits, or whatever it is, let’s put that passion
to good use and use it for Jesus!
We all have zeal, fervor, and life in us…
why not apply it all to an eternal perspective?
We crave love and romance; let the Lord fulfill that longing.
He is waiting to fill any and every longing we have.
“Delight thyself in the Lord;
and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:4
That is truly taking control and leading our hearts,
instead of allowing our hearts to lead us.
We may figure that we’ll live our lives now ‘while we can’
and perhaps ‘serve God’ and live for Him later.
Well, the Lord tells us,
“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…” Ec. 12:1
Sometimes, young people seem to think that they
can serve the Lord “when they’re married”.
While marriage does open different doors of opportunity,
it doesn’t hold the key to the only opportunities!
Actually, God is saying quite the opposite in 1 Corinthians 7:32-36 -
“But I would have you without carefulness.
He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord,
how he may please the Lord; But he that is married careth for the
things that are of this world, how he may please his wife.
There is a difference also between a wife and a virgin.
The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord,
that she may be holy both in body and in spirit:
But she that is married careth for the things of the world,
How she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit;
not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely,
And that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.”
Marriage isn’t the only way that we can serve God through!
As a single young person, we have
opportunities that married people don’t have.
We can entirely and completely be sold out for Christ,
serving Him, and enjoying our time with the first Love of our life.
Joel 2:3– “Therefore also now, saith the LORD,
turn ye even unto me with all your heart…”
Now is the time to live for Him.
Not tomorrow, not next month, not some odd years from now;
Let us remember Him now.
Instead of focusing on relationships and the world around us,
may we build and nurture our relationship with Jesus now,
So that we may have the rest of our lives to enjoy living for Him;
and not spend a lifetime regretting that we didn’t.