What is life? Is life just a “wing it” moment? What are we called for? Is it even possible to make an impact in this world as a young generation? But what if people won’t like us? What if we get made fun of? What if we won’t fit in? The reality is, we all strive to fit in. But aren’t we all called to be set apart and holy? I’d like to make a call to this generation.
As a 16-year-old living in a world of “all about me,” I know exactly what it’s like to want to fit in. Today, it’s all about being cool. The world is a competition to see who can be the best and have the best. It’s all about having the best car, the best looking boyfriend/girlfriend, the best friends, the best style, the best looks. In 8th grade, at the age of 13, I hit popularity. The ladies loved me. I had it all. I felt satisfied. I found myself getting into fights for girls – literally. I experienced such a level of fulfillment that came from fitting in and having it all that I just had to get more. That’s the thing about bringing satisfaction to the flesh; all it wants is more.
Most Christian parents don’t expect much out of their children regarding Spirituality. All they expect from us is to be “good Christians.” In other words: just go to church, be a good kid, and there won’t be any problems. We think we serve God by going to church, but what’s happening is God is serving us through all of that. Going to church won’t make you any different from an atheist. We’re just expected to be good church kids and it’s assumed that we as a young generation simply can’t make a big impact in the world just yet. That’s where the line is drawn and the bar is set, but we don’t have to accept that. We can rise above it. I don’t believe in age boundaries; I believe in a young generation of world changers.
The Christian lifestyle is significantly different than the lifestyle of an unbeliever. A Christian (I would hope) believes that we are by nature, sinful human beings. We are dirty, filthy, and useless. We lead ourselves to destruction. We do things we were never created for. But by God’s grace, Jesus came to this earth, lived a sinless life, and He died for us on the cross in our place so that we may be forgiven and free from the consequences of our sin through repentance, resulting in holiness. That’s the believers point of view. An unbeliever, on the other hand, thinks that’s just crazy and foolish. So they go and live their lives as they please. Want to lie? Go for it, all you want. Want to lust? Be my guest. Weed? So down. All the sex you want? Heck yes. Homosexuality? Love is love; we can’t stop it. That’s the unbelievers point of view. My point? We’ve made up this little thing that’s in between those two and we call it Christianity. It consists of a little bit of both. We want God’s forgiveness, but we still want to live for ourselves. We say we love Jesus, but we do so little that pleases Him. Christianity involves a separation from this word; a protection from all that is false. Stop calling yourselves Christian if you don’t want to be separated from the world. Let me just say that God wants people who are fully devoted to Him. FULLY.
My Call To You
1. A call to REPENTANCE
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19; NKJV)
The Bible says it loud and clear: we’re all called to repent. Many think that regret counts as repentance, but that’s not how God wants it. Repentance isn’t being sorry; it’s being sorry enough to quit. It’s like going from dirt to glory. By God’s grace, we’ve received the power to be completely free from it and to step into the glory of our Father. This is how I see it: repentance is deliverance; being set free from your sin, never to turn back to it. For example, if I repent of sexual immorality and I go and do it again, have I repented? Have I been delivered? Repentance is a thing Christians like to do in their own strength, their own power, and their own wisdom. It says in the book of John that, “Whom the son sets free is free indeed.” Let me just say, if you repent under His strength and under His power, you will truly be free.
2. A call to PURITY
To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. (Titus 1:15-16; NKJV)
When thinking purity, many think sexual purity. Which it is, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s having a pure mind, a pure heart, and pure thoughts. If you have a pure mind, you will have a pure heart and pure thoughts. Everything we do starts with the mind. Bill Johnson once said, “It is impossible to sin out of who you are in God. Every sin a believer commits comes from believing a lie.” Wow. Every sin, every act of impurity, it’s all the result of believing in a lie. If I have control over my mind, won’t I be able to control everything else? My actions, my words, my motives, my beliefs, are all a result of something that I allowed to enter my mind. Bill Johnson also said, “You won’t have to watch what you say if you watch what you think.” Everything we say and so all comes from the mind. The very act of sin starts with the mind. Romans 8:6 says, “Letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” You’re led by one of two things: the Holy Spirit or the sinful nature. One leads to purity, the other leads to impurity. I pray that we may be a church led by the Holy Spirit!
3. A call to HOLINESS
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2; NLT)
Holy: to be set apart for God. Holiness and purity are related. You can’t be pure without being holy and you can’t be holy without being pure. It’s extremely rare to find a young person that is pursuing holiness. Everywhere I go, Christians look just like everybody else. At that point, why even call yourself a Christian? Many say that Jesus died for them and they’re forgiven, therefore it doesn’t matter what they do. That’s false grace and demonic. It’s perverting the very truth of what Godliness means. Grace isn’t a license to sin. Grace is God’s willingness to empower righteousness; to empower you to be free from it. The scripture quoted above says tells us that in order to be holy, we must allow God to transform us by changing the way we think. It goes on to say that until we get our minds renewed, we won’t know what pleases God. Our natural way of thinking doesn’t do us any good. A renewal of the mind is essential in EVERY Christian. There’s a way that seems right to a man and there’s a way that IS right to God that we can only come to know through a renewal of the mind. Young people, stop trying to fit in! Rise up, be Godly, be holy!
4. A call to INTIMACY
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8; NKJV)
Intimacy is another way of saying a really close relationship. Studies show that humans would not survive without interaction with other humans. It’s simply not healthy to live without social interaction. It’s vital for us to have relationship and bonds with one another. Studies also show that children who come from divorced families are affected in their every day lives. Their IQ scores are lower. Their learning capacity is diminished. Their lives are completely different than it would be with a strong and healthy family. In divorced families, children tend to see their mothers significantly more often than their fathers. It’s very unhealthy for the growth of the children. The Christian life is exactly the same between us and God. We can’t build a strong and healthy Christian life without interaction with God. We won’t do as well in life without being intimate with our Father. This is why there’s so many Christians struggling with depression. There simply is no intimacy. False grace (as mentioned in #3) enters into our lives when there is no relationship. We will never come to know what God wants for us if we’re never in communion with Him. A preacher at my church once said, “the way we come to God is the way God comes to us.” If we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. If we truly want the intimacy with our Father, we will do something about it rather than waiting and thinking that the fruits of the relationship will magically appear. May we be a generation after the heart of the Father.
5. A call to EMBRACE
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11; NIV)
My last call to you is to embrace what He has for you. Did you know that it’s possible to live in complete joy every day of your life? Did you know that depression doesn’t have to be part of your life at all? Did you know that we can come to a place of intimacy with our Father where we don’t care what people think of us? Did you know that Jesus wants everything to do with your life? I’ve been a Christian for 2 years and let me just say, I am so in love with Jesus. My heart burns to make His name known. We’ve been created with a purpose. We’ve been created for relationship with Him. We’ve been created to make a difference. God has called us to an absolute denial of ourselves, and to step in to the calling. No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, no matter where you’ve been, God is after you. God is calling your name. God wants YOU. Embrace the purpose He has for you. He wants to transform your life to where you live every single day embracing the Father.