The Young Christian - Living for God Despite The Challenge of Being Young
My generation thinks it's too hard to be a "Christian"....
The truth is, being a Christian in general is hard. But over the past 5 years of my life walking with Jesus, I've noticed that many of the young people that I have met have walked away from a true relationship they could have had because they said it was too hard. I've preached, and I've watched: many have heard the gospel, and became on fire instantly, but soon enough the fire dwindled and was no longer. Many heard the great news and denied it because they didn't want to give away their idols -(Sexually immoral relationships, drugs, and other worldly desires). Many have simply just placed their worldly and fleshly desires over God, saying that they love Jesus, showing off their good deeds and ministry activities, but with their hearts, they crucify him all over again. I'm reminded of the parable of the sower Jesus shared in the gospels:
I grew up in a loving family - we were predominantly Catholic. Out of all of my cousins (and my brother), I've always been the youngest of our age group (80s & 90s babies). We grew up in a time where social media and the internet became a huge place to learn. We also grew up in a time where Juvenille was taking over for the 99' and the 2000s'. That being said, we (although, Catholic) had different thoughts. None of us were serious about God, but we did honor him by going to Church on Sundays.. (or so we thought we honored him). We wore chains and necklaces with a cross, we'd let the world know we believed in God when they asked, would occasionally share some bible verses as our Facebook status, and would say prayers before eating our meals. All of that did not excuse us from all of the sin that we had committed from the moment we were born out of our mothers wombs. We did not understand due to a lack of knowledge, and a lack of wanting to know who Jesus really was.
At this point, you're probably thinking "Yeah! I've seen those scriptures, they are extremely popular!" Those are the same words that came out of my mouth for years. Even when I had my first true encounter with God when I was 17, these were the same scriptures often repeated; but the true question is what did it really mean to believe? And how in the world was I going to do it?
A reoccurring theme I hear when sharing the gospel is that people fear losing something they love. The something they love tends to be the very thing drawing them away from God. That's how it was for me - when I first met Christ, I was put into such a tough position, that I wasted about 2 years of my life that I could've spent in true relationship with the Lord. At the time, I was 17 and becoming very successful in the club scene / party industry. Growing up in Miami, It wasn't too hard to get your feet in the industry, and with the fact that my dad was famous in Miami for being a Radio Host for years, I got places I would've never imagined. I could go on with my story, but so you get the jist, I was making hundreds every week. It also included compensation with drugs, alcohol, popularity, and being with any girl I really wanted. Jesus met me at my lowest, and still chose me. Many of you may be reading this thinking "What a show-off" or "He had it good", but I'm thinking that Jesus is a true lover to have chosen to speak to me when I was so far away from him. I had to leave what I thought would be my lifelong career and profession - something I spent years crafting my skills in, in order to follow Jesus. When I thought that I would be done with music and the years I spent working to become something, I made the sacrifice for Jesus and he replaced my worldly desires for a desire to use my talents to glorify him. That picture you see above was an opportunity I was given just a few years into my walk to share with people how amazing Jesus really is, and the only reason God gave it to me is because he asked me to do one thing when I came to him: believe. I believe that he can do anything he wants. God used someone like me. Shortly after, the Lord blessed me in business. He rose me up as an entrepreneur, speaker, and salesman. It all came together quickly the more I let my personal desires get out of the way, and continued to trust his plan, and remove every bit of worldy and fleshly desire I had for myself. Not my will, but your will Lord, be done.
If you have decided to believe (because you do not accept Christ, Christ has to accept you.) in Jesus as Lord, but are still struggling to let go of your desires, I want to share with you how dangerous it is to live a life of sin. Not only will you not hear God, know and walk with him, you will not make it to Heaven. If you don't believe me, read Matthew 7:21-22. Repentance is the key to his heart.
As you already know, I had spent a lot of time 'believing' in God, but when I read the first words out of the mouth of Jesus in Mark, I began to understand what believing meant; not just in the fact that Jesus was God, but in the fullness of the Gospel: That God sent his only son to die as a sacrifice for the sins of the entire world so that those who would live for him would be pardoned from the judgement coming for their sins. AND that Jesus rose again proving himself as Lord, but also sending a helper (the Holy Spirit) so that we may overcome. I began to understand that God did not die in vain; he didn't die so we would continue to sin. I immediately knew that believing and repenting were hand in hand, and without doing both, I could not know who he was. Believing is exactly as the scripture above states -- that we would believe that through Jesus we are forgiven and made new. Repentance has never been a popular topic, but without turning from your sin, you will never know God.
When I fully believed the Gospel and chose to live a life of repentance; when I chose to live to battle my flesh and walk in the Spirit of God that I was given, was when I was truly able to become successful in my walk as a young Christian. When I look at other young Christians who are living a Holy and fully given over lifestyle, those are the same qualities I find: believing and repenting. The more I believed and surrendered, the more God would reveal himself and move through me. He literally says in the Word that you could move a mountain if you believe. Well I believe it.. do you? Repentance is when I started to feel God in me. The more time I spent in repentance before the Lord, he would show me his hearts desires and chisel the disgusting areas of my heart and life. This led to me living a life that was pleasant to him, allowing me to walk filled with the Holy Spirit of God, where he would do miracles in my life as well as the life of others such as healing, prophecy, deliverance, and many more things.
So now you're probably wondering, what am I supposed to do now?
- Believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- Do what Jesus did (Matthew 28:19-20), and don't let anyone stop you
- Live every day of your life believing and humbling yourself towards God
I encourage you to continue to read this chapter in the book of 1st Timothy. Timothy was a young evangelist, someone who I see when I look at myself. Timothy was constantly being encouraged and poured into by Apostle Paul, and it's no wonder why: he had a fire and zeal for the Lord Jesus and turned his city upside down for the glory of God, living in a pleasing way unto the Lord.
Jeremiah doubted his ability to move for the glory of God because of his age; but know that no matter how old you are, God can do anything. All you have to do is believe.
Never ever ever ever ever EVER, let ANYONE stop you from following Jesus. The worst thing that could ever happen is walking away from Jesus because of someone else or their opinion. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. You can fight the good fight, and finish the race. The world WILL try to stop you, and will try to tell you that you are wrong; that you are a fool, an idiot, and religious. But there is nothing better in the world than knowing who your creator is; the person who has loved you perfectly since the beginning of time. You are loved.
God bless you,
CEO of Excellence