I really feel the urge to write a post on the significance of young people in the church and how many young people have been deceived to think they’re too young to be called by God. After reading Isaiah 61:3b, i heard God tell me that this was what he wanted me to be. An oak of righteousness, lofty, distinguished and set apart, for the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. And this is what he wants you to be too! This verse actually refers to what Jesus came to fulfil later on through his death on the cross. Jesus didn’t just come so you can go to heaven; He came to make you an oak of righteousness, to be set apart and distinguished so that His Father may be glorified.
that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
I also believe that many young people need to be aware that this is what God wants for them too. God wants to use both the young and the old. You’re not too young! You want me to give you examples from the Bible? Alright i will.
Firstly, i want to talk a bit about the ‘call of God’. God chose you to be his child, before you even chose Him at all. In John 15:16, Jesus says that we have not chosen Him but He has chosen us. Even in Jeremiah 1:5 God tells Jeremiah: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’
So before God formed you in your mother’s womb, he had chosen you for a particular purpose. He had set us apart for a particular purpose, for His glory, before we were even born. Ephesians 1:4 says: Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.
Being set apart literally means being distinguished out of a crowd for a purpose. So we know every Christian has been set apart and called by God for a purpose even before the world was created. But is it every christian that ends up fulfilling what they had been set apart to do?
Matthew 22:14 says: 14 For many are called (invited and summoned), but few are chosen.
Not everyone called by God is chosen by Him. Why not? I believe that when people do not respond to the call of God and ignore Him continually, God looks for someone else to do the job for Him. God is a patient God so it may take quite a long time before he decides to use someone else. He will go to extremes, just like what he did to Jonah, just to get us to do what He has called us to do. However, if we persistently refuse to heed to His call, He will use choose someone else to do what He wants to do.
I believe that in Christ, all christians are one. There is no distinction: There is neither Jew nor Gentile or Male and Female, or Slave or Free(Or even young and old). We are all one in Christ(Galatians 3:28). So i don’t think its right for any adult to look down on a young christian person and think they cannot be used by God in their youth. I also don’t think it is right for any young person to think that they cannot be used by God in their youth. I believe that old people may have a different role to play from young people; but nonetheless both of them are still one. God said in the Bible that in the last days He will pour out His spirit on all men and the young ones shall see visions while the old men shall dream dreams. God’s Spirit cannot be poured out on people that are not willing to let it be poured out. Proverbs 1:23 says: ‘If you will turn (repent) and give heed to my reproof, behold, I [Wisdom] will pour out my spirit upon you, I will make my words known to you.’ The Bible says Christ is the Wisdom of God so it will be fine if you read Proverbs 1:23 as Christ stating it.
There are many examples of how God called young people in the Bible. Joseph received God’s call probably around when he was 17. Even in the midst of temptations, Joseph refused to give in to sin. I believe when God wants to promote us or use us in a greater way, he tests us. Joseph pleased God in all his ways even when he was sold to slave traders when he was still 17. David had 7 older brothers. He was the youngest in his family. Yet, he had killed a bear and a lion. David was probably a teenager with the way the Bible describes his physical appearance. Saul also said to him once, ‘You are only an adolescent so you are not able to fight this philistine’. Yet, he let God prepare Him all the while behind the scenes for what he had been called to do. He didn’t run away when he saw the bear and the lion. Instead he trusted God, and ran towards them and killed them; hence preparing him for God’s future plans for him. You’re not too young to be called by God.
Jeremiah was young when God called him. In Jeremiah 1:6 he replies God’s call by saying: ‘Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth.’ God looked beyond Jeremiah’s age though. He told him to not be afraid of the faces of the people around Him. You don’t have to be scared to try new things because you don’t want to fail. If you really believe in your heart that God wants you to do it, take a step of Faith. ‘Do it afraid’ like Joyce Meyer would say.
Daniel, Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego are one of the greatest examples we can find in the Bible of young people who are totally set apart by God for his glory. They were very intelligent and knew all the literature and language of the chaldeans. When they were tempted to eat the king’s food, they were determined in their hearts not to defile themselves. I find it interesting that the Bible says God gave them favor with the chief of the eunuchs to permit them to eat what they wanted. The lesson is, God always gives us grace to overcome sin and he never gives us a test that we cannot pass. I also find it interesting that in Daniel 1, after they passed the ‘test’, God gave them ‘knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all [kinds of] visions and dreams.’ Daniel also had many revelations of the end times which are written in the book of Daniel. There are many other examples of young people that God used in the Bible that i can’t even start listing. Actually, in Psalm 110:3-4 there is a prophecy made by David about Christ where he mentions young men. He says:
1THE LORD (God) says to my Lord (the Messiah), Sit at My right hand, until I make Your adversaries Your footstool.
2The Lord will send forth from Zion the scepter of Your strength; rule, then, in the midst of Your foes.
3Your people will offer themselves willingly in the day of Your power, in the beauty of holiness and in holy array out of the womb of the morning; to You [will spring forth] Your young men, who are as the dew.
In that verse David has a divine revelation of God the Father(The Lord) speaking to Jesus(My Lord). Part of that revelation includes a prophecy that many young men will spring forth to Christ.
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 1:1b: REMEMBER [earnestly] also your Creator [that you are not your own, but His property now] in the days of your youth. I hope i have been able to convince the young people that read this that they are not too young to be called by God or used in a mighty way in the church or even outside the church. You just need to ask God what he has called you to do, and when he tells you, you don’t have to be afraid of responding to his call. You’re not too young. The Bible says God uses what the world will describe as little or irrelevant for his glory, to put people who think they’re wise to shame.
The Bible also says in 1 Timothy 4:12: Let no one despise or think less of you because of your youth, but be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.
Don’t let anyone think less of you or let you think you can’t be used by God whilst you’re still young. You have equal access to God and all of the good things that come from being in Christ just as any other believer does. So let your life be an example for other believers(both young and old) in conduct and in love and in faith and in purity.