Unique Calls @ Critical Times
Youth characteristically challenge others with their vigor, vitality, enthusiasm, intellectualism and creativity. They think, assimilate, move and act at unprecedentedly fast pace and beat every imagination. They are innovators with ingenious spirit and adventurers with courage and charisma. So the world is after them through technology and mind manipulations. Flesh is after them through temptations. Satan is after them through popularity, prominence and possessions. Opportunities knock at the doors of their lives with promise of achievement and recognition. Knowledge is after them with elation. So they run the race for all these mirages and become disillusioned about life itself. It is then that they are offered ways to feel ‘high’ with substance that work in their bodies and minds to drain them of purposefulness in life. In the process, they challenge many others to travel their ways, but little do they realize that their followers reach the same destination that they are bound to arrive at – feeling of emptiness in life.
Youthful years are full of energy and ideas. They have an answer to every puzzle and a way out of every mountain trail. They have a whole life time to work on it all with best prospects. They have plenty of free time, with less responsibilities and very little accountability. They are invariably their own bosses. They don’t like anyone telling them what to do, eat, dress, study or accomplish goals in life. They think they are right and others must learn to become wise like them. They often forget that youthful years are the ripe time to consider the Creator and see what His ultimate plans for their lives might be.
God’s focus on the Youth
If one examines the account of creation in the Bible, one would easily see that man was created as a resourceful youth and his wife a beautiful young lady. Considering the present life expectancy, most of those whom the Creator called thereafter to work for him were young. Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Nehemiah and the prophets were all called when they were quite young. When one looks into the gospels, it would be easy to see that the disciples of Jesus were all young men, in their late teens or early twenties. Then we are presented with an array of young people like Timothy, Titus, Silas, Epaphroditus and others in the early church who were young men.
Why God especially calls young people for His mission? It is because they have the energy required for special missions. They have the life span to establish and accomplish great things to touch the lives of people through the hands of God. They have the will to make a life-time of commitment. They have the capacity to develop a long term vision and the strength to see that it is implemented. They learn the ways of God in His school of faith as they work for Him. They have the drive to go after their vision relentlessly.
Look into the history of the church
History of the church tells us that God has called scores of young men and women to accomplish His purpose in building up His kingdom here on earth. So God called a young lawyer named Charles Finny to lay the foundation for revivalism. He called a young shoe salesman named Dwight Moody to train young people for world evangelization. He called William Carey, Adoniram Judson and Hudson Taylor as founders of modern missionary movement. He made Martin Luther the founder of Reformation. His call to John Calvin and Zwingli was to interpret the Bible and to establish doctrinal foundation for the church. He called Billy Graham who founded Youth for Christ and to start mass evangelism using multimedia to preach to the entire world. God picked Jim Eliot and four of his friends to reach out to the savage mountain tribes. When they were martyred, God used their lives to call over 5,000 youth to obey His call for world missions. He called George Verwer to establish literature evangelism through Operation Mobilization in unreached shores of the nations. They were all young men who were totally committed to Jesus Christ.
During the last five centuries, God called scores of His men and women to write hymns, translate the Bible, develop music, write books and tracts, launch magazines, start training centers, establish mission hospitals and orphanages and innumerable other evangelistic and church planting ministries. For evangelizing India, God raised up missionaries like William Carey, Amy Carmichael and Silas Fox, native young men like Sadhu Sunder Sing, Bhakth Singh, K.V. Simon and others. These were all called at their prime youth.
If we examine the times at which God called His choice instruments for His mission, it was always during critical times.
· When human race was utterly perverse, God called a young man named Noah to preach and warn against it and to build an illustrative ark to show God’s salvation.
· When idolatry was rampant and faith utterly unheard of, God called Abraham to prove his simple and unquestionable faith in God and in His mighty power and faithfulness.
· When morality and truth were unheard of, God called Joseph to stand for, holiness, faithfulness and hope in Him and to protect His people Israel.
· When God’s people were experiencing hopelessness, oppression and suppression, God raised up Moses to fearlessly face the Egyptian Emperor and his nation to release God’s people and lead them to worship the only true God.
· When the enemy destroyed God’s people and their livelihood, God raised up Gideon to fight and demolish the enemy as the leader of the army of God.
· When monster-like Goliath became a threat to God’s people, He called David to kill him and defeat all His enemies to establish a kingdom with Jerusalem as its capital.
· When the power of God disappeared from His people, He called Isaiah to preach and to warn people and to give them the good news that Jehovah lives to save them.
· In the midst of hopelessness, God raised up Jeremiah to cry for His people as the great intercessor.
· When the enemy tried to wipe the Jews from the face of the earth, God called Esther to intercede for them and to reestablish hope.
· God called Peter and John with their brethren to follow the way of the cross against the pseudo-religious forces.
· God called Paul to take gospel to new territories and to complete the writing of the New Testament.
· God called Timothy to build up the church when commitment was unknown among people.
These men and women were willing to take risks for God and for faith. They gave up everything they had and sacrificed their lives to stand for God.
Need of the hour
Our times are critical in many respects. The world and its agents flesh and Satan, are after the minds of young people. We live at a time when many young people faint under the scorching heat of the world and its evil system. We see young people captured by Satan, flesh and world. Their minds are being manipulated to perpetuate the evil that is around them. We see youngsters shattered emotionally and confused spiritually and drifting away from God. Who will deliver them from the clutches of sin and the world? Who will train up young men and women to help them fight spiritual battles to salvage the lost youth around them?
God is still looking and calling
· God wants somebody to stand in the gap for the youth around us (Ezekiel 22:30). If not, people will perish.
· The prophet is crying and asking as to whether there is anyone to intercede for the lost (Isaiah 59:16)
· God is looking for the Nehemiah’s around us to rebuild broken lives, character and families (Nehemiah 1:11)
· God is looking for youngsters who are willing to listen to Him and obey unconditionally (Haggai 1:1 & 3; Luke 14:35)
· God wants people to respond willingly and voluntarily to go for Him and capture lives for Him (Isaiah 6:8)
What does it cost?
Obeying God’s call involves your time, holidays, weekends and evenings, your money and most of all yourself. God wants you to work hard for Him to reach out to the lost youth. He wants your abilities, talents, intelligence, enthusiasm, energy, education, profession and passion that you might be using for temporal gains and fame of this world. He wants you to pray, talk, cook, serve, walk, climb hills, encourage and counsel the youth around you. He wants you to be available and avail the opportunities around you. Open your eyes and see that there are youth all around you who are drifting away into a Christ-less eternity. Many youth are captured day by day by the world, flesh and Satan. Will you be concerned about them? Will you give God the freedom to call you right now to go after the Youth who are escaping His fold?
If you don’t respond today, it will perhaps be too late because the opportunity may cease to exist. Perhaps you will be lured into some other permanent bonds in life from which you may not be able to detach yourself. It is likely that the people whom God wants to touch may never be available for you.
Remember: Today is the day of opportunity and dire need.