THE YOUTH’S PERSPECTIVE: When God Needs You
Each time I come across the story of the young lad who submitted his lunch to Jesus to feed 5000 men (without counting the women and children who must have been there), I can’t help but wonder, of every 10 young persons today, how many would be willing to sacrifice their meal to a total stranger?
Take into cognizance the fact that they must have been there all day, they were already tired and hungry, worse still, there was no meal on sale anywhere in their immediate vicinity.
Yet, this young lad allowed himself to be used by Christ to perform a miracle that would not only be spread about by all who witnessed it but also told for centuries to come; merely by sacrificing his five loaves of bread and two fish. You can still read about his story in John chapter six. His story is indelible.
What a great lesson for, not just a young person, but also grown-ups/adults.
The truth is, God needs the “five loaves of bread and two fish” in your hand to wroth wonders, but He does not need your daily meal. Paradoxical, right?
Let me explain further. In His omnipotent wisdom, God created man with many talents, gifts, and potentials that no human can wholly exhaust his potential till he dies. These potentials come in diverse ways – a warrior’s bravery, like David who fought and conquered the giant, Goliath, as a young shepherd boy, or Samson who single-handedly conquered the Philistines; a caring attitude that seeks the welfare of those who needed help and direct them to the right source just as the little maid directed her leprous-infected master, Naaman to Prophet Elisha for healing, and Joseph who obeyed his father’s instruction to go seek out his shepherding brothers far in the field to give them provisions, but was enviously sold into slavery, found himself in prison, but later rose to a privileged position that rescues his envious brothers from the death of starvation.
More so, the gift of cheerful giving could just be the natural instinct of the boy who gave his lunch to Jesus to feed the multitude, and it was timely and handy.
Have you ever wondered why the only food item found in the entire crowd was owned by this little boy? He didn’t hurriedly eat his food out of hunger, fatigue, tiredness, or greed when he found out his, was the only meal in the crowd, and one of the stronger adults could force it out of his hands. He allowed his meal to serve a greater purpose and willingly gave it out.
He could have refused to give up his lunch. He could have chosen to run away when the disciple approached him and asked if he would sacrifice his meal for Jesus. Neither the disciples nor the boy knew what Christ would do, but this boy allowed the Lord to use his little gift. He trusted Christ with his possessions even though he did not know what the outcome would be.
This is the disposition God requires from everyone – the willingness to give your all, not just at any time convenient for you, but at the right time, God’s time.
As a youth, when does God need you? God may not require a frail-80-year old man to embark on a missionary journey to a harsh weather conditioned country when an agile, vibrant young Christian is available to do the work. The Bible attests that young men too will do exploits, since the Scripture that says “…the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” did not focus on adults alone, but definitely, the young also.
God needs you most, in your youthful age, when you are still strong enough to travel miles without an iota of tiredness; when the youthful exuberance can be channeled for His Kingdom’s sake. Don’t be like young prostitutes whose youthful bodies have been traded for temporary pleasures and gains.
God needs a young Esther who would dress modestly and parade herself with grace before Ahasuerus to see that God lives in her body as His temple (Esther chapter 2), not as a young Tamar who would dress seductively to make Judah fall in between her laps to prove a point (Genesis 38:13-18,25).
God needs a young David who would be willing to face a giant Goliath to defend His name, even at the cost of his life (1 Samuel 17:26), not a young Absalom who seeks fame by plotting the death of his own father (2 Samuel 15:3-6,13,14).
If you must serve God, you must be born again and willing to devote your time to His service; working in His vineyard, living a righteous life, helping out with needs in the church, and loving one another. If you have a real relationship with God, you will serve him with all your heart, not minding the circumstances.
We should serve God because we want to, not out of obligation but out of thanksgiving. The book of John 12:26 explains that we serve God by believing and following Jesus, and we are not a servant of God anymore but become children of God (John 1:12,13) and a friend of Jesus (John 15:9-17). Since Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6); without serving God by believing and following Jesus, we will perish (John 3:16,17).
Now, are there benefits you stand to gain when you respond to God’s call at a youthful age by serving in the church? Yes, quite a handful of benefits. But let’s examine a few of the benefits.
1. Every youth has an amazing gift that God has given them. Unfortunately, many never realize these gifts because they aren’t provided the opportunity to figure them out or work on them. By serving in church, youths can be exposed to things that bring out talents they didn’t realize they have. If you already know you have a talent, what better place to work on it than by serving God? When you serve God early in life, you discover and develop your spiritual gifts on time and live long enough to nurture and grow them, doing greater exploits for the Lord.
2. When youths learn to serve in the church, they learn responsibility. Accountability, respect, and a sense of ownership are aspects of responsibility that are gained by using your God-given ability to contribute to kingdom work. These are also traits that when harnessed properly will contribute to success in our academic and professional endeavors.
3. Youths who answer the call of God to serve in church gain problem-solving skills. Just because it is the church doesn’t mean there won’t be problems! There are bound to be problems but dynamic Christian youths learn how to figure them out and solve them.
4. When you serve at church, it builds your confidence. Youths need to be given things to do so they can feel needed and important. When they do something well and are thanked or acknowledged by church leadership, this significantly builds their self-esteem into believing they can do more.
5. Young people who serve God in their youthful age are surrounded by other godly people treating each other with respect while serving. Many young people today lack an environment that inculcates this. They don’t know how a godly man or woman acts or behaves because they don’t have people in their lives who model this. By serving in church, you can observe others interact and treat each other with warmth, love, and respect. You witness and absorb healthy ways to deal with divergent views or stressful situations.
6. Every child needs a godly mentor of some kind. By serving in church, you will be serving alongside godly men and women who will pour their best attributes, knowledge, and spiritual traits into you. They will encourage you, and in some cases, mentor you until you are more than capable of accomplishing goals on your own or with your own team.
7. When young people start serving in church, they continue serving. As time goes by, they are often given greater responsibility and encouraged to take charge of some things. Serving God in your youth can help build leadership skills. I know this as I have watched young boys and girls literally grow up serving in church to become great leaders spiritually and in the secular world.
Jesus readily accepted the five loaves and two fish from the young lad, gave thanks to God for it, and distributed them to the disciples who took each piece they were given and started handing it out to the people around them. Surprisingly there was plenty of food to go around. When everyone had finished eating, the disciples gathered up the food fragments and brought them back to Jesus. In the end, they gathered 12 baskets full of food.
When you surrender your life to be used by God, multitudes will benefit from it, just as over five thousand people benefited from the boy’s food.
Are you willing to respond to the call to do something for God when He needs you and yet, you don’t know how to go about it? Here is the place to find help. Reach out to us today and we shall proffer the right scriptural solutions to your situation.