Pastor, I lead the youth ministry in my church. What advice can you give to the youths so that their voice can be heard in this world?
I wish I could meet them physically, but for now, I believe this epistle will serve a purpose.
Bishop David Oyedepo once shared a story about how he encountered Lamentations 3:27. That scripture says,” It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young”. The moment he saw that scripture, he went to the mountain and prayed only one prayer. And the prayer line was, “Lord, every yoke that I’m supposed to carry now that I am young, let me carry it, so that I won’t have to carry any yoke when I am old”.
Indeed, he carried those yokes when he was young. Because clearly today, he’s just flowing in prosperity and success.
Just so you don’t get confused, bearing your yoke as a Christian would mean subjecting yourself to the obedience of Christ and His Word. Any part of your life that isn’t properly aligned to God’s Word now that you’re young may become a burden as you grow older. Because of the obvious strenght we have during our youth, it would be easier to put pressure on ourselves until God’s word or promises reflect in our lives.
For instance, it would be difficult to tell a sixty years old man to engage in a fast to search for revelational knowledge about finances. At that age, he no longer has the strength. That also means he’d have to bear that burden of scarcity until he departs from this world.
This is relative to our natural life. A young person who doesn’t subject himself to regular workouts and physical exercise will find it difficult to workout when he’s older. Fitness trainers will tell you that they can’t subject adults to rigorous exercises because their body didn’t register such exercises during their youth.
The youth age is not a season to play at all, it’s a season to carry burdens that mustn’t be carried when you’re old. If you have to start a business, do all you can to start it in your youth. If you have to become anything great, start the process in your youth. Don’t stumble on your adulthood, carrying burdens at that stage isn’t enjoyable at all. Anything that needs to be dealt with, deal with it in your youth.
Bishop Oyedepo would have been a sickly man today if not for the fact that he subjected his body to divine health and wholeness several times. Whenever sickness came, he’d believe the word of God for his healing. One of those days, his entire body was under attack, he could barely move. But somehow he summoned strength to go for prayer meeting. On getting there, the leaders told him that he’d lead the prayer meeting – which literally meant that he’d have to lead all the prayers that would be made through out that night. They didn’t know he wasn’t feeling well. But right there, Bishop Oyedepo who was then called “Brother David”, took a scripture and began to analyze it to the devil. He was so sure of that scripture that he told the devil to get out. That’s how he gained strength to lead that prayer meeting. On his way home the next day, he suddenly started hearing sounds in his body, everything was going back to normal.
A youth that cannot pray and fast will find it difficult to do same when he’s older. If you have difficulties understanding scriptures or getting revelation, deal with that situation in your youth. Don’t normalize it. Anything you normalize in your youth may remain normal as you grow.
Another time Bishop Oyedepo had just preached on victory over death, and suddenly the spirit of death attacked him. He literally died in that room. But according to him, while he was in the valley of the dead, Jesus appeared and asked him what he was doing there. And because of the depth of revelation he had over death, his response was “I don’t know too”. That’s how he woke up from the dead, by himself. Nobody knew until he told us. He has humorously said that if he dies before 120 that nobody should pray for him, he’d wake up by himself😂. Death or sickness doesn’t have a hold on him because he dealth with them while he was young.
Likewise finances, he went on a 3 day retreat to discover the secret of financial prosperity. As soon as he found it, he screamed in the affirmative that he can never be poor. Through that revelation, he has continued to enjoy prosperity. He will not touch what is not his own, he will not manipulate or bribe anybody for anything, neither can anybody bribe him for anything. He’s contented with what he has per time.
He subjected himself to the revelations he had to a point that he respectfully told his biological father that he wasn’t interested in his inheritance and that his portion should be distributed to those who needed it. What he learnt from scriptures made him a committed giver. He went to worship God one day, and while he was at it, God asked him what he had brought for Him. According to him, the only thing he could remember was a salary he had just received, so he presented the salary to God. That was the day God swore a blessing on him, “My son David, even if you don’t want to be rich, it’s too late”.
Now let me conclude with this scripture:
1 Timothy 4:
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Many youths neglect the gift of God that is in them. Yet, that’s the very thing that God has ordained to bring them profit in this world. For most youths, the moment they get a job, nothing else matters. They just want to make money, start a family, and that’s all. Some others begin a business that God didn’t send them, and although they may be doing well, but what they’re doing isn’t carrying the message that God sent to those who must hear them.
I got a good job early 2015. And as at March 2015, I had travelled to over 15 states in Nigeria. I rushed back to Lagos to prepare for my next trip when I heard that admission into Word of Faith Bible Institute for March was on. I had a rethink about my life and wondered where I was really headed. I didn’t have a purpose, neither was I ambitious. So I called my boss that I was resigning, and that I needed time to figure out what God really wants me to do in this world. I enrolled for the two weeks bible course with only one goal, to discover God’s plan for my life. It was my prayer all through the two weeks. I heard young people praying for all sorts of things during our prayer times, but my prayer was simple, “Lord, show me your plan for my life”.
I didn’t care about how I was going to feed when I resigned. However, it was clear that I had to carry that burden at that very moment. So even if I had to go hungry, I was ready. As God would have it, He revealed my purpose to me few days after the program. And from that moment, my purpose became the pillar that runs my life. Like verse 16 of that scripture says, bearng that burden has not only benefited me, but also those who hear me.
So dear youth, if there’s anything you should sacrifice your energy and resources for, it’s the discovery and pursuit of your purpose in Christ. Anything you sacrifice for your purpose now will eventually be called back by your purpose. It’s only a matter of time.
I hope this has brought enlightenment to someone.
Remain ever blessed, in Jesus precious name!