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How to Live for Jesus at a Young Age

I’ve always admired the courage of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Despite facing the threat of an uncertain future and agonizing death, they intentionally chose to stand up for the truth. Their actions spoke volumes about their bold faith and spiritual maturity. However, it surprised me to discover that the trio was still in their youth when they refused to bow down to evil. Actually, these biblical characters weren’t the only ones who obeyed their heavenly purposes at such a young age. When David defeated Goliath, Esther became queen, and Mary was chosen to give birth to Jesus, they were all teenagers.

When we learn about these amazing bible stories, we often visualize strong, skilled leaders who spent decades pursuing holiness. In reality, these biblical legends weren’t so different from you and me. Similar to us, the world commanded them to conform to secular standards instead of obeying the Word of God. What separated these Spirit-filled warriors from everyone else is not their experience- it’s their desire to trust God’s will even through the worst of circumstances. Like them, the Lord also calls us to a fiery faith.

1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to all believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in purity.” Our worldly experience will never possess the same value as our spiritual maturity. While mounting pressure persuades us into believing we are too young or unqualified to make a difference, Jesus tells us that age doesn’t matter- it’s our relationship with Him that counts. In fact, the same characteristics we dismiss as weaknesses are the exact ones God uses to reveal His glory.

While reports describe Gen Z as the most diverse and cause-oriented generation, only a shocking 4% of teenagers hold a biblical worldview. Furthermore, this generation identifies as the least religious generation in American history. It is truly heartbreaking that some of our closest friends who claim to believe in Jesus still don’t know the unexplainable joy of pursuing a relationship with Him.

Something that plays a critical role in this is how modern-day culture and media portray us. Teenage girls are constantly stereotyped as shallow, moody individuals who are obsessed with their phones. When our own society tells us that our identity isn’t valued, it’s not surprising that countless statistics reinforce Gen Z’s desperation. Instead of allowing numerous sources to tell us who we are, we must fight back against the lies and remember who we live for.

Daring to live set apart is the most radical decision we make as believers. Although immoral ideals surround us, God equips us to walk in righteousness. My words, thoughts, actions, and responses can all point to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

As my pastor always tells us, we are not the future of the church- we are the church right in this very moment. We do not need to wait until we’re “old enough” to make an impact. If we wait until we feel ready, we will be waiting for our entire lives.

Instead, we can obey our eternal calling despite our fear. In our high schools, friendships, sports teams, and spheres of influence, we all possess the opportunity to honor God with our whole hearts. The daily decisions we establish can encourage others in their faith, lead nonbelievers to Christ, and propel us toward living transformed lives for our Father. Through the strength of the LORD, each step I take enables others to see the love of Jesus right where I am.

One of the main reasons that I started An Esther Generation is because I couldn’t find biblical resources designed for teenagers. Most of the books for my age level were extremely childish, so I often read theological content for adults to grow in my understanding. Although this was initially disappointing, it ignited a blazing passion within me to reach our generation. While I was definitely nervous to start this ministry at such a young age (and still am!), my Father never left my side. My age never once caused God to look down on me or make me wait until I’m older to fulfill my purpose. On the contrary, because I’m a teenager, I’ve tangibly experienced the Lord’s goodness in more ways than I can even count.

Our age allows Jesus to work in us and through us. Scripture overflows with stories of the youngest generations rising up and allowing the Holy Spirit to move right where they are. Just as in the Bible, none of us should wait until we’re older before making an impact for God’s kingdom. Regardless of the cultural lies that seek to distort the truth, we are created for an extraordinary purpose.

Child of the Most High, you are never too young to be a part of Yahweh’s perfect plan.

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