How old do you have to be to live a disciple life?
How old do you have to be to be a servant of God?
How old do you have to be to live an overcoming life?
How old do you have to be before you can do God’s will?
It’s easy to say “I’m too young” to do this or that. Too young to really understand. Too young to make a difference. Too young to be useful. Too young to serve God. It can look impossible. Or maybe you just feel like you aren’t ready to do it yet.
The story of Jeremiah
There’s a story in the Bible about a young man who felt just like that. Jeremiah was very young when God told him that he was meant to be a prophet to Israel. (Some say he was just 17!) He probably thought, “There must be someone else who would be a better choice to do this. Nobody will listen to me anyway. I can’t do this.” Of course, we don’t know if this is what Jeremiah really thought, but just imagine what thoughts would come up in your head in such a situation.
So Jeremiah said to God, "But Lord God, I don't know how to speak. I am only a boy.” Jeremiah 1:6 (NCV).
What was Jeremiah seeing? He was seeing what he knew about himself. What he could do as a normal young person. But what he should have been seeing and what God showed him, was what he could do when God was with him. There was no age limit for the job God was giving him. All that he needed to do was to be obedient to God and God would do the rest, through him.
“But the Lord said to me, Don't say, 'I am only a boy.' You must go everywhere I send you, and you must say everything I tell you to say.” Jeremiah 1:7-8 (NCV).
The story of Jeremiah is a great example for a young person today!
You’re never too young!
So never feel like you are too young! What is it that God is really asking of you?
“All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23 (CEB).
This means that we should give up our own will and do what we know is right in this moment. The younger you are when you start doing this, the better it is! You can get a life in Christ from a young age and you can grow up in God. You can be preserved from the evil in the world, you can be saved from the sin in your human nature and your life will be good and pure and free!
Maybe you feel like it’s not possible for you. You know yourself well and you feel that you yourself just can’t do it. But God will be with you, just like He was with Jeremiah! He will give anyone that wants to serve Him the power and help so that it will always succeed for you, as it is it written in 2 Chronicles 16:9 (CEV), “The Lord is constantly watching everyone, and he gives strength to those who faithfully obey him.”
Read more here: What does it mean to take up your cross daily?
Be an example
And don’t let anyone else tell you you’re too young either! When Timothy was quite young he was Paul’s most trusted co-worker and got a lot of responsibility in the church. There were probably some who were older than Timothy who thought that this was the wrong decision, but Paul said to him: “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 (NCV).
You’re not too young to be an example. You’re not too young to overcome sin. You’re not too young to take responsibility for your life and make the right choices. You can start today to do what you know is right, and you never have to stop!
Choose today to do the good! Choose today to give up your own will so you can do God’s will on earth! Choose today to overcome when you are tempted! Choose today to live for God instead of for yourself!
Learn from the story of Jeremiah and from Timothy’s example. You’ve got energy, you’ve got enthusiasm. You know how much time and energy you give to the things you really care about? That’s the kind of energy and enthusiasm you can use to serve God, to do His will and to overcome in the temptations of your young life.