A Letter to Young People
Dear Young One
Do you believe that the Bible is the word of the living God? Do you believe that as the Bible says, God created the heavens and the earth or do you believe in the fairytale of Evolution*? Do you believe that the same God that created the heavens and the earth also created you? For HE DID!
And it is this SAME God alone who knows you better than your best friend, better than your sister, your brother and even your parents! I repeat: this same God who created the heavens and the earth created you and knows you better than anyone single person on earth. He knew you before your parents knew you for He knew you when you were formed in your mother’s womb: Psalm 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. Yes, God knew you before He ever gave you to your parents.
If you believe that this is so, that He is a faithful, loving God who CANNOT fail you, and that the Bible is His Word, then the Bible is given to you by Him as letters written to you personally and your book of instructions. This following anagram is not my own but sure worth remembering!
Again, the Bible is not a book of suggestions but a book of instructions and commandments. The promises to the man/woman who lives according to the commandments of God are too much to list right here but the Bible is full of promises of Peace, Love and Joy for all who will live godly lives; to all who walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Much of pain will be avoided if we do indeed walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.
It is good to have some practical guidelines on how to not make provision for the flesh. Romans 13:14 says: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
*Evolution IS a fairytale you know – you certainly need more faith to believe in it that in the eternal God!
For so often we pray Lord lead me not into temptation (as we do in the Lord ’s Prayer) but then we find ourselves alone with a member of the opposite gender and leave ourselves wide open to temptation which can be followed by sin. Remember being tempted is not a sin but giving in to that temptation is.
Let’s get down to basics…
Acknowledge that you are in frail flesh:
Psa 103:14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
No one is beyond tempting or giving in to that temptation. If you think you are and you are wondering whether to stop reading now or soon, WATCHOUT! That in a sense is spiritual pride and we know that pride comes before a fall. Everyone can and will be tempted that is why we have a High Priest who knows our feeble frame – Jesus, our High Priest was tempted and overcame by the Word of God.
As the hymn writer, H.F. Lyte wrote: “Father-like he tends and spares us; Well our feeble frame He knows; In His hands He gently bears us, Rescues us from all our foes; Praise Him, praise Him! Widely as His mercy flows.”
Every time you resist temptation, you will get stronger against that temptation.
That is what sanctification is – the Holy Spirit at work within you to strengthen you against the hour of temptation and to work the righteousness of Christ in you – to make you more like Jesus.
Let’s look at Joseph’s story. You know Joseph was one of 12 brothers and the most adored by his father but at the same time the most despised by his brothers. Narrowly escaping being killed he is sold off as a slave and we find him in the 39th chapter of Genesis a servant in Egypt in Potiphar’s house. Potiphar’s wife is a lustful woman and for days on end she speaks to Joseph, trying to get him to lie with her. Genesis 39:10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. Each time Potiphar’s wife spoke to Joseph, he said no. Daily, Joseph resisted the temptation. Being a wife of a high ranking Egyptian, Potiphar’s wife was bound to have had the finest makeup and clothes and would most certainly have been attractive. She would have been a lady of leisure with nothing much to take care of but herself and her appearance. This was not just a case of Joseph being disinterested – he had to resist the temptation, make a stand and say no. Imagine how flattering it was for a young servant to know that a higher ranking woman had set her eyes upon him.
Then one day when no one else was in the house (she probably organized this to be the case) she grabbed him: Gen 39:12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
This is such a picture of how the enemy will work temptation in our life for he will speak to you “day by day” as he tries to entice you but finally when he can see that just speaking is not enough and that you are resolved in your resisting, he will try to ‘grab you’ in a last attempt. The key here is that at this point Joseph FLED and “got him out”!
After saying no many times there will come a time when you have to simply REMOVE yourself from the physical, literal situation you are in to avoid falling in to sin.
Let’s look at a modern day Joseph – we’ll call him Michael . ONCE UPON A TIME…
Michael is 18 and drives his own car. He loves the Lord and wants to please Him. Michael goes to the same church where 17 year old Emma also attends but Emma only goes to Church for one reason – she wants a guy and that guy is Michael.
Emma goes to the hairstylist one Saturday. She hopes so much that a new hairstyle may bring Michael out of himself to compliment her. She longs for his attention. To her dismay though he doesn’t say a word the next day and greets her in the same friendly fashion as he does everyone.
Michael thinks to himself, “Mmm, Emma’s hair looks nice like that but I won’t say it in case she thinks I like her. Dad says girls do that. If they get a compliment from a guy they instantly presume that there is more to the comment.”
Every Sunday after church Emma tries to work her transport situation to get alone with Michael.
“Michael please give me a lift home.”
“No, sorry Emma I cannot give you a lift home when you are on your own. I must have another guy with me.”
Emma tries again the next week after church. “Michael, my folks are away I really need a lift home, please help me?”
“Emma, if I cannot find another guy to come with me in the car then the answer is no.” Emma becomes more and sulkier every time Michael cannot ‘help’ her.
She tries at every turn until one day she thinks she is smart and gets a friend to nab Michael’s car keys as they are lying on top of his Bible on the pew. Quickly she gets in to his car before he can. All his friends have headed home and he starts to look for his keys. Thinking he may have left them in the ignition he goes out to the car and sees Emma sitting in the passenger seat with a smug smile on her face.
“Out,” Michael says calmly as he holds open the passenger door and gives Emma a wave of his thumb in the direction of the church building.
“Aw, come on Michael, nothing can happen...”
Again calmly Michael asks, “Emma, give me my car keys now please and get out of my car.” Emma crosses her arms and pouting says, “No. Why? Don’t you trust me Michael?”
“She’s not going to budge” thinks Michael to himself so he turns on his heel and walks back to the church. He is not about to fight a girl for his keys...
Take a good tip from Michael and don’t be found alone with a member of the opposite gender – no matter how compelling the reason.
1Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
Phew! That is radical! Was it not radical that God allowed His only son to suffer and die for you? The same God whose love allowed Christ to die and then raised Him out of the grave, makes this very careful advice available to you. Don’t ignore it.
Let’s have a look at our young Michael and Emma and see how they are doing. The good news is that Emma repented and asked Jesus in to her heart last week. Let’s see if she has changed…
“Man! My neck is aching!” Emma moaned as they all sat down to coffee in the Sunday school room. “I’d do anything just to have a neck rub now. Michael, please massage my ne...” Emma broke off before she had finished and froze momentarily. Before Michael could reply, she came right back with, “Sorry. Sorry Michael, I don’t want you to do that. I’ll ask my mum when I get home to ‘beat’ it up a bit,” she said with a chuckle.
“Hey that’s ok Emma,” replied a relaxed Michael, “I’m no good at that anyway. Listen, a group of us are going for pizza tomorrow evening. Wanna come? I’ll take it you can and get Gemma to give you a lift but if you can’t phone Gemma – remember Gemma not me!” he said with a grin.
What a change!
Emma has the Spirit of God now dwelling in her and straight away He convicted her of the foolishness of asking Michael to rub or massage her neck. She obeyed the still, small voice of God. In spite of Emma’s new birth, Michael has not altered his stand and even takes care that Emma has no reason to phone him. Wise young man.
GIRLS: DON’T MOVE!
So much in our modern world encourages young girls and women to push themselves forward in every aspect of life and nowhere more so than in the relationship field. Girls are free to ‘make a move on a guy’. NO! Capital N-Capital O – ‘O’ for ONE good reason: If he isn’t prepared to fight through and move toward speaking to you and making his intentions clear, then forget him or leave it long enough for him to get strong enough to woo and win your heart.
If he fights to get you he will fight to keep you!
I heard a preacher say that dating is like rehearsal for divorce! Radical opinion you may say but so true. Date then end, date then end, date then end…and so the game goes. To walk in the Spirit means that if you fall for a girl, you will pray it through and ask God to establish that which is of Him and that that which is not of Him, fall away. You may be surprised how strong feelings will subside and come to naught when submitted in prayer to God.
Marriage is NOT going to change your habits, thoughts or lusts
ONLY God can change your heart – your heart includes your thoughts and feelings. A marriage partner cannot and certainly whilst there may be the ‘honeymoon’ period, marriage is not going to tame or cleanse your sinful habits. Get right with God first and then think about marriage.
Notice in the account of Joseph that in Genesis 39:9 it says that Joseph did not want to sin against God. “There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
The good news is that you do not have to do this solo. Get to know God and He will strengthen you and as you grow in Him, he will cause you (not you of yourself) but HE will cause you to hate sin as He does and love righteousness as he does.
Sin to the sinner is pleasurable but ever more painful! Sin Hardens the Heart
There is a wonderful old Hymn which starts:
“My Jesus I love Thee I know thou art mine. For Thee all the pleasure of sin I resign.”
Recently I found on a Praise Songs web site that the text of that song had been altered to “…the FOLLY of sin I resign.” Ask the sinner: sin sure doesn’t feel like “folly” to him at the time. Sin is ‘nice’. And if you do not know God, the more often you do it the happier you will be in your sin. Initially what God has written on your heart will gnaw at your conscience but each time you sin your heart will harden and it will be easier to partake of that sin.
The brief pleasures of those sins though are far outweighed by the pain and torment. Drugs are the perfect example: the brief high may give years of pain and in some cases instant death. We have seen young people who have taken a drug with an energy drink or alcohol and who have had a heart attack on the nightclub dance floor. Sin brings death physically and spiritually.
One of many reasons not to drink Alcoholic drinks
If I only have to single out one reason of many to tell you to never take an alcoholic drink, it is simply this: the effect of one small amount of alcohol reduces your God-given reactions and instincts. In clearer terms, alcohol gives you a false sense of security and long before you ‘feel’ tipsy you lose your judgment and sense and a courage not of your own will rise up – the old nature takes the throne!
Not everyone who walks through the door of a church saved…
Many hungry and thirsty souls come to church but because they have not yet met the Saviour personally, they are more alive to their flesh and cannot yet walk after the Spirit. Walk in the Spirit and of course you will have discernment but take heed and know this alone is a good reason to seek God about ALL your relationships as the Bible says that: Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Beware of “Missionary” friendships if you yourself are not strong and mature in the Lord! By all means bring your friends to meetings but allow someone mature to guide them. Whilst you are young concentrate on growing in Christ.
When you repent of your sins and give your heart to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will come to indwell you. You then need to feed daily on His Word and be found in prayer daily – this is walking in the Spirit.
Sadly, I have seen too many young Christian girls who love and want to serve the Lord, wooed by a Charlatan; a pretender. These pretenders want to feed off the young believer and whilst the pretender may quote chapter and verse of the bible, the essential fruit of a born-again life is absent.
Finally, if you have read through this article, I must warn you that you now have more responsibility as you have had the Truth of God’s Word delivered unto you. In Hebrews 10:26 it says: For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins…
Living half in and half out of God is the worst state in which to live. If you want to be God’s BE HIS by obeying Him.
Know this too, that if you have fallen, the blood of Jesus is able to wash you whiter than snow.
I love the picture of the cleansed leper in Leviticus where the Priest takes the blood of the animal sacrifice and with his thumb puts that blood on the right ear, right thumb and right big toe of the leper. Leprosy is a picture of our sin and the placing of the blood a picture of what God will cleanse if we come to our High Priest, Jesus Christ.
He will cleanse your ear – your 5 senses; all that you have heard and seen will be cleansed. He will cleanse your thumb – your actions, your habits; all that you have done will be cleansed. He will cleanse your big toe – where your feet have taken you; the memory of the places you have been will be cleansed.
Lastly, the priest takes the log of oil and after sprinkling it before the Lord, then on to the sacrifice and on to the ear, thumb and toe again, he pours the remainder over the cleansed leper’s head. This is a picture of the Holy Ghost who will come to anoint you when you are cleansed from all unrighteousness.
I pray God’s secret maybe upon you: (Job 29:4) As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle; I pray that you depart from evil: (Job 28:28) And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding and I pray that you study God’s word (Proverbs 1:4) which will: …give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
John 8:11 …And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.