The Christian youth must stand out by the Word of God (precept) and by practice. After the Lord had brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He declared His desire to make them a peculiar people; a people that would stand out among the nations. He also made them know that their realization of what He has promised them would be dependent on their total obedience to His Word (Exodus 19:1-6). The life of a Christian youth is moulded, nourished and kept by the statutes and instructions in God’s Word (Deuteronomy 32:44-47; 4:1-2, 5-6). It is the Word, or rather, adherence to it, that makes the youth to be not of this world and separate from other youths, that is, to stand out from them (John 17:14-17). It means then that the youth must make the Word of God an essential part of his daily programme (Joshua 1:8), seeing that his continued obedience to God, and maintenance of a godly lifestyle, faith and understanding depend largely on how much of God’s Word he has stored within him (cons. Matthew 13:52; Acts 18:24-28). The Christian youth, like Jesus rightly pointed out, is the salt and light of the world; he is to shine as light and dispel all manner of darkness and impurities in the lives of those he comes in contact with (Matthew 5:13-16; Proverbs 4:18), thereby brightening his corner, transforming lives and fulfilling the Lord’s vision for this close of age (Luke 2:32; Isaiah 49:5-6).
Also, if any youth must truly stand out in the face of oppositions and challenges of this time, it must be by Fervent Prayers. The Christian youth must see most of the things militating against his victory and upliftment in life as unacceptable and adversaries engineered right from the kingdom of darkness to hinder him from serving the Lord as he should. It was such a circumstance that Jesus saw concerning Peter and said to him: ‘Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee …’ (Luke 22:31-32). Satan desires to have every youth that has made a strong resolve to stand out for the Lord, but with fervent prayers, such a youth will overcome him.
When a youth takes the bold step to totally surrender his life to the Lord, separate himself from the misdeeds of the ungodly around him and stand out with righteousness, godly lifestyle and truth, etc (cons. Romans 12:1-2; 1John 2:15-17), such a youth needs to realize that he has automatically engaged himself in a battle of ridicule from former friends and admirers. He will face persecutions and oppositions from his fellow youths and even some men and women some of whom might even be ready to stake their lives, if need be, to stop him (cons. Acts 12:1 4; 23:12-14; Nehemiah 2:18-19). If that Christian youth must keep his decision and continue to stand out in the face of influences from ungodly peer pressures, drugs, alcohol, examination malpractice, youthful lusts, immoral relationships, dating and other entanglements which have tied the youth of today like a web, the issue of prayer cannot be over emphasized. He must indeed stand out by prayers (Luke 22:31-32; cons. Matthew 17:20-21; Ephesians 6:12-13, 18; Colossians 4:2). God has provided him with the necessary gadgets and weapons to ensure that he wins the battle (Ephesians 6:12-18; 1:3; 2Corinthians 10:3-6; 2Peter 1:2-4; 1Timothy 6:12). So choosing to stand out is choosing to pray hard.
Again, it has to be by Violence. Since oppositions and battles are sure to come, then the Christian youth must choose to violently move against the prevailing tide of his generation. The “violence” referred to here does not imply physically confronting one’s opponents with brute force. No, it means an unyielding determination to keep what one has received no matter the pains and discomforts such a decision might attract. It is a fierce abhorrence for all attitudes and preferences that threaten one’s faith and consecration, and spiritual warfare against all forces of darkness that seek to weaken one’s resolve. The kingdom of God and its benefits is for the violent only (Matthew 11:12). So, do you want to shine in the midst of darkness? (John 1:5). It is by violence. You want to live without compromising your Christian standard? (Romans 12:2). It is by violence. You want to go through your youthful period unscratched? (2 Timothy 2:22). It is by violence. To successfully overcome contending voices within and without, it must be by violence. To bring down the devil and his fiery darts (Ephesians 6:16), it is by violence. To remain without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27) through to rapture, it is by violence. Indeed the battle could be like that of Joseph at the ratio of 10:1, so never expect it to be light or take it lightly. Your standing out from the others must be by violence. Therefore, be determined to stand out.
Choosing to stand out may indeed attract a lot of inconveniences, yet the benefits cannot be measured. It is not actually an easy choice for a youth in this untoward generation. And so, knowing this, the Lord has likewise rolled out benefits and blessings far more greater than the decision taken.
READ TOMORROW: Benefits Of Choosing To Stand Out