Spiritual Growth

No matter how far you've gone in your walk with the Lord, never forget your spiritual roots.

When you first knew the Lord, you learned about Him and His love for mankind. You learned eventually of His offer of salvation for you. And when you received that gift, you started the commitment to follow Him. Your spiritual roots started building. 

Then, the fire burned in you. You carried that growing up. And with that bright flame, you became strong enough to face circumstances because of His presence. Plus, you became ready to shine for Him and make an impact in your surroundings. You still have that fire until today.

That's a powerful life in Christ. But I believe that no matter what time in a person's life God calls him to be part of His family, he can spiritually grow and make a difference with all he has to give his life with.

I have to agree that this life-changing decision involves a matter of the heart. It's all what He's seeking for, and that drives him to accept the commitment that comes with the promised new life given in eternity.

I recall hearing this being said, "It's best to know the Lord while you're still young." But there's a point in it. The youthful years are the active and healthy years. The youth have strong bodies, sharp minds, keen senses, bright enthusiasm, determined wills, and teachable spirits. They can know and serve God at their fullest. With those years come challenges- like peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, and sex. These years are to be well taken care of. And having Him along these years can help them overcome these ones.

I'll always be forever thankful for the opportunity of knowing God at a young age. As a kid, knowing Him was pure bliss. There was great interest that sparked in me- from the first encounter through Sunday school, to the call of surrendering my life to Him, until the commitment to grow in Him daily. That childlike interest solidified the faith, love, and devotion to Him that planted inside me. It continued to grow further when I reached my teen years.

But no journey's a walk on the park. Along the way, there were moments of struggles, failures and downfalls. From these experiences came roadblocks that placed God out of the picture. Those made me lose my way. But I'm glad that His unconditional love and ever-flowing mercy continued to be there in spite of what happened.
Looking back at them today, I think of the effect of that small seed planted during the childhood years. It always reminds me to tighten my grip on Him at all times, and it showed during the lowest times of life. I'm still walking on life because of this, and I'll continue to carry on with this as life goes on. The road isn't easy, but it'll be worthwhile.

If it worked for me, I still believe it works for the young ones today who have decided to follow Him in spite the changing times. I have my full support to those taking this endeavor. And if there are things I want to advise them on this, here are a few:

1. Do all you can with what you have for God.
Take the gospel of Christ with you in heart and obey it. Build your personality in the faith. Keep yourself pure. Seek all opportunities to learn more about Him. These are what you can do at start. 

When you've grown in this, prepare yourself to be of industry and service. Be useful in it. Use your talents, skills and gifts to lead others to Him. These are what you can do with what you have as a youth. Don't put it to waste.

2. Know that God can work on His purposes through you.
Regardless of your age, He can use you mightily for His kingdom purposes. David fought Goliath and gained the victory. Joseph served in the house of Potiphar and gained the trust of his master. He stood for what's right when he was tempted by his master's wife. 

Daniel and his 3 friends took a stand by not taking food and drink from their captors that dishonored God. Their stand stood even further. The 3 friends- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego- refused to worship the idol statue of King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel chose to worship God, in spite of the punishment to be thrown at the lion's den.

People may look down at you because you're young, but be a great example of character. Great accomplishments can be done with that kind of disposition.

3. Stick tight to those part of your spiritual journey. 
No growth in the journey is possible without the people part of your pursuit. Seek mentors to help you. Seek friends you can be accountable with.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Learn from them. They're part of the experience to help you grow. Engage the journey-takers in your life with your ups and downs. They're the ones you can turn to. And they can encourage, strengthen, and pray for you.

4. Keep your burning love and desire for the Lord as long as you live.
With all your time, opportunity, service, accountability and youth, never forget the love that transformed you into the person you've become and will become. It's His ultimate love that compels you to live for Him everyday and love Him as you go on in life. Let Him be part of your everything.

As life goes on and you have more responsibilities to fulfill, the time you have is getting less and less. Added to that are distractions that may lead you to be lost on your walk. Whatever happens, always keep your strong love for Him. Let your soul and spirit take heart of the One who's the center of it all. You'll be standing strong because He'll always lead you on your journey. And with that, your love for Him will inspire others to know about Him who gives the greatest love of all.

The youthful years are considered the best years of one's life. These are growing and molding years. These are years where one can think of ideas and possibilities. With those years dedicated to God, he can do something useful for advancement in the Kingdom. When he decides to make that commitment, it's going to be a fulfilling journey ahead.  It's something he won't regret.