I live in California, I’m in my early twenties and a college student. And no matter what anybody says about the number of Christians in this or that area, a lot of the time it feels like I’m the only person who follows Christ within a twenty-mile radius. I know it’s not true, and God bless the Christians in this city, but it’s this overwhelming feeling I often have. When I’m on campus, almost everywhere I look I see the embracing of humanistic values, exnay on God. (Like I said, there are Christians on campus, there are Christian clubs and I’m sure there are even some Christian professors). But it still doesn’t shake this feeling that I have, it’s palpable.
The other day I overheard a conversation between a few students: “Yeah! I mean, love is totally an evolutionary feeling that humans developed so that we would keep reproducing. It’s so obvious.” And of course contributing to this feeling are big posters that say “YOU DON’T NEED GOD, YOU ARE AWESOME ON YOUR OWN!!!” It’s disheartening. It really makes me sad that people are so misled and are actively rejecting God.
We can see it in our culture. It says to us, “You are young, wild, and free! Live fast! Party with wild abandon, pursue your dreams, be an individual, explore, learn and discover yourself!” And what we read and what we see on TV tells us that being a Christian is stupid, old-fashioned, and totally uncool. Sometimes it is a statement made outright, and sometimes it is subtle. That’s okay. The world didn’t know Jesus during his Earthly ministry, and it doesn’t know Him now.
The funny thing is that these people who reject God think they are going against the grain. Because on paper, America is a “Christian Nation”. They think that because pollsters ask people “Do you believe in God?” and people respond “Sure do!” that being an atheist or an agnostic is being truly rebellious. They are the enlightened, open-minded, free-thinking ones.
But let’s be real. Living as a true follower of Christ, living in His counterculture, taking up His cross, resisting the things of this world, standing up for our faith, that is being rebellious. That is swimming upstream. That isn’t the majority of young people, it’s not the majority in this country. And, speaking for California, that sure isn’t the majority here.
I can’t remember who said this, but I love it:
A man walks through the streets with a gun in his hand, thinking he’s tough and really a man. But the man who instead walks through the streets holding a Bible, now that’s a man.
To be a “rebel” is to live like Jesus lived. Plain and simple. To be a man or woman living for God, every morning saying “Thy will be done!” Surrendering our plans and our lives to Him. Speaking the truth with love. Loving God and loving people. Always striving to live detached from the things of this world, status, money, posessions, comforts. Knowing that having a 401K and stocking up for the future are good things in and of themselves, but that ultimately God holds our future in His hands. These are the things that would look crazy to the outside world. But our Jesus is radical! He looks so different to the ways of this world. And people truly living like Him would be a breath of fresh air in this dark world.
But this is the beautiful thing: I have really felt excited about what is happening in this generation. I can feel a revival of the youth in this nation, and I am so stoked about it. Maybe people are looking around at what is happening in our culture and are realizing that there is something better for us. Maybe people are seeing that they want to live for something so much more than what reality shows and Hollywood glamourize. Maybe they are waking up to see that there is a Truth out there, and He is waiting for us to open our hearts to Him.
And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
This is how it happened for me about two years ago. I was pursuing my own dreams (not very well, might I add). I was leaning on my own understanding (and seeped in stress). And I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. I had no peace, no rest, no comfort in what I was building for myself and the mess I was making. That’s when I came back to Him in full. Because what is the alternative? This world has nothing for me. And now, I can breathe again. My father is taking care of me, and all I can hope for is to be in the center of His perfect will.
And this is what I am excited for, that people will see that this empty world has nothing to offer, and nothing will fulfill them outside of the love of Christ. That we were made for another world, we were made to be a part of Christ’s family, we are children of God. We are His beloved. There is a greater purpose outside of everything that we can see. And as young people, we are spirited, full of energy, we want to see change and we want to make a difference. What better way to love the world than by clinging to Christ and His commandments. Talk about Hope and Change, people!
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12
I see a generation rising up to take their place
with selfless faith, selfless faith.
I see a near revival,
stirring as we pray and seek
We’re on our knees, we’re on our knees.
Hosanna in the Highest.