There is no doubt that young adult believers have a real epidemic on their hands. It is caused by society but it is at the expense of young believers that are trying to live their lives for Christ. We see that pop culture embraces a reckless and rebellious lifestyle by this type of living, young adult believers are under attack by the fiery darts of Satan. One of the biggest ideas that pop culture is influencing us to live is the following thought, “You have to live in the moment and follow your heart.” However, this is a wrong perspective to look at it from. We see in God’s word that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”(Jeremiah 17:9)
By pop culture encouraging young people to follow their hearts, it is teaching us to follow all things unholy. This is contrary to what God has intended for us to do in our Christian life. The Lord wants us to live a pure and holy life, which is the exact opposite that society is trying to force into the minds of young believers everywhere. In which way are they promoting an unholy lifestyle? It's through living a life of sexual immorality. It is impossible to turn on the tv today and not to see something that is promoting sexual immorality. We are seeing it on ads, shows, music videos, etc… It is through this that young adults are allowing their hearts and minds to be held captive by the snares of Satan.
Our culture over the years has become overtly sexualized. It is no wonder why young teens are getting pregnant at earlier and earlier ages. It's because we have allowed our society to get this way. Now-a-days "sex ed" teaches that sex is okay for young people as long as they use protection. We think it is okay for men/women to look at the opposite sex in an immoral way as long as they don’t touch. In the Bible, we see the Lord say this “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) Jesus went further than the law that Moses gave. Jesus said not only committing the act is adultery but even looking at someone in a lustful way you have already committed the act of adultery. Jesus went further than the law because He knows that by just thinking of it, a person can be moved to action.
God is not against sex as long as the couple is a married male and female. Everything done sexually outside of marriage is against what God intended it to be. Another thing against what God intended is the sin of homosexuality. We see in the Bible that in the beginning God created woman for man not man for man. Homosexuality is another issue that this society has embraced and I believe it's because we have allowed so much perversion in this country. Pop culture will say someone is born that way or it's a disease. They may be onto something with a disease because it is a sin disease. We have a choice to cleanse this sin by giving it over to Jesus. God does not hate any sinner, He wants all to come to repentance and forsake the sin that we are held captive by.
God wants us all to live for him including the millennial generation that Satan is trying to get a hold of. We as young people trying to serve God in society today need to be sure that we are fleeing from the sexual sins that are getting forced into our minds. When I think of an example of fleeing from fornication, I think of Joseph. When Potiphar had gone away to handle his duties, he left Joseph in charge of his house. We see that on three different occasions that Potiphar’s wife was trying to get Joseph to commit fornication with her. On the third time, she grabbed him by his coat and he took off his coat to get away. Here is the idea. We need to flee from sexual immorality like Joseph did. But the reason he was able to do this was because God was with Him. Joseph sought God. If we as young believers are going to stay pure in society today, we are going to have to flee from anything that will allow our minds to become full of immorality. Many good men and women in the faith have fallen because of this sin. The way you avoid this is to be like Joseph and seek God daily. Then, and only then, will you have the spiritual strength to not sin against God.
My testimony is one that is only by the grace of God. It is a testimony that contains ups and downs, although it has consisted of more ups than downs. I got saved at around 5 or 6 years old. The way I heard about church was through some children that my mom used to watch. Their mom drove one of the buses and they invited us to a children’s church promotion. It was through this that my brother, sisters, and I started attending church. We soon found out that we could earn more points if our parents came to church. My parents thought it would be a good idea for them to come to church on the bus with us.
My parents fell in love with the church there (Calvary Baptist Temple in Fort Collins, Co). My parents got involved with the church, instantly going all day Sunday and Wednesday nights. After being there almost a year my dad started driving the bus route for Sunday morning as well as visiting the children on Saturday mornings. By constantly going to church I was able to develop a grasp of salvation, after making several false professions of faith. I was one of those kids that got saved every Sunday morning. There was finally a time in one of those professions that I finally grasped a fully knowledge of true salvation. That next Sunday night I was baptized.
After being at Calvary Baptist Temple for several years, we moved back to my hometown of El Paso, Tx due to family issues (I was in 4th grade at this time) . Once we moved back, we attended a church for a few weeks until the secretary ran off with the Pastor. From there, my family stopped going to church. It was from this point that we started running from God. My brother and I eventually started turning to the streets for answers. I was involved in gang activity at a pretty young age, following my brothers footsteps. I started hanging out with the wrong people and doing the wrong things because I felt like I needed acceptance somewhere. Therefore, I did a lot of things to get accepted by the gang I was affiliated with.
My parents eventually realized how deep we were in the gang when, as a family, we were at a football game and people tried to fight my brother and I. My dad did not want our family in danger due to what my brother and I were involved in. It was from this point that we ran to Alabama to run away from our issues. In the process of moving, we just about lost everything due to a wreck. The company that we hired to move our items got into a wreck and all of our possessions were not retrievable. All that we had was what we had in our car. We lived in Alabama for about 11 months. It was the worst 11 months of my life. It was one of the lowest in our lives as a family.
It was here that my dad received a call in our hotel room where we were living in on the roughest side of Bermingham. It was a call from my Pastor (Park Sutton) in Fort Collins, Co. He told my dad that he felt lead by the Lord to give us a call. The Lord used that call to work in my father’s life. After a couple hours of talking to Pastor, my dad said that we were going to move back to Colorado. He said that we are not going to run from God anymore. At this point in my life, I still believed there was a God, but I thought I was okay where I was at in my life.
We eventually moved back to Colorado during my sophomore year of high school. I was really rebellious at this point in my life. Even though, as a family we were back in church, it took awhile before I gave my heart back to the Lord. It was not until the summer going into my Junior year that I yielded my heart back to the Lord. I was at Silver State Baptist Youth camp when the Lord called me to preach. I eventually graduated high school and I attended Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City, Ok. I graduated from there in May of 2018. Since I have graduated, I have been plugged into Rose Hill Baptist Church in De Queen, Ar. It has been a blessing to be able to teach the 5th-8th graders and run the van ministry.
Although my life has had its forks in the road and many twists and turns, it is only by the grace of God that I am in the position that I am in. Looking back on all this, I can say that I have been blessed. I don't deserve to be where I am but I am glad that the Lord is willing to use a person like me. If you would have asked me 10 years ago where I would be in my life, I would of thought I would be in jail or dead. But because the grace of God in my life, I can say now I am happy and in the will of God. The Lord wants to work in your life as well, but you need to yield yourself to Him. Die to yourself so that you can live for the Lord.
My testimony consists of as follows:
From birth til 5 years old my life consisted of attending the local Baptist church 4 hours a week, (Sunday School, Sunday morning preaching, Sunday night preaching, and Wednesday night preaching), and the rest of the time, as you may assume, was spent playing.
From 6 years old til 16 years old my life consisted of attending that same local Baptist church 4 hours a week, public schooling 40 hours per week, (7 hours spent on the grounds, 1 hour on the school bus per day, this is a modest estimate), the rest of the unaccounted for time was spent largely in playing.
There is one occurrence that I must point out that differed from this routine a little less than a month before my 14th birthday... I came under tremendous conviction of sin from the preaching of the Word of God and I found myself convinced that I was a sinner in need of being saved from hell. I asked Jesus to come into my heart and save me. I believe on that day I was "born again" spiritually. I believe what follows comes from a combination of many factors but in short over the next few years I gradually drifted away from God, even so far from Him that I began to question if sin was even wrong or was it just because some book said so...
The next 2 years my time was spent in much the same way with the exception of the fact that I no longer rode the bus instead I was driving which also meant that my "play time" was changing in content as well...
A few months shy of my 18th birthday, certain changes took place. I decided to move out of my dad and mom's house and get out from underneath their authority. I finished my last year of high school, but completely stopped going to church... More importantly than that, I got as far away from the God of the Bible as I could... From just before I turned 18 until sometime in my 23rd year, my time was spent doing whatever I felt like doing...
I found myself in a horrible pit of filth, and disgust. I found myself to be what I knew the Bible called "a sinner."
Somewhere in the midst of my 23rd year, I decided to open a Bible. I turned to a random passage. I read in it II Timothy 3:1-5 which describes what people will be like "in the last days." That passage was like looking in a mirror of what I had become. I decided, at my sister's suggestion to please my mom, to go to church that coming Sunday morning. As I listened to the preacher, years of emotion flowed from me as I cried through the entire sermon... The following week I pondered hard what and where I was in life. I decided to go back to church the following Sunday. Before the preaching was concluded I had already given my heart to God in total surrender. I can remember wondering if it would be ok to ask if I could stay in the sanctuary of that building and just sleep on a pew for the rest of my life...
My walk with the Lord since then has by no means been a perfect one... But it has been the best thing on this planet that's ever happened to me. To walk with Jesus day by day has been fulfilling in ways words fail to describe.
In writing this, I must point out that I wish my testimony was different. It's not. I've seen both sides of the fence, God's and the world's, I've seen both perspectives. I have found that the Bible, God's Word, has all of the answers to life's questions that we seek.
God and His grace are good. The world, flesh, and the devil are not. This is the conclusion that I've found. This is my testimony.
I'll have to admit that sometimes I wonder what God is up to in my life. As I see people struggle around me to make ends meet and others suffer from physical pain, I ask myself if God is seeing what I am seeing? Does He care as much as I do? Is He going to do anything to fix the mess that I am seeing? I know that the typical preacher answer is "God is on His throne! He is in full control!" There is a level of comfort in knowing that He is in control, but it would be nice if He had an office next door that I could stop by and visit with Him about all the struggles that I see. I'd even be willing to make an appointment or wait in line to get His advice on how to help. Yet, how little time I actually spend doing what is most needed in any given situation: that is, prayer. Isn't this truly how we get ahold of God? Isn't this how we access the throne room of grace? Isn't He always ready to answer and delights to hear from us?! Yet, how little time i actually spend on my knees, begging God to work on behalf of those that need Him most. I beg God to let me see a revival of personal prayer in my life that would overflow into the lives of those around me. A fire that would burn so deep inside of me that I could actually see and know my God on a deeper, more personal level. Oh, dear Lord! Teach me to pray!