God is doing great things in our generation. When I say “generation”, I’m not just talking about this current time period, I’m talking about the generational age group to which you and I belong. Some call us “millennials” and would like us to think we will never do much for God because of our generational “issues.” Granted, we are a mess. But God delights in taking “messes”, cleaning them up, and using them to change the world. Take Saul for example.
And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of “this way” [speaking of Christianity], whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
In Acts 9, we find a man who was a big mess. In fact, he was so messed up, he was determined to destroy Christianity from off the face of the earth. He wasn’t exactly a prime candidate to sign up for the Thee Generation. Thankfully, God stepped in and things changed. Fast.
And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”
And he said, “Who art thou, Lord?”
And the Lord said, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”
And he trembling and astonished said, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”
And the Lord said unto him, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
When Jesus showed up, Saul saw his need. He realized he was a mess and was fighting against God, not for him. At that moment, God broke him. He trusted Christ to save him and at the same time surrendered his life to God. The urgent question that escaped his lips, revealing his heart of surrender, was, “Lord what wilt thou have me to do?” Jesus told him to go and wait in the city for further instructions. And he did.
Meanwhile, God was setting the stage for Saul’s future through a man named Ananias. Ananias was just a normal guy like you or me. Nothing extraordinary. And yet God told him to go find Saul and help him get started in his newfound life and purpose. Ananias balked at first because Saul was notorious for fighting against Christianity. And yet Jesus insisted. He told Ananias to go to Saul for one very important reason: Saul was a chosen vessel for Jesus. As a chosen vessel, Saul would carry the gospel to the world and be greatly used of God.
Ananias obeyed and went to Saul, sharing the plan and potential God saw in him. Saul responded and immediately began his ministry of sharing the gospel and following God with his whole heart. Saul, a man who was an absolute mess, was used of God to take the gospel to Europe, to write most of the New Testament and to change the world. Thousands upon thousands of people were impacted by his life. Billions have been impacted by his writings.
God loves taking messes and using them to impact the world. What changed Saul from a mess to someone who changed the world was simple: total surrender and total dependence.
As I reflect on the mess that was Saul’s life, I can’t help but think of my own. I was born from an illegitimate union and then adopted by a Christian family at birth. I was saved at age four, but at age twelve, my adopted mother died. I got bitter at God for ruining my life. I tried to escape into sin but could not find lasting relief from the pain. My dad got remarried to a godly woman, but my life was an absolute mess.
At age sixteen, Jesus showed up in my life. I began to see my need and I realized my life was a mess. As I cried out to God to get me out of the mess I had created for myself, He heard me. My life began to change. In my last year of high school, I began making pivotal decisions about dealing with hidden sin and surrendering my life to God’s will. God called me to preach and the burning burden on my heart was that God would use me to kindle an awakening among the teens of my youth group. Little did I know what God was starting in my heart.
I went to Bible college at Baptist College of Ministry, and there I continued making decisions to follow Christ. God called me into Evangelism and gave me a platform to minister to teens every week across the country. During the years since God first called me to preach, the burden to see a movement of young people serving God has only increased in my heart. And I believe God is doing it. And I’m a part of it.
The solution for me was the same as Saul’s: total surrender and total dependence.
That’s my story. Now you need to consider yours. It doesn’t matter how big of a mess you’ve gotten yourself into. God wants to get you out of it and use you to turn the world upside-down for Jesus Christ. But you need to let him.
The solution for you is the same as for Saul and for me: total surrender and total dependence.
God is raising up a generation of young people who are not interested in doing their own thing; they want to do God’s will. Furthermore, they know they can’t do it; they don’t have what it takes. The things God wants them to do are not just difficult, they’re impossible. And yet, they’re not backing down. They’re not saying that it’s too hard. They’re saying, “God, you want us to give our lives to you and to cover this entire globe with the message of Jesus Christ. We can’t do it, but by God’s strength and power and by the Lord Jesus Christ living inside of us, we’re gonna do it.” Their passion is to absolutely surrender to God and to depend on Him for whatever He calls them to do.
God is already raising up the Thee Generation. The question for you isn’t whether we are going to start a movement or not. The question is: who’s going to join it? Are you willing to join the Thee Generation?