Life in this world in the operations of Satan, sins, sicknesses, sorrows and death is full of challenges. As long as you are born into it, you just have to face them. If the youths of nowadays don't face challenges; spiritually, physically, mentally, morally and possibly materially; they cannot STAND OUT of the crowd.
A baby in the womb faced the challenges of being in the mother's womb for (9) months. The mother also goes through the critical period until the baby is delivered for the proclamation of relief and joy, for the child to feed professionally, learn how to sit, crawl, stand, walk and talk as other children; it portends challenges for both the mother and baby to STAND OUT.
Even growth from Adolescence to Adulthood (youth or a full blown man) requires certain disciplinary actions to be headed out among the myriads of people. Some of these under listed areas may be needed and planted in today's youths;
1. Give proper place for Jesus to enthrone your heart as he knocks to dwell in you (Rev. 3:20). He dethrones immorality in your in your heart and actions. He will then shine in you to shine out from you and stand you out amongst humanity; for He is the light of the world; you become unique by Him.
2. Academically, as you burn the midnight oil, you excel under His light and guide. You are focused, not lazy but stand in His Excellency as per the excellent spirit in Daniel. Yes, you can be the best among your colleagues (Dan. 6:3).
3. Generally, hard work pays. Be as the busy bees for honey to flow from you. Be as Ants (though so little) very hardworking and meticulous who build their ant-hills and plant in the summer and gather her harvest for winter. (Prov. 6:4-11).
In summary, I challenge you to STAND OUT from DARKNESS to LIGHT; I challenge you to STAND OUT from defeat to CONSTANT VICTORY, I challenge you to STAND OUT from POLLUTION to UPRIGHT STAND with God; I challenge you to STAND OUT from worst of all youths to THE BEST OF ALL YOUTHS.
Yes, Stand Up, Stand Out in faith and overcome the world (John 5:4). God be in your Spirit, Amen.
WHAT IS PURPOSE
Purpose can be defined purpose as "the intention, aim or function of something; the thing that something is supposed to achieve." The subject of purpose is so important that no body succeeds till he/she discovers his/her purpose in life. The question every young person should actually be asking is "Who Am I?" "Why was I created (made) by God?" or "What is the purpose of God concerning me?" It is very necessary to look inwards in order to discover who we are and what God, in his infinite wisdom built into us even before we were born .
The aim of this paper is to help young people discover their God-given abilities. A person's natural abilities are the POTENTIALS or untapped personal resources that God has stored in the particular person. Man was created for a purpose. Gen. 1 :28 records thus: "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." This means that God blessed man, after creating and setting him apart for very clear purpose(s); this is the natural ability we are talking about. You do not need to fast and pray to get it, or go to any institution of learning to acquire it. Rather you need such learning to develop or discover what you are already having, as it is already inbuilt in you right from when God formed you in your mother's womb. This is made clearer in Psa. 139: 13 - 16 "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them."
In Gen. I :26 the bible records thus "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." In the above text it is very clear that God created man to be the most important feature among all his creatures. Man therefore, was in the main, created to take control of every other creature that God made; man also was created as a co-creator (co-labourer), in other words, man was created to replicate or reproduce its kind. We also observe that the verse was talking about stewardship - that is somebody who takes care or manages something for somebody. God did not just start his creation exercise for no reason. He created man so that man would profit him.
The problem with so many people is that of ignorance. Hos. 4:6 reads "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Here we can see that the reason why most people are wasting away could be as a result of failure to discover their purpose. Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah had the same problem as a young man before God informed him of His purpose for him (Jeremiah) see Jer. 1:5 "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee,and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." From the foregoing, it is clear that Jeremiah was not aware of God's purpose for him, hence his unwillingness to take up the assignment as ordained by God. Please read Jer. I: 6-7 "Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak." Most people pray outside the will of God concerning them. Do not forget that a person becomes extraordinary or super natural in ability when God's anointing comes upon his natural gifts or abilities. That is why we need to be prayerful; see Psa 37:5 "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."
THE IMPORTANCE OF PURPOSE
Purpose is so important in a believer's life such that it puts an end to a life of struggle. This is because God only empowers you to perform in the area He has assigned you; this is therefore, where you perform seemingly effortlessly. When you walk in the purpose of God for you, the difficult appears so ordinary. Challenges or oppositions become your motivator or teacher.
Reason being that your purpose drives you to overcome such seeming difficulties. In Zech. 4:6 "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." Men of purpose are focused, they would not want to be distracted, they are not people of unsteady character, as Christians, they are very prayerful, and they are goal-bound. See Joel 2:4 "The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run." Purpose drives a man I You must understand that there is no such thing as self-appointed purpose. Every good purpose is from God. We therefore must be in a position to differentiate between ambition and purpose. Ambition means something somebody wants to be or achieve. Ambition is self-appointed while purpose is not. Ambition could drive a man to commit all kinds of atrocities. Adolph Hitler had an ambition for Germany to rule the world. His devilish ambition led to the destruction of thousands of Jews. So ambition drives a man to kill, maim or cheat. O! Youth discover your purpose.
HOW TO DISCOVER PURPOSE
The bible records in James 1 :5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not and it shall be given to him." This simply means that when ever we are trying to find out certain facts, the best place to go is the bible.
1. Divine Leadership Or Guidance
Exodus 3:2 - Moses by the burning bush: Here we saw how Moses was attracted by the flame of the fire in the bush. He stopped to look and heard the voice of the Lord telling him what he should do. As a youth, you may have had your interest aroused by seeing people in certain profession. Have you ever stopped to think whether the Lord is leading you towards such direction? As a student, which are the subjects that naturally appeal to you? What are the ones that do not appeal to you, but are very necessary for your academic progress? Are you prepared to work hard in order to over come any seeming difficulty? Remember, Isaac Pitman said that to get gold you must dig deeper, for gold is not gotten on the surface of the earth. So hard work is it.
2. Biological Influence:
There are certain professions that seemingly run in a family, e.g. Law, Accountancy, Medicine, even Priesthood, etc. Your family background could influence your calling. There are some families that are notable for one profession or the other. You notice that in such family, almost every body is doing something relating to a particular profession. For instance, the Levites were a tribe of priests; see Num. 8:11, Jos. 18:7,
3. Peer Pressure or Influence:
The relationships or associations you keep could influence your purpose. That is why people talk about the law of homogenous compatibility, simply put, birds of the same feather, flock together. Even the books you read, the programs you either watch or listen to can affect your purpose.
4. Personal Trait:
This has to do with your natural inborn character. Your natural likes or dislikes. All of these are pointers to one's purpose.
OPPOSITION TO PURPOSE
1. Curses / Enchantments: Curse, with reference to our subject, means a word or phrase that has some evil powers to make something bad happen, while enchantment means a state of being under some demonic influence or force. Num. 23:23 "Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel ... " With the power of curse or enchantment, somebody or even a whole family or nation could have their purpose or destiny overturned or even exchanged as was about happening in the place we just read.
Even names people bear could affect their purpose in life please see 1Chronicles 4:9 And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow." Here was a boy honoured by God, but his mother spoilt
his purpose through an evil name.
2. Vacillation - Indecision: This happens when we fail to weigh the alternatives or consider the possibilities. Get tough with yourself. Weigh the pros and cons, write down all the possibilities and make decisions. Trying to do something and failing is better than trying to do nothing.
3. Dawdling - Drifting, Daydreaming, and Dilly-dallying: This is a failure to keep your goals clearly in mind and make them a priority. See be ready to drive yourself hard, do not be afraid of challenges.
4. Switching - Starting one project and getting diverted to another one half-way through. Again, you have lost the focus of your goals and plan. Do not let yourself be satisfied until the desired goal is achieved
5. Acquiescing - The inability to say no. This can be caused by the desire to please other people, guilt, timidity, lack of self-discipline. You must learn that you do not have to please everyone. When someone makes a request of you that delaysor interferes with your plans, politely but firmly refuse.
6. Rehashing - Dwelling on past accomplishments, problems or failures. Here you have an unwillingness to deal with the present. Let the past go. Concentrate on what i§ and what can be. You do not live in the past. You live in the present. The future will become the present faster than you think.
7. Wheel-Spinning - Trying to do something so you will feel busy, but accomplishing little or nothing. This usually happens when you let yourself get busy with a career because some body is doing well in that field! but not necessarily you're calling. You will end up
wasting your time. At the end you find yourself doing so many things at the same time just to assuage your feeling of guilt.
8. Perfectionism - Unwillingness to compromise; unrealistic expectations. When we set our goals too high, we run the risk of becoming intimidated by our own goals. Learn to strive for excellence, not perfection. You want to be sure to set realistic, not idealistic goals.
God bless you