Saying “Yes” to God and “No” to the World
Every Christian goes through seasons of their life when they face temptation. And as a young adult in today's culture, living for God is not easy. Maybe you’ve decided to go into this new year completely focused on God.
But then the mean girl at school started spreading rumors about you. Or the popular one invited you to a party.
Although I have my own share of mistakes, I am now terrified of stepping out of God’s will for my life. I’m terrified of leaving him to do things my way, just to satisfy my own fleshly desires. I know that—if I leave God, I will not receive His best for my life.
On the other hand, when I make decisions that God would be pleased with, I am filled with peace because I know that my life is in his hands. I also know that He has incredible plans for me—and the only way that those plans will unfold is if I stay in His will for my life.
Besides, Jesus gave His life for me. It would only make sense to live my life for Him.
However, Satan will do His best to lead you astray by disguising temptation to make it appealing. That is exactly how he persuaded Eve into taking a bite of the apple. The Enemy made the fruit seem completely harmless and worth the bite. Genesis 3:6 says that Eve was convinced that “the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some fruit and ate it.”
I think we all know what happened after that. (See Gen. 3:14-24.)
Because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, they were no longer in God’s original plan. Don’t you think Eve regretted taking that bite?
When I disobey God, it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart because I just think of how God gave Himself for me on the cross. He didn't die for "the world"—he died for me. He died for you. He was literally thinking of you all of those years ago when he was beaten to death, and he sacrificed himself so that you could have True life. He sacrificed himself so you could find freedom in Him—freedom from your sin, freedom from the world, and freedom to begin a loving relationship with Him.
Don't take this opportunity for granted. And be careful not to say, "Oh, I have the rest of my life to live for God. But I'm only young once. Besides, I still go to church every Sunday.”
It’s impossible to live both for God and the world. Because when we say “yes” to the world, we end up saying “no” to God. There is no in between.
Your youth is the prime time to cultivate a relationship with God, which can be the foundation for the rest of your life. Whether you realize this or not, the habits you form now will most likely continue throughout the rest of your life.
“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” -Romans 8:5-6 (Emphasis mine)
God has so much in store for you. He wants to have a lasting relationship with you, and He cannot wait to reveal His plans for you. But the only way those plans can unfold is if you seek Him with all your heart and strive to please Him with every decision that you make.
When we say no to sin and yes to God, it’s not like we’re saying “no” to a fun life and “yes” to a boring one. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. Because when we live in sin, we’re actually living in bondage.
However, when we live for God, we’re saying “yes” to an abundant life.
And “yes” to living a life of freedom.
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