Transforming young people
The Bible says, “In the last days God declares, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophecy, your young men shall see visions, and you old men dream dreams.” (Joel 2:28) In the last few years the Holy Spirit has started to move in the hearts of many children and teenagers in the UK. The lives of these young people have been transformed and they have begun to lead a life striving for holiness and prayer. The anointing of the Holy Spirit has also begun to spill over to other members of their families, to their schools, teachers and friends. The Holy Spirit is doing a beautiful thing and there is now a growing number of people who are being used powerfully for the building up of God’s kingdom.
I didn’t want to change
Up until the age of fifteen I would say that my life was ordinary, much like everyone else’s. I was very interested in music, fashion, entertainment and the many distractions that the world offered me. These gave me pleasure for a short time then I moved on to something else. My parents were very upset about my lifestyle and I remember that they were praying for me for many years. But I had no intention of changing who I was. Jesus was not part of my life, and I wasn’t interested in loving God, because I had lots of other things to love, the things that this world gave me. Also at the time I was being greatly influenced by my Muslim friends, in terms of believing in their God. Despite all this, I knew that deep down inside I wasn’t happy. I had a feeling of emptiness and sadness that I just couldn’t shake off, but I kept myself distracted by regularly getting into trouble at school, and taking out my anger on others. At that time I put the voice of the Holy Spirit on mute. I didn’t want to listen to anyone’s advice. I thought, I’m young, let me live my life as I want to now. But although I didn’t realise it, someone was watching over me and soon Jesus would transform my life!
“There is more joy in heaven over one sinner, who repents than over ninety nine righteous persons who needs no repentance.” Luke 15:7
I need to Know
It was then that the Lord inspired me to attend a retreat where, on the second day I felt the stirrings of the Holy Spirit. We were having a session on the topic of sin and I began to get restless because I felt like the speaker was talking about me. During the talk I suddenly felt the urge to know if Jesus was real, and in my desperation I cried out in prayer, “If there is a God out there, I want to know today if his name if Jesus. I need to know.” The word of God says “call to me and I will answer you.” (Jeremiah 33:3) I called, and that day he picked up my call.
I confessed everything!
After the session and a time of preparation I made my way to Confession. I walked in, knelt down and suddenly found myself bursting into tears. I was thinking, “What is happening to me?” All I did was kneel down and then suddenly I felt a huge heavy burden, as if someone had put a big rock on my back, and something told me that this was the weight of my sin. That day, I made the best Confession of my life. Without holding back one single sin, I confessed everything! As soon as I had finished my Confession, I felt the powerful presence of God around me. His glory, power and joy flooded into my heart and in my kneeling position I felt like Jesus was walking around me and his love made my heart melt.
I met my creator
I walked out of Confession feeling clean and I found myself crying for joy and this lasted for almost an hour. I had just met my creator. That day I realised that Jesus longs for us to love him, but he is gentle. He doesn’t kick open the door into our lives and try to control us, he simply waits. The word of God says “Listen, I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.” (Revelations 3:20) It had taken me fifteen years to quieten my soul, so that I could hear the voice of my loving God. I truly believe that there was a party in heaven that day for the word of God says that there is more joy in heaven over one sinner, who repents than over ninety nine righteous people who need no repentance. (Luke 15:7)
Open your hearts to God
My message to all teenagers and young people is to open your hearts to encounter God. I have tasted life without Jesus and life with him, and clearly found that that the love of Jesus, which lasts for ever is so much sweeter. My heart’s desire is to love Jesus, and everyone on the retreat made a decision to live for him. We don’t want to waste our time watching movies, fighting or doing things that are no use to our soul. We want to build our relationship with our loving God. We want to grow as a generation ready to serve him and be used by him. We want nothing but to love and serve our God. Glory to Jesus!
Written by Sheril John