Positive Youthful Believer and Leader, Part 1
No one remains a youth/young adult forever. It’s a stage that we all must enter and exit, a stage where all are called to live meaningful, Holy Spirit-directed lives—seeking spiritual formation that will stand the test of time. Caleb understood this truth!
In Joshua 14:10, KJV, Caleb takes the opportunity to look at his career of faith. He said, “The Lord hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years . . . . while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.” Eighty-five years of age! Indeed, no one remains age-stagnated; thus, the onus is on each individual to cultivate a youthful life of discipleship, so that reminiscing in later years brings heart-warming fulfillment.
Caleb, the 85-year-old, legendary spy, repeats the story of their past to Joshua—his comrade in battle. Joshua knows the story, but Caleb repeats it again for the knowledge of all who were only children at the time. He is also recapping history to challenge Israel’s then current generation of youth and young adults.
As the scriptures record, Caleb was chosen as a young man to spy out the promised land—Canaan. Upon the return of his team, Caleb and Joshua reported, “Let us go up at once, and possess it”—Numbers 13:30, KJV. To which, the majority of the team (10 men) rebutted, “We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey . . . and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw giants . . . and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight”—Numbers 13:27, 32, 33, KJV.
This amazing Bible story is saturated with object lessons for today. It calls upon youth and young adults to be believers and leaders in the name of Jesus.
Youth/Young Adult Believer and Leader
In Numbers 14:2, KJV, the account notes that the 10 men’s report made the people of Israel murmur and complain saying, “Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!”
Negativity has caused much to be lost for the cause of God, and many have defeated themselves in the shadows of negative mindsets and words. God’s children are to be intentional about choosing to believe, and live in tangent to negativity. We are commissioned to be positive—positive leaders, in a negative world.
The other spies were negative about both the mission and themselves. However, Caleb declared, “No, this is God’s word and God’s promise. Let us arise and possess this land” (See Numbers 14:6-9). The response of many (fellow Israelites) was to take stones to stone them, because they believed God’s promise, and because they were different (positive, youthful leaders).
Youth/young adult believers and positive leaders are chosen, and peculiar; not willing to “fit in.” They are not afraid to be different, to think differently, to believe differently, to act differently; knowing that in this world, once one is under the direction of the Holy Spirit, they will be different.
David McKenzie is the director of Youth, Young Adult, Pathfinder, and Adventurer ministries in the Atlantic Union Conference.