Children and youths as vanguards of future revival – Part 12
God intentionally pours out His Spirit on children and youths during any revival because of their flexibility, adaptability and inclination for adventure. Any spiritual investment made in children and youths yields more enduring fruit than an investment in adults, whose shelf life is shorter.
We must pray for our children and youths to be the vanguard and custodians of the coming revival. We can do this by intentionally sowing the vision of the coming revival in their hearts. We must tell our children the stories of what God did in the past and His promise for a future revival. We must also encourage them to read Bible stories. And like we do in He’s Alive Chapel, we get them to participate in praying for revival.
Who is a youth? According to our National Youth Policy document 2001, youth is defined as anyone within the age range of 15 to 35. This definition departs from the universally accepted United Nations definition, which specifies ages 15 to 24 as the ages of youth.
Children and youths constitute over 70% of our national population, which currently stands at 190 million. Even from the Bible, youths have always had a special place in God’s plan. Joseph was a youth when God called him. David was also a youth, when God called him. Samson too was a youth when God called him. Jesus began to show awareness of the ministry at the age of twelve. God cannot ignore the children and youths in a project as important as the End-time harvest.
God called many of the prominent ministers at the global scene when they were young. Ministers like Charles Spurgeon, Billy Graham, Oral Roberts and Evangelist Reinhard Bonkke, among others, were called in their youthful years to blaze the revival fire.
Back home in Nigeria, Pentecostal leaders like Joseph Babalola, Benson Idahosa, Geoffrey Numbere, Stephen and Ralph Okafor, among others, were all youths when God called them to lead the Charismatic revival.
Contemporary ministers of God in Nigeria that have successfully pioneered Churches or Para-church ministries were youths when they received God’s call. These include David Oyedepo, Chris Oyakhilome, Bishop Mike Okonkwo, Bishop Paul Nwachukwu, Apostle Anselm Madubuko, Emiko Amotshuka, Paul Adefarasin, Pastor Taiwo Odukoya, Bishop Taiwo Adelakun, Rev. Emiko Amoshuka and Rev. Tunde Joda, among others.
Our university campuses are a breeding ground for future revivalists. We have over 100 universities presently in Nigeria. Many of the ministers mentioned in this piece are products of campus fellowships. Historically, God has always used collegiate revivals as a breeding ground for great revivalists and church leaders.
Intense spiritual warfare has to be fought over the destiny of our youths to successfully dislodge them from unhealthy spiritual influences inimical to their spiritual growth.
Our youths are captives to many unhealthy social vices that draw them away from living a focused life. They are victims of modern day slavery, human trafficking, social media, the craze for materialism, peer group pressure, crime, sports and entertainment and drugs, among others.
Some of these, like social media and sports, are not necessarily evil, but they distract them and eventually entangle them emotionally and psychologically. THE BATTLE OVER THE DESTINY OF THE YOUTHS MUST BE WON FOR THE SAKE OF REVIVAL
Ultimately, it is God that raises men and clothes them with His mantle. Our responsibility is to identify, encourage and train them.
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