Tis the summer season, which is already almost over, and many Christian Summer camps are currently taking place, or are just ending. Our teens just came back from camp, which went extremely well for us. Lots of decisions made!
I grew up at a summer Bible camp. Literally. I grew up living on the church property of a campground out in the woods. I loved it! I could go down there anytime I wanted, and if I wanted to, I could do all the activities all by myself…which made them out to be pretty boring. Because who plays tube pull by their self? But still, I wouldn’t have traded that for anything. My favorite thing about living there was the fact that I could go back to the same spot where I made a decision for God, and that was always an encouragement to me. I always enjoyed re-visiting the place where God spoke to me.
II Chronicles 34:1-7 This passage of Scripture covers the story of a young man by the name of Josiah. Josiah began reigning over Jerusalem and Judah at the age of 8 years old. The Bible also tells us in this passage that at the age of 16, he began to seek after God. Now realize that Josiah wasn’t a bad kid. He had already been following the footsteps of his father, David, and had the reputation of being a good kid. However, he had to come to a place and a time of knowing God for himself. He could’ve imitated his father all he wanted and for as long as possible, but it would have never lasted. Josiah had to seek after Jesus himself. Teenager, you must learn to walk with God for yourself. Mom and Dad can’t do it for you. In order to stay in the race, you must learn to walk with God yourself.
At the age of 16, Josiah had a personal revival. Much like you may have just had at camp. Josiah was convicted of things that he had allowed himself to grow comfortable around. The sins that he didn’t think were that bad, he tolerated. And it wasn’t until the age of 16 that he realized that some sins are not okay. He realized that he couldn’t just bypass some sins. He wanted to be right with God, and in all areas. Much like you may feel, now that camp is over. But what made it stick for Josiah? How did he keep his decision he made to the Lord without falling back into sin?
Verse 3 and 4 answers that. “…and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images. And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.”
Plain and simple. Josiah went home and destroyed all the sin that he had been tolerating. He destroyed all the sin that existed in his house. But not only that, as King, he destroyed all the sin in Jerusalem and Judah, all while having a personal relationship with God. Next thing we know, Josiah’s PERSONAL revival had turned into a NATIONAL revival.
Teenager, in order for you to experience a personal revival that lasts, you MUST go home and immediately destroy ALL the sin. Not put it on the shelf. Not put it in the garage somewhere. Not give it to your friends. DESTROY it. You must also maintain your relationship with God. You can destroy your sin, not read your Bible, and find sin somewhere else. Don’t fall back into the devil’s snare!
When the Lord did a work on my heart several summers ago as a teenager, He convicted me greatly about my music. Before camp, I had been involved in all types of rotten music that I had no business listening to. At camp, God had shown to me that in order for my decisions to last, I knew I had to do something about my music that was waiting for me when I got home. Without hesitation, the night I got home from camp, I snapped in half every filthy music CD I had. The next morning, I grabbed my mp3 player that was loaded with filth and sin and laid it on a wooden stump, to where I then went to my dad’s shed and got the biggest sledgehammer I could find and shattered my mp3 player to pieces. Now you might be saying, “How stupid!” but friend, I did not care to have that sin anymore. I’d rather be right with God than have sin hidden in my bedroom. I was tired of being bound by Satan’s chains, I was tired of going back to the same old mess, I was tired of being a sorry Christian, but when God put a work on my heart, it was my job to go home and lay the hammer down where the sin was bound! And by God’s grace, I am what I am today only because God showed me what I needed to do, and He helped me do it.
Teenager, if you’re going to get real about serving God, it’s time to go home and destroy the sin. The Word of God will hammer out any sin you have in your life. The preaching of God’s Word will hammer out any sin you have in your life. Let go of your sin that’s keeping you bound, and let God take control of your life. You won’t regret it.
Nathan Pitts | Youth Pastor
Riverland Baptist Church