A MESSAGE FOR THE YOUTH
Ecclesiastes 11:9"You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment."
When anything is judged, the result is either approval, needs improvement or failed. King Solomon, perhaps by experience, but certainly by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, encouraged young people to be happy, to follow their heart and their eyes but know this - it had better line up with what God wants for your life.
Ever heard the expression - Sow Your Wild Oats Early? This simply means an individual got their experimentation with touching the hot stoves of life out of the way. Though many of us go through this stage, there is no need for it. We can be happy while we are young and not receive the failed judgment rendering. A good start would be to follow the way of happiness found through the B-Attitudes in Matthew 5.
Entering the picture of this sowing your wild oats phase of life, there is a daily battle between our heart, our eyes and the Joy of The Lord.
Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"
And in Matthew 15:19, Jesus said, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander."
Both words for heart in these verses, Old and New Testament, mean our thoughts and/or feelings.
The Joy of the Lord is made available to us in the form of our obedience. His joy, His favor becomes our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
Some say, the eyes are the window to the soul. Jesus, in Matthew 6:22-23, goes a step further and places a lamp in your window. He says,
- "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness."
Remember the phrase - garbage in, garbage out? One of the major ways we take in the world is through our eyes. Also, one of the major ways we communicate ourselves is through our eyes. Many times words do not have to be spoken to tell what is inside a person. We might not know the specifics, but just through the eyes, we can get a glimpse that someone might be in pain, reaching out or elated about something. I encourage you to fill yourself up with the good things of Christ, so that people will see Christ, The Light, when they Look In The Window of Your Soul.
Judgement has a sentencing part to the proceedings. Solomon is stating very clearly, in the original Ecclesiastes 11:9 verse, that there are consequences to one's actions and words. Sometimes those consequences are meted out immediately and sometimes those ramifications are felt down the road somewhere.
Young person, will you say "No" to the Eating of Wild Oats in life? Will you allow your happiness to align with God's happiness? Will you select God's joy and favor by choosing to obey Him? Will you protect your eyes and your very soul with what you watch or look at?
I challenge you not to say, "My judgment will go well for I have a forgiving Savior." - and then proceed to continue in disobedience. This is not living out the life God has for you. This mindset and behavior is keeping Christ nailed to The Cross and not allowing His victory through The Cross and over death, Hell and the grave to spur you to righteous living. Paul tells the believers in Rome this very thing when he said -
- "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." (Romans 6:1-4)
Live with the Holy Spirit acting as a screen or judge of your words before you say them, your actions before you do them. And know that you have Grace from Christ Jesus when you stumble. But do not let His favor be a crutch. Go on and live your life, but With God.