Fleeing From Youthful Desires
The world tells you how to spend your twenties by saying things like: “Date around” or “You’ve got plenty of time to embark on a career, enjoy this time to find yourself and travel.” But, what happened to living with purpose, regardless of age?
We live in a time when the majority of society has allowed twenty-somethings to extend their adolescence and flee any type of responsibility. This has caused us to make idols out of experiences and forget that we serve a God that calls us to live a life of purpose.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” -Romans 12:2
Since I was a little girl I have always struggled with peer pressure. I always felt like I was not enough and that it was up to me to impress my peers. This battle continued into college where I tried to live the typical college life. I attempted to hook-up with guys, but I didn’t want to cross “the line.” I gossiped and lied to others to make myself feel popular and important in others lives. But then the Lord took a hold of me. He captured my heart and proved His faithfulness as He continuously chiseled away at my penchant to please others.
I began a relationship with Jesus during my freshman year of college and while I was eager to learn more about God, I never really grasped the importance of listening to Him and asking Him what He wants for me. So, I continued to ask for His permission instead of His guidance, and I ended up overworking myself from freshman to junior year. The stress took its toll on my body physically and emotionally. I was not eating as healthy as I should have nor was I sleeping. I connected my relationship with God through the lens of what I wanted to do for Him instead of what He wanted to do through me.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. -Ephesians 2:10
God created the works beforehand because He is the beginning of all things. I spent a lot of time the summer before my senior year and senior year abiding a relationship with Christ that was contingent on His love for me. I learned that everyone’s relationship with Christ looks different and that His plans for each of us are unique. Senior year I began to clean up my diet, slept more and listened to His voice for what He wanted next for me in regards to a career.
One year later, I am in a career track that I love and I am preparing to start a masters program to leverage my influence. But I still have my moments of doubt.
Whenever I’m scrolling through social media sites and I stumble upon someone traveling the world or visiting some place new, I wonder: Should I be doing that? Am I putting myself in a rut by working and attending grad school? Am I growing up too fast? Am I playing it safe, by working and going to school? Am I too uptight?
While rummaging through my thought process, I found a lot of things wrong with these thoughts. Not only do all of thoughts begin with “I,” but I’m comparing myself to others and disregarding the blessings my heavenly Father has given me.
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. -2 Timothy 2:22
To live my life in pursuit of what I want to experience is the opposite of growing up. We are called to live sacrificial lives and die to ourselves in order to find our true identity.
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul. -Matthew 16:25-26.
I desire to step into being the woman God called me to be, but I cannot do that if I’m chasing after worldly things.
Now, I am not saying don’t travel and explore the world. I want to visit other countries and enjoy this time of singleness, but to pursue what I want to do instead of choosing to live out his mission is the epitome of pursuing youthful lust.
Stay close to the King and see how he fulfills your dreams, in His timing and His way (Psalm 37:4).