Are We Really Underdogs?

A misconception many people have about God and His followers is that He only uses the ones who are older. And while this perception is somewhat true, it is not completely true. People have this weird ideology that only the people who have lived longer can truly be used by God.  I strongly disagree with that premise.

Here are some reasons for my thoughts on the subject.

I am a junior in High School and I am approaching my first anniversary of being a Christian. In August of 2104, I discovered the online magazine, “Whole,” and it has become a great blessing to me.

I have joyfully progressed through the ranks of reader, subscriber, and writer to my present position as the Social Media Content Manager.  My responsibilities include disseminating information about “Whole” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

And, guess what else?

I have my own column called “Teen Talk.”  Check it out when you have time.

One would think that would be enough on my plate.  Right?

Well, it is not.

I am, also, the Vice President of a Non-Profit Organization called Hope 4 Tomorrow focused on helping impoverished children around the world discover their true potential through Christ and His love.

You may be interested in my age? 

I am sixteen.

My intention is not to brag about my accomplishments and tell you all how far I have come. My point is that my age is irrelevant to our God who allows me to have such a powerful role in furthering His Kingdom.

I am sure there are an abundance of teenagers, nationally and internationally, who God is using to have an impact on the world. I am not the only one.

I stand in amazement at the knowledge and wisdom God has given today’s youth.

The nice thing about following Christ is that age does not mean a thing to Him. He is looking for willing vessels.

You may be sixty or seventy? Or, you could be much, much younger? 

He can and will use you. Never does He say, “Well, is this person old enough? Maybe they are too young. I will have to wait for them to grow up a bit.” 

There are no minimum age requirements and no age limits. 

Do you have a willing heart and soul? If you do, get ready for the ride of a lifetime.

Sometimes, people can even doubt themselves. They may think that age does matter.  We forget that

God can do anything. 

Nothing will ever stand in His way. Nothing should His will to be accomplished in your life. 

Could we turn to His Word for a minute?

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever command you, you shall speak. (Jeremiah 1:5-7 ESV)

Notice how Jeremiah doubted himself. He thought that because he was so young, God could not use him. He mistakenly thought that age mattered. 

The truth is whatever God commands and wills, will happen.

As the youth of today’s generation, it is important that we have confidence in the fact that God can still use us. We should take pride in the fact that He believes in us. Yes, we believe in God, but He also believes in us.

I was watching a video about a month ago and it was of a little boy who named all of the books of the Bible in order and summarized each one in a few words.  I was stunned. I would say he was about five or six years old. 

This presentation really made me realize that age does not matter.  If God gave this young child such a wonderful memory and knowledge, God can certainly do the same for us.

I am sure you know the story of David and Goliath. Jesse, an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, had eight sons. The three oldest sons followed Saul into battle.

David, the youngest, was back and forth between being Saul and tending his father’s sheep.

He was just an ordinary kid.

He did what he was told and that was that.

But one day when David overheard Goliath’s boasting, he went to Saul and demanded the opportunity to fight the giant. 

I wonder what Saul thought.  He probably did not expect this kind of courage from such a young man.

Saul’s response is telling:

You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth. (1 Samuel 17:33 ESV)

The thing that stood out to me the most was the fact that Saul compared David’s youthfulness to Goliath’s amount of experience.   This comparison caught my eye mainly because this attitude is still prevalent today.

Many people believe that experience in a specific field determines success. 

We see it every day in school, work, and on the news. But it is not true.

God does not care how many degrees you have. It does not matter how many years you have been running a business or how many books you have sold.  Indeed, He may choose someone much younger with far less experience to carry out His plan.

While Goliath was joking about David’s age, David killed Goliath, making it one of the most infamous stories of the Bible.

My target audience for this article is not just our youth. It is for all ages.

I once went to a women’s tea at a local church with my boyfriend’s mother. It was my first time at this particular church. I was a newbie. As we were making our tea and chit chatting, an “older” lady approached us and we started talking. Unfortunately, I cannot remember her exact age, but she was in her nineties. She explained to us that she was married for over fifty years and her husband had died a few years before.

The one thing I remember her saying word for word was, “I am all old now. I don’t really know what

I am here for anymore. I guess God is going to use me at some point.”

Simply typing her comment does not do her meaning justice.  The way she said it was so heavy, like a ton of bricks hit me. She said it with such sorrow and despair, almost as if she felt her old age was getting in the way of God and His plan for her life. I sensed her despair. 

I wish I had known what to say to encourage her.

The funny part?

Little does she know that what she said had such a profound effect on me and I am sharing her story to impact thousands of people? As she stood there and used her age as a wall, trying to separate herself from God and His plan, He was using her anyway.

It made me realize that sometimes you are being used when you do not even realize it.

Youth, we are the underdogs. So many people expect us to achieve less and succeed less. Oh, what a falsehood.

As the youth of today, it is important that we trust God to guide us in the path He has chosen for us. 

We need to pray that He uses us to our full ability and potential. God has infinite power.

Do not let the enemy fool you. Your age must never stand in the way. We are the “next generation,” so keep the faith and the love.

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12 ESV)

Adults, you should be leaders. God may have used you mightily in some young person’s life.  My prayer is that He will continue to use you until the day you go to be with Him.

We are vessels for Him…young and old. We are His children. He can use each and every one of us, regardless of age.

Embrace the fact that God has chosen us to be His voice, His hands, and His body.

Maybe, we are not “underdogs” after all?

Teens, Haley PhelpsHaley Phelps