Sunday, 8 June 2014

A Young Man Without God

Grace Words

Chapter 3

A YOUNG MAN WITHOUT GOD

Written by Julius Kwedhi

Most of the young men, including those reared in church, when they reach a certain point in their lives think the need of God is a waste of time. They want freedom.  And they want freedom to be away from parents, guardians and freedom from their communities. They want to be free so they do what they want. They go as far as wanting freedom to be away from God. They don’t want God to disturb them and ruin their lives.

Young one remember; if you want to be free from your parents, guardians and those taking care of you, including God, there is no way you can live without someone directing you. If you want freedom away from God Satan will take charge, and he will control you so much. You need to choose to either be in the hands of God or those of the devil.

Remember, devil’s hands do not have mercy.  Any mistake to the devil, he will add more. He will try to make you to be who he wants you to be. He will make you do what he wants and not what you want. He will not allow you to do what you want. He does not have a good future and plan for you or anyone else around. He does not have good things in mind for you. He is there to destroy you (John 10:10).

He will always show you bad and evil things that will look like they are very good. He will say such lies as “sex before marriage is good because everyone else is doing it.” “Drinking alcohol is good.” “Stealing is good.” He will make evil look good and tarnish the good in an attempt to make it look ugly so that you won’t desire the good and instead indulge in the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.

LIFE WITHOUT GOD

When I think of a youth without God, I am quickly and vividly reminded of the guys I grew up with, those I went with to primary school, to high school and to university. Indeed the Julius that didn't know God is not excluded.

Life without God is not easy.
For everyone.

And more especially for a young fella. When I say “not easy” I mean it; and I say that with hope in perspective. Life gets gloomy. You miss the purpose for living.  And if you determine something to live for, it is puny. Without God, a young fella lives for himself. For some, there is no surety and security for the present and the future.

Picture a young man without God. “It is my life. I will do with it what I want to,” he boasts. “Leave me alone, it is my life.” But when life hits hard, when all odds seem to be against them, guess who makes a phone call home at 21:00. Guess who’s knocking on the door at 19:00. You guessed right, the very one that thought “Mom and dad are old school. They know nothing about life in the 21st Century.” The same young fella who said, “Grandma, you are so on my case always and I am so tired of listening to your endless sermons every time I make a small mistake.”

So, who was playing the fool? Grandma with her endless sermons on avoiding bad friends or the young girl who thought she knew all wisdom there is after drinking in the cup of her buddies’ advice to go into prostitution being convinced that it is the safest, best and quickest way of making money to cover her expenses at school? Was it the old man who told the son to take school seriously or the young man who bunked off school, stopped halfway on the way to school and spent the rest of the day playing video games and has 40% average pass at school and won’t write exam for 60% of his subjects?

As for the young man, children, young ladies, and all the youngsters who think they know everything, here is scriptures’ astounding truth:

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15 NKJV)

Why does the Scripture say it this way? Why does it categorize a young man this way? The apostle of grace explains:

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
(1 Cor. 13:11)

Ronny was a classmate of mine in the sixth grade. His brother was very cunning and a crooked young man. Perverted to say the least. But this time Ronny took after the manners of another naughty young fella. Our Oshindonga teacher noticed his unusual behaviour and told him, “Ronny, the shoes you are wearing are not yours.” Perplexed and puzzled, he answered, “Miss, they are mine.” “No, Ronny, they are not.” Almost tearing, and conspicuously sounding so in his voice, Ronny replied again, “They are mine, Miss.”

He thought the teacher was indirectly telling every learner in class that he borrowed the shoes he was wearing. He was wrong. What Ronny’s little mind didn’t know or understand is that he was talking to a grey-haired who often spoke in proverbs as Jesus often did to the Pharisees. She was saying that Ronny was acting unusual, and the behaviours he had worn that day were not his but was taking after another young man and those behaviours did not suit Ronny.

Are you trying on someone else’s attire?

It is not uncommon for a young man to wear another person’s shoes or clothes. When I was in high school and a young fella wanted to impress a young lady as he asked her out and didn’t want to get a no for an answer, he would borrow shoes from his friends. Not only shoes but also trousers. And a t-shirt. Plus a cap. He would borrow perfume from his friends, and perhaps roll-on as well. He would make sure to borrow item of popular brands Then he goes to the girl to ask her out and boasting to her that if she says yes he would give her the whole world. He would take her to the moon. Liar. He can’t even afford to buy underpants for himself, much less shoes, yet he wants to give her the entire world.

Sex consumes his mind. The pride of boasting to his friends concerning his girl friend burned inside of him. He wants nothing else but to have sex and to boast to his friends how many girls he has had, how many he slept with and add to his increasing badges of girlfriends accolades. One in particular had it written at the bottom of the back of his school t-shirt, “23 B*****S.” That was his parade. “Hey guys, check out how many girls I have gotten me so far. Twenty three! Yeah, I am the real deal.”

He couldn't be any more wrong.

No, you are different. You don’t go around breaking hearts and making girls cry because of you. You are like Lucky. He gets to convince his friends to steal with him, but warns them that if anyone of them gets caught in the act he shouldn't dare point out his partners in crime. Greed. Greedy to steal. Greedy to lie to parents about school. The climax of Lucky’s crimes at school was his act of stealing an Agriculture exam question paper from the teacher’s office. They were caught and Lucky was later expelled from school.

But you say, “No, I am not a thief. I don’t defraud in my test. I don’t steal question papers.” You are right. You are like Boris[1]. He’s Russian. He studied Dentistry for three years, but found it boring. Although he has been passing, he thinks it isn't for him. So, for the next three years Boris bunked off school and then quit. His parents still sent him off to school with everything he needs. But they don’t know that he isn't a student anymore.

He is still living in the hostel of the university where he was registered as a student in dentistry, but he doesn't go to school anymore. What keeps him busy? Gym. Building muscles, burning fat and playing video games became his new daily routine. “I am a gamer,” he confesses. He does not only know that what he is doing is wrong, but he also knows too well that if his parents find out about it he’ll be in hot water. Or better said ‘he’ll be in hot soup’.

So he resorted to smoking because he isn't winning so well on the computer games and it got on his nerves. Loosing at playing computer games frustrates him. The guilt of defrauding his parents eats him up. He doesn't know what to do but to wait and see. And in the mean time he aims to win the highest level of playing Warcraft.

Can you see yourself? Not yet? How about now?

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.” (Eph. 4:17-19 ESV emphasis mine)

Greedy. Do you see that word? It means a very strong desire to continuously get more of something, especially food or money. It also means an ardent desire. Ardent means hot; burning; warm. Ardent is applied to the passions and affections; zealous. Greedy describes every young person without God. Paul stretches the mark here. He doesn't simply mention that unbelievers are without God, but he says that they are “greedy to practice every kind of impurity.” Every kind of imaginable impurity.

Sir, don’t be surprised to hear that your five year old stole toys from a shop. I am not saying don’t trust him or her, just saying that when it happens be ready.

A young man without God is greedy to lie. Greedy to steal. Greedy to hate. Greedy to bully. Greedy to take dad’s car from the garage at home and drive around town when dad’s not at home, not around or is asleep. Young girls are greedy to make holes underneath the brick wall surrounding their homes in order to go to their boyfriends at night when everyone else is asleep.

Greedy to steal carrots from the garden of the neighbour next door. Greedy to break the traffic rules, so they set out to race in the middle of a busy road that crosses over a railway. Greedy to insult. Greedy to fight teachers. Greedy to lie to parents so that they give him more money to buy a Samsung Note 3. His scapegoat? Text books and school fees. A young man lies to his parents that he needed more money for books and school fees, and transport to school, and since his parents are in Zambia and he is in South Africa and they won’t be able to travel to South Africa to confirm this apparent need of money, they send the hectic R10, 000 and they don’t hear from him anymore until the next phone call asking for money for more taxi fare; but the truth is Johnny wants to use to buy more shoes and more jeans. Greedy.

YOUNG MEN ARE HUNGRY

This greed is birthed in an unsatisfied hunger, a hunger that Lucky knew very well from a young age. He knew of it because his granny told him about it.

Lucky Nzimandi lived with his gogo. It’s the Zulu word for granny. He “never had a father figure” in his life. He never knew his biological father. When he was eight years old His mom had died, and his gogo took him to move in with her.

“Lucky, be a man,” his gogo said once when he came home with a report of having being beaten by the other boys. He still remembered the Bible stories after dinner, and words of wisdom for life that his gogo told him and other kids at home. But one word remained with him till his adult life. This one he never forgot, and told it to his new friends who introduced him to Jesus Christ. Hear that word from Lucky’s own lips:

“…my gogo was like the salt of the earth. After dinner she would read stories to us from the Bible. Those were the best times of my life… And then she died when I was thirteen years. I’ve been hungry my life. And my gogo always said, ‘Lucky… the big hunger is the hunger for meaning of life… If you don’t find that, you’ll stay hungry forever.’ My gogo was gone. What could I do? I tried to do peace jobs here and there but I started stealing things to survive. Mostly food. That is how it all started.”[2]

And hungry he was. Just like you. Unlike Lucky other young fellas fill their hunger with other temporary things. Cigarettes. Sex. Wrong company of friends. Drugs. Jumping and hopping from one love relationship to another looking for romance. Sex has become a drug; they get it when they need a high or to avoid being lonely. Alcohol. Prostitution. Fame. Money. Power. Lying flows like a river from their lips. Video games. Computer games. Partying.

These temporary fills are like a Vitamin B12 shot that doctors give to anaemic patients who are worn out. You get it one minute and you feel like you are on top of the world the next minute. Like you can do anything. After all “It’s my life,” you boast. And then the high is gone. Then follows a relentless pursuit to get the same high as the previous high. This pursuit leads headlong into death.

But the chasm still remains. You still feel empty. Just when you think defeating the computer in the highest level of chess available will satisfy you, you realize it was a prank. It is not true. It did not, nor does it satisfy. Studying to become the professor you always desired to be proved to be as if you were doing it for someone else.

“I got 60 gigabytes of porn on my computer!” shouted a young man to me once when I was evangelizing in the hostel (at the university I was studying) with my good friend Marvin. Every time that young man watches porn he thinks he is taking the balanced died that nutritionists suggest. Yet each time that video is finished his wide eyes are still not satisfied. His passions betray him. And his heart demands for more. But he doesn't make the sense out of it to realize that his hunger is deeper than porn. Bigger than the flat screen television. More expensive to fill than the Crocket and Jones. And requires more than all the money you could ever own in a bank account. Yet the only satisfactory filling for that hunger is readily available for each and every soul. For “God is actually not far from any one of us.” (Acts 17:27)

Can you say this? Can you say that what you need is not temporary fills but real love; Love that would die for you, descend to the greatest depth, ascend to the greatest height and stretch wider than the universe ever could just to save you? Can you say it? Mandisa did, and with great joy she sings it for the whole world to hear:

“People going on and on
They don’t know what they got wrong
This world won’t keep you satisfied
They say you got to buy this
Wear this. Drive that car
‘Cause that’s the kind of thing
That makes you who you are
But don’t keep throwing that my way.

The young man’s pursuit for freedom untamed leads into great indulgence in temporarily fills that leaves hearts shattered, dreams unrealized, broken bodies, and a cursed society. But you have to say NO! You must refuse going with the flow. If you are are to experience to freedom and satisfaction you must refuse the temporary fills and exclaim:

No more temporary fills
I want a love that’s real
Take everything I have
And fill me up inside
I’m done looking for the quick fix
Jesus Your love is all I ever need
No more temporary feels

I have turned every rock and stone
Gone everywhere there was to go
But I only felt better for a while
‘Cause nothing can replace You, erase You
From my heart
And that is the kind of thing
That makes you who you are
You are the reason I can say

No more temporary fills
I want a love that’s real…[3]

Say it. Exclaim it. Proclaim it. Live it. Shine it, and see what a difference your life will be. See the power of salvation on the cross of Christ Jesus. It is love that satisfies, not cocaine. And that love is not found in being in the midst of thugs who hug you and praise you for sleeping with another boyfriend or another girlfriend. It does not come from a boyfriend who wants you to have sex with him so you can prove your love for him or the other way round. It does not come from receiving a diamond ring (even the most expensive diamond ring). This love comes only from Jesus. Open your heart. Open your hands and receive the love of Christ today.

Stop fighting. Stop mumbling and complaining how hard it is to follow the Jesus. Confess your sins, your weaknesses and your foolishness. Cry out before Him and don’t pretend to know it all or to have it all fixed out because you don’t. Then look at him. Look at him again and ask Him to fill you with His love. The most amazing and satisfying love. The love that fills our deepest hunger. Your deepest hunger. After this love is done with your heart renewal it will leave you with nothing less than the desire to share it and give it to all others around you, even those who hate you and those you hate.

For more spiritual resources visit:

Taken from the book “WHAT’S IN THE MIND OF YOUNG PEOPLE” written by Veronica M. Tomeka




[1] Boris is not his real name. Name withheld for protection of identity.
[2] “Ordinary People” – Angus Buchan Movie, 2013
[3] Mandisa, “Temporary Fills” - From the album ‘What if We Were Real?’