Spiritual Teenagers

Spiritual Teenagers

by Tammye Hamilton

“It’s 8:00 in the morning! What is it you want me to do??”

In most cases, one might overlook this comment and the snarky attitude with which it was said.  But this attitude came from my teenage son, glaring at me over the side of his bunk bed. 

It was a beautiful Saturday morning and I had plans for him.  Unfortunately, he had plans to sleep in.  Also unfortunately for him, his will bumped into my authority.

Teenagers are notorious for challenging authority.  It’s a part of growing up and becoming independent.  It is also rooted in our rebellious human nature.

Sadly, there seems to be an abundance of‘spiritual teenagers’ in Christian culture today.  This phenomenon has nothing to do with age or even how long you’ve known Jesus.  

All humans want their own way.  Each of us wants to follow our own desires and plans. As we mature as Believers, however, we learn that submission to God’s authority is a good thing.

In Genesis we read that Abraham’s descendants are blessed because Abraham “obeyed God and did everything God required of him.”  Abraham obeyed even when God commanded him to sacrifice his own son. Of course it was the last thing he wanted to do.  He yielded to God’s authority because he knew he could trust God. 

The trend in our culture today is to “follow your passion”.  We are encouraged to only do what we feel passionate about. If we don’t“feel called” or passionate about something, we are off the hook.  Obedience and submission are dismissed as “Law” or Old Covenant”.  Like teenagers, we think we get to make our own plans.

What we see all through the New Testament tells us otherwise. In 1 Peter 1:22 we read “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply from the heart.” 

Interesting. IF we obey then we will love deeply. Passion follows obedience.

There are times when God gives us passion for something He has for us and we pursue it. Other times we do things we feel no passion for and may not even want to do but we obey out of our passion for Jesus.

1 John 2:5 says “But if anyone obeys His Word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him. Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.”   And of course we know Jesus said He only did what the Father told Him to do.  His life was completely submitted.

As we mature into obeying God, even when we don’t feel like it, we remember that like Abraham, we can trust Him. His plans for us, while not always easy, are always good.