Over the last couple of years, I have been calling youth leaders across America to take our place in The Coming Teen Decade. It is the one time in a century that we have 7 teen years (2013-2019). A great time to emphasize an awakening in the young people of our country. America needs a spiritual renewal. I am calling for "A Thousand Personal Revivals" that will spark the next Great Awakening of our generation because America is in desperate need for a spiritual renewal. Why?
In his letter, “My Heart Aches for America,” then 93-year-old Billy Graham wrote that he recalled how his late wife, Ruth, once expressed concerns about the nation’s “terrible downward spiral”—exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”
Graham, who has preached to more people than any other Protestant in history—2.2 billion—wrote that he wondered what Ruth would think of the country today where “self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.”
And because of the reality in our society today in the U.S., we must see a spiritual awakening. Here is what I have been calling Youth Leaders and young people to over the next 7 years:
1. Daily Repentance of Sin - This is what it means to walk in the Spirit. To erase the penalty of sin that is written against us on a momentary basis. Paul said in Colossians 2 that Christ came to set us free from the certificate of debt that we carry around. Because we have a fleshly nature alive in us that constantly battles against our spiritual nature, it takes a daily carrying of our cross to follow Christ. Believe Christ has set you free daily.
2. Weekly Fasting and Prayer on Fridays at Noon - We are calling all teenagers to fast every Friday at noon. It shouldn't take much desire to skip a school lunch! But seriously, what a movement could begin with thousands of students praying at the same time weekly. As Jesus said in Mark 9, "This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer and fasting." There are some things that we want to see in this generation. But, it will not happen without prayer. Without another level of prayer and fasting.
3. Monthly Witnessing to a Friend - Name someone that you know does not know Christ. Right now. And begin to pray for them the first 15 days of the month. Then, in the last 15 days of the month, do something to serve them and to share your story with them. The kind of walls that can be broken through prayer, must then be rebuilt with the Good News. Give God a chance. Call for the question. If we spend our entire life in conversation, but, never asking people to accept Christ, how will they accept Him? I do not want to be the person who converses with people all the way to hell, but, who never asked the question.
4. Annual Mentor in Your Life - We all need someone in our life that we are afraid of. A person who scares us to the next level. Someone who we give the power to become an editor in our life. A Jethro to Moses. A Paul to Timothy. It is the person we respect enough and we allow access into our life. It is too easy for us to place ceilings and fences on our own lives. Comfort zones. A true mentor will not allow this to happen. They will remove personal ceilings and push out the fences of safe living. Find the person who fits this description and spend a year with them. Then, choose another who can speak into your life in a different manner the following year. Mentors are the catalyst to maturity.
5. A Lifetime of Sexual Purity - From cradle to grave we want to present our bodies as living sacrifices to the Lord. Eyes that are quick to turn away from pornography, ears that will tune to whatever is pure and lovely, speech that is seasoned with grace and encouragement, and actions that value and honor people and do not take advantage of them. I am praying for young people who will run from evil. As Paul encouraged the Corinthians to flee immorality, we are calling young people to run from evil desires. And to admit that God has a way and order for our sexual lives.
The condition of America is nobody else's fault. Not government fraud. Not corporate greed. Not educational standardization. The condition of America is the church's responsibility. Christianity and families were in place before any of these other sectors. Throughout time, nations have been impacted by spiritual leaders. Read history. Every generation has had a voice that spoke into the spiritual void of the day. And that takes maturity that should be shaped into young people at an early age. Ask God to begin a personal revival in you that will shake the nations. We have been praying to God for a great awakening. But, God, please begin this awakening in me!