“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23 (KJV)
Friday, July 17, 2015
When You Leave the Mountaintop
The youth from my church have been at church camp this week, and since the camp is in our town, I went to the evening services on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. There has been some good preaching and a lot of decisions of salvation and rededication have been made. I have helped as a camp counselor a couple times in the past and it is amazing to see God working on those kids throughout the week. Although I haven’t been highly involved this year, I know that God is still working in their lives. The catch is that they eventually have to go back home. A very common problem that we have all probably faced at one point or another is having those mountaintop experiences, and then returning home and forgetting what happened or just falling back into the same habits from before. Sometimes, it’s an emotional high, and the decisions made are not truly genuine. Sometimes, a real commitment is made, but no effort to follow-up. Either way, these kids need our prayers. Ever since I was their age, I have watched teen after teen get saved or dedicate their lives to the ministry and they appear to be on fire for God. Some of them do go on to serve God in missions or ministry, but more often than not it seems that many eventually fall away from the church. This deeply saddens and troubles me. When I see someone on fire for God, I want them to stay that way, especially since I have been working with these kids on Wednesday nights for the past eight years. Watching them spiral downhill is hard because I committed some of my time to help them and I want to see them succeed in God’s kingdom. I know there comes a time in everyone’s life when they must make their own decisions, but I hate it when those decisions lead down the wrong paths. Sometimes, they will return to the church after a while, but there may be some scars they will have to live with for the rest of their lives. Sorry, if this sounds a bit discouraging, but I have watched this happen so many times. The youth from my church are going home today, so keep them in your prayers. Not just them, but all the kids, counselors, pastors, ministry leaders, missionaries, or any other adult that makes a decision to follow Christ. Pray that their decisions are genuine and that they commit to following through on the choices they made. Because the struggle is real and Christians do need to commit themselves daily to following Christ, especially when they leave the mountain to go back into the valley.