Friday, October 11, 2013

THE ROLES OF THE YOUTH IN NATION’S BUILDING May 24, 2012 at 8:23am THE ROLES OF THE YOUTH IN NATION’S BUILDING Youths are the power house of any nation and how tomorrow will be like can easily be seen in the kind of youths a nation has. Nigeria is at a historical cross road and there is the cry for divine intervention from every corner. If this nation will therefore experience any radical transformation and emancipation, it must begin with the youth. Our nation needs God fearing young men and women who can really stand their ground to effect positive changes in our land. Great examples of young, revolutionary and transformational youth abound in the scriptures that played great roles in the reconstruction and transformation of the nation Israel. I want to draw the attention of our nation to some of the roles these young ones played in changing their nation and the timeless, conventional principles and action plans employed by them which I believe our youth in this contemporary time and in the Nigeria context can equally emulate. [A] Joseph presents a good picture of what God expects from our youth if our nation will also experience positive changes. Youth with great destiny arrangement, with passionate commitment to God, and determined resilience are those God want to breed to take up leadership responsibilities. I believe the life philosophy of Joseph is better captured in the prayer of David when he said “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait for you” (Ps 25:21 KNJV). Another translation put it this way, “Let integrity and uprightness be my bodyguards”. Integrity and uprightness are the main stands of Joseph’s success. Scanning through the biographical details of Joseph one cannot but appreciate the following facts in the story of his life which provoked grace to be unleashed on him, the grace that made him become the preserver of nations 41:45 (Joseph sustained and preserved both Egypt and Israel): (1) Moved by vision. Joseph was able to see beyond the “now”, immediate and mundane things of this life. God gave him a vision of a great tomorrow. Joseph’s dream became his main stay and hope. He never gave up because he believed in God who gave him a transformational dream. Like … said “I have a dream …”. One major problem we have to contend with as a nation is the great number of visionless youth that will be taking over the affairs of this nation. The rebirth of Nigeria must begin with new crop of youth with new vision of a great tomorrow because a man’s vision will determine to a large extent his situation. (2) Processed by opposition. With the birth of a great vision in Joseph simultaneously came strong oppositions. No one is after an obituary. Joseph’s vision of greatness attracted to him much opposition. Despite the much opposition, Joseph refused to bargain or compromise his destiny. He saw opposition as concomitant situation necessary for the fulfillment of his great dream. Joseph’s opposition eventually pushed him to a great position. There are many youth who have compromised their great dream with the goodies and rottenness of our society. They can no longer stand out of the multitude. They are lost in the stampede of the socio, economic and political struggles and fashions of our time. Joseph refused to be intimidated by his own brothers likewise he refused the destructive offers Potipher’s wife who seemed to be in authority and position to naturally determine what could become of Joseph. How many youth are lost in the crowd today because of the pressure of peers and the fallen standard of the society? Oh Lord, have mercy! (3) From the simple to the complex – Joseph’s leadership position did not start from the palace but it began while he was in his father’s house. Many of our youth today do not want to follow the divine metamorphosis, but will rather prefer to jump the cue. Your skills must be developed using “simple” situation before moving to greater height. He passed the skill text in his father’s house, in Potipher’s house, among the prisoners before God brought him to the palace. It is not how soon you get to the top that matters but how long you stay there. What will sustain your stay at the top is the capacity you build through simpler situations you encountered on your way up. (4) Living today with tomorrow in view. Joseph is an example of a strategic planner. He had the understanding of the divine revelation indicating what economic situation will be like in Egypt for a space of 14 years. Joseph came up with a strategic economic policy that can bring about an establishment of a reserve to meet the future need. Most of Nigerian’s politician today lack this skill and attitude. Some of our leaders are bent on devouring the provisions meant for the next 100 years within on fiscal year. What a contrast? We need youth who will be conscious of tomorrow today and who can come up with long term strategic plans that can leave a reserve for the generation yet unborn. (B) DAVID, the divinely designated king (1 Sam 16:3) is an epitome of leadership after God’s own mind. David the king, a man of purpose and devotion who recklessly abandoned himself to God. He presents a new order, a major shift from the old order. God brought David at a time when doom was looming over Israel, and King Saul completely lost control. Saul had a problem of “disconnection” from God and this threw the entire nation into political, spiritual, economical and security chaos. David came to re-order the system after the mind of God. Looking at the nation Nigeria today, there is the urgent need for a god fearing youth, with divine mandate to re-order the system. Nigeria’s socio-political system needs a re-ordering. Like David who brought transformation, youth are needed to arise and help rebuild or re-order our nation. What are the great lessons from the young man Jesse David? (1) Tender in age but tending his father’s sheep. Any youth aspiring to be used by God for the task of nation’s rebuilding must fit into God’s scheme and agenda of transformation. David, although the youngest among his father’s son, he was not idle at home doing nothing. At the time of his anointing into the highest political office of the land, was at the field tending the sheep. God’s call must first find you doing something somewhere. At the time when Saul sent for David, Saul already knew David with the flock (1 Sam 16:19). What are you known for and with? (2) On an errand to the valley of Elah (1 Sam 17:17-20). The test of a greater work starts with the smaller ones. David was sent on an errand to send provision to his brethren at the war front. If you are faithful with the small assignment that may promote and qualify you for a bigger task. (3) Daring Spirit. One of the great attributes of David that endeared him to God’s heart is his daring spirit. David always saw opportunities in difficult situations (1 Sam 17:32-39). Others saw Goliath as a threat but David saw him as an opportunity to showcase the greatness of Yahweh. Where are the youth in Nigeria who will dare devil and showcase the greatness of Yahweh in our nation? (4) Interested in other’s interest. Unlike many of our leaders today who are puppet leaders, the young David demonstrated leadership according to God’s standard by putting people’s interest ahead of his. In 2 Sam 8:15 the scriptures says “David ruled all Israel with fairness and justice”. David was interested in the plight of the common people and he was always readily at hand to help them. Where are leaders with heart of justice and fairness in our nation today? Youth must rise to the occasion. The challenge for our youth to arise and join in the rebuilding of our nation is beyond a rhetorical exercise, given the level of the collapse and rottenness in the system. This is the high time the youth rise up, and cooperate with God to transform this nation. When the old order failed in the days of Prophet Eli, God raise the young Samuel. When the political system of Israel became muddled and confused in the days of Saul, God brought David to bring a reorder, so it is time now for our youth to make their own positive mark in rebuilding Nigeria! (Written by Revd. Kolade Oladele, Snr. Pastor Abraham’s Tabernacle aka Baptist International Worship Center Sagamu Ogun State)

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