Our society sorely lacks capable leaders. Isaiah 3:12 says that our leaders behave as little children, and if you have much experience with children, you know that emotions are the driving force behind their decisions. Instead of controlling their emotions, our leaders let their emotions control them—meaning they are not truly in charge of their own lives.
That leadership deficit has led to the lockdowns and riots we see in the United States. Our mayors and governors deserve a lot of the blame, but the problem goes much further than that: Most people in our society have an individual leadership problem. The rioters we see in Portland and Seattle, or any other major city, all have one thing in common: They have never learned to rule themselves.
Great leaders always get their start by learning to rule themselves. As a young person in God’s Church, you have been handpicked to be a leader in the World Tomorrow. So how will God determine what your future position will be? By seeing how well you can rule in this life!
God gives each of us total rulership over one life. As a free moral agent, you are free to either discipline your spirit or to let it do whatever it wants. The more you submit to God and His authority—the better you rule yourself—the more responsibility and authority He rewards you with. God wants you to rule—He wants to share His authority with you! That is an awesome power and responsibility. But look at how Lucifer abused the authority God gave him. God will not let that happen again. There will never be another Lucifer who uses his power to turn Earth into Portland.
God wants us to learn how to use what little responsibility we have early on, and then He wants us to grow and be faithful in little things so we will be prepared to take on big things (Luke 16:10). If you are ever going to rule others, you must first learn to rule yourself.
The time you have available to prove yourself to God is extremely short, so you cannot afford to waste any of it. Resist the urges to repeatedly take the path of least resistance—frittering away the hours playing video games, watching movies, or scrolling through social media. Romans 6:16 says that you are a slave to whomever you obey. If you submit to Satan’s distractions, then you are not leading your own life!
You cannot afford to let life control you. You must take charge. Don’t be the victim; be the victor! Obviously, this does not mean to overthrow your parents, but there are many ways you can start becoming more disciplined in your life. Start by taking charge of your spiritual life. Don’t socially distance yourself from God. Draw near to Him by becoming more effective in prayer, being more diligent in your Bible study, working to obey God and His laws with your whole heart, and resisting Satan’s frivolous distractions. The Bible commands us to set aside every weight that besets us, so just let go of Satan’s way of life, and see how much faster you grow.
This may all seem daunting, but the key is to start with the little things: organize your desk, write down some practical goals, develop an exercise routine—and stick with it! It is easy at sep to follow a structured schedule and routine, but the onus is now on you to discipline yourself. You will inevitably let down at times, but learn how to bounce back. Proverbs 24:16 says, “For a just man falls seven times, and rises up again.” He just keeps coming back. He always learns from his mistakes, and he never gives up.
If you learn how to rule your own spirit, you can do awesome things for God! Proverbs 12:24 says, “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule.” If you are diligent in your business, you will be blessed with more responsibility later on. Look at the example of King David. As a teenager, he was left in the field to tend sheep. That’s certainly not the most glamorous job in the world, but David took that responsibility seriously, and look at how God blessed him for it. David built such a noble reputation that he was selected to stand before King Saul. Proverbs 22:29 says, “See you a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Because he was such a hard worker, David was given the opportunity to later become king. God wants to do the same for you!
If you want more responsibility, if you want to help the work, if you want to take charge of your life, then just go outside and start growing. How much can you grow by next year’s sep? How much can you yield yourself to God’s law? Learn to rule your life God’s way today, and then see how much God will bless you.