I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God lives in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.
– 1 John 2:14
You Are Strong
Young man, you have been given physical strength and energy. You can handle pushing yourself. Don’t waste that energy and strength on video games and entertainment. Don’t waste your strength on pursuing and impressing women (or, worse yet, forcing yourself on women). Instead look to Jesus who used his strength to serve, love, and bear the burden of his Father’s honor.
You also have mental strength and fortitude. Push your mind to learn and grow now while you are young so that it has capacity as you grow older. Engage with deep issues, don’t avoid them. Read. Write. Think. Jesus “grew in stature with men and God.” You do the same. You are strong.
The Word of God Lives in You
Paul says that physical training is of some value, but training for godliness is eternally valuable (1 Tim 4:8). Your strength is good, but it must be directed towards an eternally valuable end. Train yourself for godliness by cultivating the word of God that lives in you.
Soak in passages of scripture, yes, but most importantly let Jesus, the living Word, abide in you and you in him. Stop focusing so much on the fact that you need to read your Bible more. Instead, trust that the Word (Jesus) has indwelt you through his Spirit. He lives in you. What more do you need?
If Christ and his Spirit live in you, you have knowledge of God’s word and will. You don’t need to be passive and act as if you don’t have anything to contribute. Be humble, yes, and learn from your elders, but also be bold. In Psalm 119 David says that he had more understanding than all his councilors because he meditated on God’s law. Be that guy.
The Word lives. This isn’t some dead knowledge. It is a living force that will compel you to obey and move in faith. It lives in you; a foreign power has taken up residence within you. Submit to it.
You Have Overcome
You are strong. The Word abides in you. As a result have and will overcome the evil one. Your overcoming is so sure that John had to put it in past tense. Because Jesus defeated sin and Satan, you too overcome the evil one.
You, young man, get to walk around in victory over Satan. You get to laugh at his attempts and attacks. His deceits and temptations have already been overcome. He doesn’t get to have any power in your life.
That overcoming doesn’t stop with your life though, just like Jesus’ defeat of Satan didn’t just result in freedom for him personally. In the power of Jesus you can help others overcome the demonic forces in their own lives. Step out boldly. Take risks and you’ll see the kingdom of God break in and overcome beautiful ways.
You, young men, have great potential in the kingdom of our heavenly Father. The Apostle John thought so. I think so. I write to you because I want you to step into the full reality of that potential. Don’t settle for being anything less than you are. You are strong. You have the word of God living in you. You are an overcomer. Live that today.