God uses people of all ages. WE may think that someone is too young or too old, but this is a limited view of God’s plan. God can use each of us at any time, in any season!
It is time to truly raise up the children in our families and around us to answer their calls; to pray, to decree, to believe… to walk hand in hand with God!
God has and continues to use children to advance His Kingdom; join us as we discover the children in the Bible, and how God continues to use children to speak truth and shake away complacency!
Stories of Children in the Bible
If God used children to shift the atmosphere before, then we know that He will again. Obviously, there are many biblical stories involving children. Yet, too often, though Believers are aware of such stories, many do not understand that the children around them can also answer their own calls!
Yes, every call is different and some may not completely step into their call until fully grown. However, even before a call is fully answered, preparation occurs… and God can use us throughout it all! Consider Joseph. Joseph had a prophetic gifting years and years before he would see the fulfillment of his call, but he had to be prepared for the magnitude of his call; shifting his character and gaining the experience needed to answer it. Joseph’s “main call” is often considered to be his position as second only to Pharaoh, where he was able to save Egypt AND all of his family. Yet, throughout Joseph’s life, even as he was being prepared for his call as a boy or as his character was shaped in a prison… we see God’s hand at work. We see Joseph prophesying and giving prophetic interpretation; we see him causing eyes to be drawn to God through the skills and favor God gave him; we see all of this and more! Yes, Joseph may not have been answering his call as we might expect during that time… but through it all, God used Joseph.
Joseph was used by God even in his youth in unique ways. But what of the other children in the Bible? What are their stories?
A few of the children in the Bible include:
- Samuel listened to the voice of God and followed Him in his early years on to the end of his days. When Samuel was a boy—many believe he was around eleven or twelve years in age—God not only spoke to Samuel, but gave him a prophetic word about what would happen to Eli, the priest, and Eli’s family. The first of many prophetic words that the Lord would choose to speak to Samuel. Further, because Samuel carefully followed the Lord, none of Samuel’s words fell to the ground!
- As a boy, David acted as a shepherd to his father’s sheep. While watching them, he is believed to have worshiped God with the harp; he is also known to have fought lions and bears to protect his father’s sheep. These skills served David well as he was brought to Saul to play the harp and when David chose to face Goliath. When Goliath would come out and taunt the children of Israel and God Himself, none would stand to fight him. But when David, sent by his father to bring his older brothers food, at last witnessed this, David would have none of it. David had faith that in going against one who defied God, God would bring the victory! And though Saul told David that he was too young and inexperienced, David knew better. David faced Goliath, and by the Lord’s hand, brought about a great victory.
Years later, David would also become king to God’s people; taking with him lessons learned through the events of his youth, and acting as a warring shepherd to the people.
- Naaman’s Jewish Servant Girl
- In 2 Kings 5:1-19, we read the account of Naaman, commander of the Syrian army, by whom God allowed victory over His people. Naaman had great respect, but he also suffered leprosy. But 2 Kings 5:1-19 is not all about Naaman, for we are also told about a young girl who had been taken captive from Israel; being brought into Naaman’s home to serve his wife. Though no name is given to her in the text, we know that she would come to change Naaman’s household for the better; for the girl would tell Naaman’s wife of the prophet Elisha, who could heal Naaman. Naaman listened to what the girl had spoken to his wife. First gaining permission from his king, then making the journey to Israel, Naaman was not only healed but decided to serve the Lord God of Israel ONLY!
That one young Jewish girl who understood that God could bring healing, altered an entire house. Through her trust in the Lord’s faithfulness, a man was not only healed, but chose to serve God; likely bringing his wife, servants, and even others into a true understanding and worship of the Lord!
- The Boy with Five Loaves and Two Fish
- During Jesus’ ministry, large crowds often gathered to find healing and hear His words of wisdom. These crowds consisted of men, women, and children who were hungry for the Lord. On a mountainside, near the Sea of Galilee, there was one such crowd; with 5,000 men and untold numbers of women and children. Jesus knew how He would feed the people, but no one else did; not even Jesus’ disciples. As we know, Jesus would go on to take five loaves and two fish, miraculously feeding the crowd with them. But where did Jesus get them? Many accounts fail to tell us, but John 6 does. This food was owned by a boy who was watching Jesus that day. Now, Jesus—God’s Son—could have fed the crowd without holding anything in the natural, yet God chose to use this boy in Jesus’ amazing miracle.
This boy did not have to give up his fish and bread to Jesus or His disciples. Jesus would not have taken it by force. It HAD to be a gift, given freely and faithfully. And, because of that boy’s decision, thousands upon thousands of people were fed—himself included. That boy’s faith changed things.
- Made king at eight years old, Josiah chose to follow God throughout his reign; thereby answering his call for his entire thirty-one year reign. Though none of the acts of Josiah are provided for us in detail until he was approximately twenty-six years of age—aside from doing right in the eyes of the Lord—Josiah’s early following of God prepared him to have the Temple repaired, God’s Law brought to remembrance, the removal of idols from the Temple and other places throughout Judah, and much more!
While this is only a small list of the many children in the Bible God used to shift atmospheres, through these we catch a glimpse of the love and value God places in children… and of the amazing faith that each child carried.
Why Do We Need to Raise Up Children?
God does not change, and just as He used children in the Bible to advance His Kingdom… God can and does continue to choose children to enact change and pour out praise!
“Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.”—Psalm 8:2
“Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”—Psalm 8:2 (NIV)
We are raising up children to be the men and women God wants them to be. But we are also raising them up for their call in God NOW!
Some aspects of what they are ultimately called to do may or may not happen at this exact moment in time, but others will. The limits that we too often place on ourselves or others can be stifling. We can mistakenly believe that someone is too old, too young, too quiet, too loud, too outgoing, not outgoing enough… but only God knows who to use for what call. Only God knows best. And He has and continues to use adults and children, men and women, for His Kingdom purposes!
Often, it is someone who man considers to be unqualified for a call that God chooses. God is the one who qualifies us! He is the one who sees the whole picture, allowing Him to choose the perfect call for each of us!
It is time for us to see children through God’s eyes. Not only seeing their value as His creation, but also as Kingdom shakers! As those whom God has chosen for His perfect purpose; those whom He has called!
Children need to be taught God’s Word. They need to be shown Godly principles, habits, and patterns. They need us to demonstrate God’s nature and character; His love, justice, mercy, etc. They need to see the effectiveness of choosing to follow God. They need us to talk to them about spiritual things. They need to see US passionately on fire for God, so that they too learn to desire relationship with the Lord. They need us to raise them up, knowing that yes, innocence is worth protecting, but that they also need to be equipped to defend themselves spiritually!
It is time for us to allow children access to our God—like Jesus did. To let them be a part of Godly things; to worship, to pray, to hear the Word, to prophesy, to enter the Courts of Heaven… We need to pray for the children, but also that God would lead us to know how to raise up each child; to know the call of each and what they will need for that call.
In God, all things are possible. He loves children and He desires that we not only love them, but be a part of their preparation. It is time…
“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.”—Matthew 19:13-15 (NIV)