As I age in years I sometimes find myself wondering about my younger years. I think about my years as a teenager in which I did not serve God in the least. It wasn't until I was almost 25 years old that I gave Jesus Christ my everything. Sometimes I think about how my teenage years would have been spent as a Spirit-filled believer in Jesus. It never fails that the Holy Spirit explicitly and emphatically reminds me His timing in accepting Jesus was completely orchestrated by Him. There could be no better timing.
The years you and I have spent as a non-Christian are not wasted years. God has a way of using our past to make us what we are today...as He prepares us for tomorrow. It's not that our past is all good, but God is our great Redeemer. He not only redeems our souls...but He redeems our lives! God makes something out of nothing; success from failure; and causes the impossible to become possible. There is nothing He cannot do. So don't let your past determine how you serve Him today. Don't let your past dictate your future in serving Him either!
Yes, there are times when I think about my life as a youth. There are some things I would do differently. But I also remember that I see things differently now than I saw them way back then. As I look back I gaze through the heart of one born again by, and baptized in the Holy Spirit of God. The way I see things now, won't change the decisions I made back then. It does however show me the purity of my heart now as compared to back then. It also reveals to me something very, very crucial to my future. It is never too late to be used by God!
God never gives up on those He sacrificed His only son for. You may not be a youth any more. There may be things you should have done, that you didn't. There may be things you would now do differently...looking back. You may think it's too late for God to use you like He really could have. But listen to me carefully. That is not the truth. It is NEVER too late to be used by God! As long as you have breath and as long as your heart is beating...God can and will do great exploits in and through you. You just have to believe it. Listen to one of the most powerful verses in the Bible, "The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable." (Rom. 11:29) Paul says this when he is speaking of the nation of Israel, and how they sought to establish their own righteousness through the Law of Moses. On the other hand the Gentiles found the righteousness of God (not their own) simply by believing through faith. But Paul wanted to establish the fact that when God is finished with the influx of the Gentiles, His plan for the salvation of the Jewish people will be fulfilled. Israel was raised up by God as God's people. The calling on this nation will be fulfilled. Why? Because God's gifts and His calling cannot be reversed, voided, or revoked!
With that said, If you have answered the call out of darkness into the light of the kingdom of God, God will use you. Maybe you've floundered. Perhaps you've made some wrong decisions. But one thing is certain. The one who avails himself to God is the one God will use to do great exploits. I want to encourage you, no matter what your age, expect God to use you. He used men like Joshua and Caleb mightily. Samson blew it over and over. But when Samson got the clue, God used Him powerfully as one of the chosen judges to deliver the people of God. Paul was an elderly man when He wrote his epistles as were most of the original apostles. It is never too late...no matter what your age and no matter what you've done. Your part is to simply believe and expect to be used by God to do things way far out of the ordinary. That's right you have to believe that. And you also must prepare yourself by your total surrender to Him, and availing yourself ONLY to God. As a matter of fact, God is searching for those who will say "I am all yours. My life is Yours. All that I have is Yours. Here I am! Take me...ALL of me."