Teenagers: You Were Made for Breakthrough
Almost every teenager I know who wants to love Jesus fails because they live their lives trying to love Him first. The key to successful Christianity is found when we allow Jesus to love us first.

Teenagers: You Were Made for Breakthrough

by David Sliker
7/19/16 Christian Living

Somewhere in America—and beyond—a teenager is reading this article with a sincere desire and hunger to love Jesus. I have known so many godly teenagers over my twenty-five years of youth ministry, including three of my own. I know that the concept of loving Jesus in our teenage years can be very complicated and frustrating.

The great problem with loving Jesus when you are fifteen starts with real desire but often ends with real difficulties to follow through. You know the right things to do, but are often tired of the number of times you cannot do what is in your heart for Jesus. Add to that the daily frustrations and failures that come as we connect with our friends—and our enemies. Fear of rejection, lack of confidence, and a longing to be liked all work together to make our commitment (made with real tears at summer camp) to love Jesus with all of our heart seem millions of miles away.

Every student knows that the key to success and impact in high school begins with real confidence. We all want to be the kind of person that truly does not care about what people think. We want to be courageous, bold, and uncompromising. How do we become unstuck from where we are and close the gap between who we think we are and who we want to be? Real confidence is the key to real impact for the kingdom of God. You get it by laying hold of your identity in Jesus.

Almost every teenager I know who wants to love Jesus fails because they live their lives trying to love Him first. The key to successful Christianity is found when we allow Jesus to love us first. It is hard to love Jesus when our hearts are locked up in fear, doubt, or anger. We cannot walk powerfully and freely in the grace of Jesus when we feel insecure and inadequate.

When we allow Jesus to love us first, we position our hearts to believe and experience His free acceptance and affection. We must fill our minds with truth related to how Jesus thinks of us and feels about us. He is relentless in His desire to help us believe that He is 100% committed to us with all of His tenderness and all of His power. Knowing that Jesus is unwavering in His commitment to us regardless of our behavior—our failures and successes—is the key that unlocks our destiny. It is vital that we grow in real confidence.

Real confidence is not self-confidence. It comes from confidence in Jesus’ unyielding love. If His tenderness and acceptance is tied to our spiritual success then we have no future. However, He has set His eye on us and called us to be filled with the fullness of His love. When we know that we cannot lose, life feels so different. Our future seems like it will be amazing. This is the power of knowing that Jesus fights fiercely for us, even when we are weak and cannot fight for ourselves very well.

Once our hearts are unlocked by His love for us, then we have real power on the inside to love Him back. This is what intimacy with Jesus is. We start to love Him more, as well as His word and His way of doing life. Walking in holiness becomes easier as it becomes more desirable. We love to worship more, and from there we begin to enjoy prayer. Enjoyable prayer is where the Holy Spirit wants to take us in our lives. A life of intercession is the doorway to a life of impact and power in the Holy Spirit.

You were made to see breakthrough in every area of your life: in personal holiness and in your family, your friendships, and your school and city. The struggle and fight is real, but the victory and glory on the other side of the struggle is real as well. You have a great life ahead of you. A life full of grace, glory, and the power of Jesus is yours to be experienced. It begins with the love of Jesus.

To find out more about loving Jesus with your actions and doing what matters, grab a copy of Made for Impact: Loving Jesus Well in Your Teenage Years. This MP3 series is available online from Forerunner Bookstore and can help you become effective and grow in maturity day by day.

David Sliker


  • President, IHOPU
  • Executive Director, Internships

David Sliker has been a senior leader at the International House of Prayer Missions Base in Kansas City, Missouri, for the past 20 years. Ministering and serving with his wife, Tracey, and their four children, Riley, Lauren, Daniel, and Finney, David’s primary ministry calling is as an intercessor. Additionally, he ministers internationally, equipping saints in prayer, the power of the Holy Spirit, passion for the Word of God, and the proclamation of Jesus’ return. He is the president of International House of Prayer University, where he teaches about prayer and intimacy with Jesus, missions, biblical studies, and the return of Jesus. He is the author of End-Times Simplified: Preparing Your Heart for the Coming StormThe Nations Rage: Prayer, Promise, and Power in an Anti-Christian Age, and The Triumph of Beauty: God’s Radiant Answer to the World’s Growing Darkness.

Tell us what you think