Two weekends ago, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Passion Conference at Philips Arena. Passion Conference is a giant Christian conference of college-aged students, and though I’m not yet a college student, I was able to go. It was three days of little sleep and lots of Jesus; 40,000 people spread across three different locations, all praising the one name of Jesus together; some of the wisest teachings and most honest confessions I’ve ever heard; inspiration, community, worship, and grace all rolled up into one.
Throughout it all, I heard God telling me: it’s time for something real.
I grew up in church; I found a faith of my own in middle school; I have grown so much in my relationship with Jesus in high school. But for the past couple of months, I’ve felt something deep inside me that has known: it’s time for something bigger. It’s time to dig deeper. It’s time to walk the walk like I have never walked it before. It’s time to get more serious about faith than I’ve ever been. It’s time for a relationship with Jesus in the truest, most dependent, most authentic sense. It’s time for something real.
Though all the speakers at Passion were absolutely, mind-blowingly incredible, one line from Christine Caine continues to stand out to me. She said that people tell her all the time that they want to be a great Bible teacher, but they don’t even think to open their Bibles.
So, that’s where my real thing has started.
The Lord guided me to wake up earlier. I’ve always been an early to bed, early to rise kind of girl, but these wake-up calls are really, really early. In the mornings, I’ve opened my Bible to the book of James, using the inductive study method (what does it say?, what does it mean?, what does it mean to me?) that we learned in our community group. God is already speaking so much to me: about how His ways are so much better than our ways and the ways of the world (Isaiah 55:8-9), about being careful to represent Him well in every word I say, about trusting Him to come, about submitting myself to Him. It’s begun with speaking to Him and letting Him speak to me in the mornings, and I believe that the Lord will turn it into something so much bigger and more beautiful.
He always does. After all, He did at Passion. My expectations weren’t uber high, and He blew each and every one of them completely out of the water as He blew me away. I believe that God is alive and well, moving and working in this 268 generation. Our Father is real. He is freedom. And He has used Passion to inspire in me a deeper and realer passion for Him. I can’t wait to see where He takes me next. All the glory to Him, forever.
“For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.”