WOW. Where do I even begin? God is amazing. He is good. He is all we need, everything. All to us, all to me. This weekend I went to Passion 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas. Going into the weekend, I was so excited to worship Jesus and hear some well known Christian speakers/authors, but had absolutely NO idea what was coming for me. I've grown up surrounded by Christianity on all sides. My parents are absolutely wonderful examples of followers of Christ, I grew up in the church, went to a Christian elementary, middle, and highschool where chapel and Bible classes were a normal part of my life, I went to Kanakuk, a Christian sports camp, and I now go to Baylor. You're probably thinking, "wow, this girl knows Jesus!" And yes, I know alot about Him. I have a lot of head knowledge. But where does my relationship with Him stand. Christianity is not about knowledge, it's about the relationship. I have no doubt in my mind that Jesus has been in my life and that He as saved me, but something so real and so eyeopening hit me like a ton of bricks this weekend. My world was shaken, my perspective changed. God showed up and turned me around. He humbled me and taught me what it is to truly live in his unspeakable joy and be completely 100% totally saisfied in Him and Him alone. Okay so let me just take a moment to set up the scence of the weekend for you. I walk into to a conference center in Fort Worth with about 12,000 other believers. WOW. We all started to worship Jesus as we sang to Chris Tomlin's songs. Chills rushed through my body as I began to think. This is probably the closest to heaven I will ever get on this earth. So many like-minded people all in one place worshipping God in the most pure, raw and complete devotion I have ever seen. I felt at home. However, honestly that's about as much as I thought I was going to take away from the weekend. Yeahhh, I was SO wrong. I mean, I knew I would listen to more speakers and sermons just as I had done thousands of times. I would listen, take notes, and leave motivated, but never make any real change like I wanted. I would be set on fire, but it would burn out in time. This was far from the truth this time. Something was so so different, I heard from God in a way I never have before. God was preparing me all weekend for John Piper's talk on Saturday night. God spoke through Piper to me in a way I have never heard before. It was suddenly like something clicked. I got it. It's unexplainable how I felt, but I'll do my best. I was challenged when Piper asked what is the reason behind our joy? What is the reason behind the reason that I'm happy? It should be God, but it wasn't. God truly wasn't my foundation. I was in shock that I was actually feeling this way. I had always thought I had it figured out. I began to reflect as I walked in silence with thousands of others all the way to my small group that night. One of the questions asked that night was, "Do you believe that God is the greatest satisfaction?" Normally this question would have been a no-brainer, so easy to answer. But I was really thinking tonight, not just going through the motions. God broke my pride. I confessed to my group that before this weekend I would have definitely said that God is my greatest satisfaction, but after reflecting on my life, I realized that as much as I said this my life wasn't matching up. I said that the reason I wasn't satisfied solely in God was because I wasn't letting Him be the bottom of my joys. I was letting fruitless joys fill that foundation and I was crumbling. This weekend, something changed. God has become my foundation. This is a huge step in my life, an extreme leap of spiritual maturity. God has become the bottom of my joys, all my fountains flow from Him. For the first time, I know I have JOY. Like real joy that can only come from Him. It's hard to describe what it feels like to be joyful unless you have expereienced it yourself, but it's amazing. Absolutely indescribable. Joy is different than happiness becuase it is not contingent upon my circumstances. It realizes that my circumstances are not in charge, but that God is in charge. He knows me better than I know myself. That brings me to another lesson I learned this weekend. Pray more often, and stop praying so selfishly. Continual communiation with God is essential. If God understands me better than I do, why wouldn't I want to talk to Him more? So I tried this. Monday morning, I walked to class (Anna normally drives me...what a great friend). I was getting to school early to study for my test that morning, so I walked. I walked in the cool breeze of the morning with hardly a soul in sight. This was perfect. Bliss. I talked to God the whole way! How sweet it was. I was already seeing a transformation in the way I prayed. It was definitely God answering my prayer because it was so subconcious. I was constantly thanking God, praising Him for who He is and what He has done. I was also praying for others and that my genuine love for them might be evident of Christ in me. My joy was overflowing for the first time. I began to see people in a new way. My perspective on life , God, and people was changed just like that. God blew me away. And so with all of this said, and much more I didn't even mention, I am certain that the fire is built right this time. For me to live is Christ, to die is gain! Don't waste this life, it's a vapor that appears for a little while. Do something now!
Isaiah 26:8 says "Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts."