|Passion 2012 at the Georgia Dome|
Here it is: the post where I attempt to explain all that Passion 2012 did to my perspective, my plans, and my heart.
First of all, I should let y'all know much it broke my heart that I wasn't able to make it out there in person. I was so excited to have been given a scholarship, but with my work responsibilities, lack of finances, and procrastination in trying to raise funds I finally realized that it just wasn't going to happen. Even while I was watching the lives streams (because yes, I was absolutely glued to my computer screen for every session), sadness began to creep in as I realized that I could have so easily been one of the 43,000 who were at the dome! As I was praying through it, the Lord actually revealed to me what a blessing it was that I wasn't there physically… uh, what?! But yeah, seriously! I realized that, knowing my personality, I would have undoubtedly had an amazing, life-changing time, but when I came back to my "real life" with school, work, and relationships, I probably wouldn't have known how to truly apply the "mountain-top experience" that I had at Passion where I actually live my life. Fortunately, I was able to still experience the amazing worship and heart-wrecking truth that was preached at Passion, but instead of being amongst the crowd in Atlanta, I was at my desk in my on-campus apartment. I know that there are SO many things that I missed out on (community groups, the hand of freedom, the live action/worship/preaching, and really just the whole experience of being there), but I still consider it a little blessing that I was able to really experience Passion, however virtual it may have been.
That leads me to this: my heart was completely wrecked as a result of Passion. From the first minute that Louie opened his mouth to the last words Chris Tomlin spoke, I was convicted over many areas in my life that have been slipping, the biggest being spending time in the Word. Now, I am a woman who tries really hard to read the Bible, do devotions, and read supplementary books - but, like most of you, I am so busy. AH, but busyness is NOT an excuse! The Bible is God's living, breathing, life-giving Word, and spending time in it should be my number one priority! Therefore, Francis Chan's message on reading the Bible for ourselves and taking it both seriously and literally was like a slap in the face for me. It forced me to my knees in prayer over the fact that I need to be consumed by the Word, because there really isn't any time to lose.
When Christine Caine, a woman I'd never even heard of prior, took the stage, my perspective was challenged drastically when she asked the question: "What is more important in our temporal world that would take us away from His eternal purpose?" As a woman who serves women rescued from sex-trafficking through the organization that she's a part of, she has truly seen a glimpse of the brokenness that is present in our world. Did you know that there are currently 27 million slaves in the world? That means that 27,000,000 individual people, each one created by God, are being coerced, sold into, and trafficked for labor and/or sex. Right now, there are more slaves in the world than ever before in history. To quote the song that was performed at Passion, "27 million? Are you joking?" My heart breaks that we have let this problem go on for so long with little to no awareness, let alone action. NO MORE. Christine hit us hard when she said, "safety, comfort, and security are not the goals of Christianity. FREEDOM is." If you are anything like me - which I am going to assume you are as you are reading this blog from a computer using the internet - my urge is this: we must first realize how fortunate we are, and then we must stand against the "goals" of modern society. Throughout the Scriptures, I'm pretty sure we are never called to safety, comfort, or security. Those things simply are not what the Christian life is about. Rather, we are called to baptize, make disciples, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, open our homes to the homeless, rescue the oppressed, bring freedom to injustice… truly, we are called to LOVE.
Finally, it was during Louie's last message that my heart and my plans were challenged most. After coming back from being with family and friends for the holidays and being asked the same question countless times - "What are you going to do Gennean? After graduation? With your life?" - I was reminded that my mission and my purpose do not begin when _____ happens. My purpose is NOW, and my purpose is glorify God in whatever I am doing. After all, Jesus is the One who will truly be doing the great work as my story unfolds. Praise God! As for my plans?! Yeah, I have no idea. I thought I had stuff at least somewhat figured out in regards to once I graduate in May - but the Lord is shattering most of my previous plans and planting new, crazy ideas in my heart. Scary? Yes. Exciting? Most definitely!
And now, my dear friends, I challenge you to examine your hearts. Jesus Christ is calling each one of us to something BIG for His namesake, so what are you waiting for? Fear is not an excuse. In fact, the only thing that we should be afraid of is leading an insignificant life. Refuse to seek security and comfort over doing what it is He is calling you to do! And remember that if our God is for us, nothing and no one can stop us! (Romans 8:31)
To quote Chris Tomlin's final words, "It's your time! All for the glory of God! In Jesus' name... GO!!"
"Our risen Lord demands, commands, deserves every single ounce of who you are. And life only works that way. It only works when He's everything and we're fully surrendered totally to Him! Anything less than that is not Christianity. Anything less is not following Jesus. Anything less is not real faith." -Louie Giglio