I see that a lot of you have come through here wanting to know who the community group leaders are going to be at Passion 2012, so let me deal with that up front. I know exactly the same as you about this, which is absolutely zilch.
Now then. Allow me to ask a question.
Why have you come to Passion 2012?
Evangelicalism is notorious for putting all its stock in big events. As a result, many of us are all about the next big thing. They go from event to event, conference to conference, looking for the next big spiritual fix. Some of you may fall into that category.
Some of you are not looking for a big spiritual sugar rush. But you are seeking something from God nonetheless. You are hoping that God will meet you here in a new and fresh way. You are seeking vision and direction from God for your life. You are desperately in need of a touch from God to strengthen you for whatever challenges you face in your life. Whatever the case may be, the bottom line is that you are here out of a place of emptiness and yearning for God to fill you up, hungry and needing to be fed, and hoping and praying that that will happen in the next few days.
I know all about that because I’ve been there. I have been to several of these things over the years where I have been hoping and praying that God would rock my world with a call and vision for ministry or missions. So many students have gone through Passion over the years and had their lives turned upside down with a fresh vision of what God wants to do through their lives. They have felt a call to missions so strong that they were unable to resist, try as they might. I had hoped and prayed that that would happen to me at one of these things.
Sometimes I have come to these things empty and broken, worn out and beaten down from the struggles I faced, crushed by the doubts that I carry with me on this journey through life, desperately yearning for a touch from God to transform and renew me. Just to hear from God and know that He is there and that He is with me. Or even just to hear from God at all.
That is not where I am now.
Of course I am always in need. There is not a single moment in life when I am not in need of the Father’s grace, the Son’s advocacy, and the Spirit’s refreshing. The same goes for you, whether you are willing to admit it or not. The next few days are an excellent place for you to receive all these things and more. Open wide your mouth; it will be filled.
There are plenty of opportunities out there for a Christian to engage in advancing the cause of Christ in this world. The Do Something Now campaign will be highlighting the issue of human trafficking, one of the greatest crises of our generation. You will have ample opportunity to learn and to engage, to be part of the remedy for this grievous evil.
There will be plenty of fine teaching to help you move forward in your Christian life. There will be plenty of top-notch worship music that will give you glimpses of God’s presence. You will learn. You will be refreshed. You will be challenged. You will experience glimpses and snatches of God’s presence. You may even have your life turned upside down as a result of what God shows you during these days. Passion is all about providing space for these things to happen, but none of these things is the point.
I want to be done with coming to Passion empty and hoping that God would fill me up or lay a fresh vision of what He wants me to do in life. I want to be in a place where I am empty of ideas and desires for what I hope to get out of Passion. I want to come without motive or agenda, and just lay myself open before God in these days. I want to find space and solitude, a quiet place just to be before God. This will be a challenge; the music will be loud and the crowds will be large and the pace will be hectic–but it can be done.
I want to just be here, before God, in these coming days. Nothing more. Nothing else.
How about you?