It is hard to put into words all that happened in my heart at Passion 2012. It is impossible to sum up the emotion and the way that God reached down and touched this place. You would think that in a crowd of that size you would feel more lost and unknown. But I felt more myself and authentic there alongside so many people that love Jesus with no bounds.God really rocked my world with the messages that the speakers brought to Passion 2012. It amazes me how at just the right time we can hear a word straight from Him.
God convicted my heart through the words of Francis Chan on an issue that He has been trying to get me to do for some time. I will admit, sometimes I am S-L-O-W. This girl loves books. I particularly love books on spiritual growth. While these things are not intrinsically bad, it can be a problem if they are the only source of “truth” in your life. I read books and supplemented it with an occasional verse from scripture instead of the other way around. I read these books with hope to gain spiritual insight and growth. But Francis Chan said something that was on my heart for months. “Read the Bible for yourself”. For months God has been whispering to my heart about seriously digging into His Word. Seeking nothing before His Word. At first my motivation was I wanted for myself the spiritual insights and understanding that the people writing the books and bible studies had. I don’t think that was a wrong motivation. I just began to realize that those that really wrote something based on the Word of God had to wrestle, grapple and struggle with it to come to a place of understanding. I wanted that journey with God. I did not want to be spoon fed any longer. I did not want the middle man to be my source of understanding of the God I love. No, I wanted that journey and understanding straight from Him. Now, believe me. I think God can use books, bible studies, sermon’s and people all as a vessel to get to you, but there is something amazing about receiving understanding straight from the Word itself. This stirring began several months ago, but Francis Chan hit it home.
Something that keeps rolling around in my mind that he said was “Don’t just follow something because they have something smart to say”. How often do we follow people just because they have something smart to say? I will admit, almost everyone I follow on twitter is because I think they are smart or I value what they say. Francis Chan also talked about the seriousness of the Word and how we as believers of God need to be testing everything against scripture. Do the things people say match with God’s Word? Do we know scripture well enough to see a counterfeit? How well do we we know the Bible? I must admit, I have been guilty of taking in much of what I read and giving it authority in my life without testing it against the Word of God. I cannot sit here and trust that everyone that has something to say is true and right. Francis Chan spoke truth when he said “People will lie to you”. I want to be able to discern and test things against the Word of God. Do you? Some questions Francis Chan left me with to think about that maybe you need to ponder:
-We manipulate the Word to match our desires. How is my heart? Am I manipulating the Word to make it match something I want?
-We try to beautify everything. Have I created a false sense of the Word just to keep it looking the way I want?
-Do I take the Bible literally? Or am I creating it into a figurative book open for interpretation?
-Do I know the Word well enough to test it against something that may be lying to me?
These are things that have definitely left me thinking. I am praying for a discerning spirit that will allow me to understand scripture and test things that I learn, hear and see against the authority of the Word of God.
P.S. If you want to hear this and the other messages for yourself go here and purchase an all access pass. I promise you it is worth the money for all that you get 🙂