I've just recently come back from a Passion conference that I attended with a group of friends. Today, I'd like to introduce you to one of my friends, Kristine, who attended the trip. She's going to be guest blogging today. I love what she has to say about the impact the experience had on her. So, please give her a warm welcome!
Making Christ My Firm Foundation by Kristine
Every time I head into an event like Passion, I expect to have these warm fuzzy feelings as I
worship. I associate those feelings with God being present. The first couple of nights at Passion, I didn't experience those feelings at all. For the past couple of months leading up to Passion, I felt like I was so far away from God that I could never find my way back.
My job requires me to work 2nd shift—so I don't get to enjoy the Christian fellowship/interaction as most people do. I've noticed fellowship makes a difference. I read an example of a Pastor who went to visit a man in his congregation who hadn’t been to church in a long time. Inside that man’s house, they sat in front of a fire and stared at it for a long time, without saying anything. Suddenly, the pastor reached for the tong and pulled out one of the burning embers, then placed it in front of the fire. It quickly lost its flame.
That story hit me. The fire is like the church’s constant fellowship. And without it, our flames fade and die. For over a year now I've felt like my fire has been completely exhausted and unable to rekindle. For a long time, I've told myself that I'm going to get back on track and restore my relationship with Christ. But it hasn't happened. Something has been holding me back. I kept trying to think of all the things it could be--Guilt; jealousy; fear; laziness. It could be one of those, or it could be all.
I think one of my biggest weights is just the simple fact that I don't know how to have a relationship with Christ. I accepted Jesus into my heart March of 2002. At that moment I became a Christian, but at the time in my life it was just a label. I didn't know where to go from there or how to build that relationship. I was told to read the Bible and pray, but I never really grasped the concept. Because I never did these things at the beginning, I never developed that firm foundation with Christ. To quote something that a friend of mine said, I was essentially trying to build a relationship with Christ starting at the roof.
During the worship sessions at Philips Arena, I sat there, looking around and seeing all the hands lifted, and hearing the people really screaming to God. Yet, I felt nothing. I felt like I was singing just to make noise. I felt fake. I have never felt like that before. So, I closed my eyes and tried to pray to God to work on my heart and allow me to let open my heart to Him, but I was so distracted. Other thoughts kept squeezing their way through. It was frustrating and at the same time it was an eye opener.
God opened my heart this weekend. He revealed to me that I need to start at the beginning and build a firm foundation with Him. My biggest fear right now is that in a few days or in a few weeks, I'm just going to fall back into what I've been doing and completely forget or push aside God. As a friend of mine stated, we are all of this spiritual high and Satan will do whatever he can to steal that from us. I'm afraid he will do just that with me. But, I know that I have a great group of supporters and I know that prayer works. I believe if we all pray for each other that we will not allow Satan to steal the joy of Christ from us, we will be able to hold on to our flames and allow them to grow bigger and brighter so we can carry the name of Jesus—starting with our own Church. So, after all that, I would simply like to ask that you all pray for me. Pray that I will have the strength and the continued determination to start at the bottom and build this meaningful relationship with Christ. Pray that I (and everyone else) won't allow Satan to get in the way of that. I am doing the same for you all. :]