Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"The Sound of Rushing Waters"

 "Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and loud peals of thunder, shouting: 'Hallelujah, for our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!" Revelation 19:6-7, NIV. 

This time last Tuesday, I found myself in Atlanta, GA attending the Passion Conference. I have to say that I returned home transformed.

The Passion conference isn't really a conference, but rather, it is a movement designed to empower my generation with the awareness of our place and purpose in God's Kingdom--a purpose to make His Name famous through-out the earth. Led by some of today's most profound teachers and worship leaders, anyone who attends is sure to come away with a blessing. For me, however, it's not the teachers nor the worship leaders who left their imprint on me. If I had to sum up my passion experience with one word, it would be "Kingdom."
The start of prayers 

Last year when I attended Passion 2010, I left feeling as though God had poked a hole through the clouds and given me a tiny glimpse of what Heaven is like. This year, I realized I don't have to wait until Heaven to see the fullness of God's kingdom. His Kingdom is active and alive here on earth.

With over 22,000 college students in attendance, one can imagine what it must sound like in the Phillips arena, where the worship sessions are conducted. Imagine the sound of that many students, raising their voices in unity as they pour out all their adoration to the King of kings. Imagine the sight of students lifting their hands high toward Heaven, praising the King on His throne. That is Passion.

I'll never forget when Louie Giglio stepped on the stage during the last day of Passion and asked the students to lift up a shout of praise to Jesus. The sound that filled the room took me right to that verse in Revelation. It sounded like I was standing underneath a waterfall. It also reminded me of that scene in The Return of the King, where the long-awaited king's coronation is finally taking place. The people are excited, they're filled with joy, and they are lifting a shout of praise to him. That's how it was for us.
Students entering the Go Center

One of the things I love most about Passion is their Do Something Now campaign. Students are encouraged to find a global/local cause and engage themselves in it. This year Passion presented 10 different causes that averaged up to a total cost of $470,000. Yet we gave over $1,167,249. 24.  To see the causes, I encourage you to click on this link:

The thing I love most about the Do Something Now campaign, is that they encourage us to not only invest our money in the Kingdom purpose, but our time, as well. We have the opportunity to pray over Bibles heading out to Columbia, to write notes of encouragement, to write prayers on index cards. They also bring the opportunity for child sponsorship, which allows us to invest continually in a child's life.

University students from all over the world attend this conference. It's amazing to worship with people who are scattered across the nations, each one speaking a different language and coming from a different ethnic group, and to realize that all of us are joined by the same heartbeat, one that pumps the cleansing blood of Jesus through each of our veins.

The model of a house being built in Haiti
I no longer feel like I'm peeking through the clouds of heaven and catching a glimpse of what's in store. I realize that the Kingdom of God is here and His people are gathering in unity to pour forth His praises now and shake the nations with His glory. The events we read about in revelation are not the beginning of God's kingdom. They are simply the end of His Kingdom on earth, the end of the first chapter in His glorious plan. Each child of God is a part of something amazing, and so much bigger than what we ever imagined. Through righteousness God's kingdom will shine.

There is a movement sweeping through the hearts of my generation, awakening us to die to the selfishness, petty discords that have plagued us for years, church politics, mediocrity and complacency and instead to pick up our cross and put on Jesus' righteousness.

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but no you have received mercy." 1 Peter 2:9-10.

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