"In His majesty [I write] victoriously for the cause of truth...for the Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary." ~ Isaiah 50:4 (ESV)
February 23, 2013: The past 27 hours, I’ve been aspersed amidst a sea of youth, meditating on the meaning of “Relentless Pursuit”. And though my contemplations are still settling, what I can say with utmost confidence is the pulse of this year’s Acquire the Fire is beating with these youth in a profound way. As luminous spheres of light encounter raised hands, God is breathing life like fire upon the altar of expectancy – as an infectious flame uniting desperation among an emerging Jesus culture. Truly God is molding slogan not only into an immediate battlecry, but also as a tangible, long-term reality. How magnificent it is to be surrounded by inspirational prayer, desperate to see spiritual highs offset by real transformation.
When I consider the intersection between the emerging generation and the church, I wonder why theology and discipleship are inadvertently misplaced on the backburner of ministerial priorities, and if somehow, this has any connection to young minds believing God is conditional in nature. While most churches defend missional values, the fact is young people sitting on the outskirts of relational intimacy with Christ are not understanding how God never stops pursuing us. Blame religion. Blame fatherlessness. Blame hypocrisy. The effects of the matter seem unchanged.
However, this trend is starting to break, and as Acquire the Fire sweeps the country, the time is now for leaders to embrace a higher desire to see this side of God penetrate unenlightenment on route to permanent establishment inside the hearts of today’s youth. We may not understand perfect patience; we may not understand the idea of being divinely wooed; we may not fathom the absolute nature of God. But this does not compromise a Savior who is uncompromising, who stands unyielding on our behalf.
To intensify faith, God is calling us to indulge in the work He is doing. If we truly believe God relentlessly pursues each heart and can use a generation to accomplish mighty things, why are we so content on only singing about it? Why are we, as the body of Christ, indifferent to holiness and often shy away from complete surrender by denying God into every intimate corner of our lives? Do we stop to think perhaps that’s what young people really need these days? To have this modeled for them? To have mentors, teachers, family and friends eradicate intimidation of a sovereign God’s love, through the demonstration of wholehearted devotion?
I believe many youth are sincerely hungry for the transforming fire of God – to have a supernatural experience launched into celebratory matrimony. However, it’s easy to this analytical mind to speculate if these kids comprehend what transforming fire really is and what it looks like. I mean, who am I to say I fully grasp such power to effectively communicate and radiate it. All I know is this: to find the answers, we can't simply accept truth; we must run after it. And by running after truth, we recipricate the way God blesses us each and every day.
So as I process my doubts and hopes, I can’t help but want to bridge this divide somehow. I can’t help but want to show young people the joy of everything from Spirit baptism to everyday perseverance, while continuing to grow in the likeness of Christ. But for now, I feel like all I can do is return to basics, and re-emphasize what Acquire the Fire achieved is achieving so well tonight - how God never lets us go and never forsakes us during life’s marking moments.
Colossians 3:1-4 (MSG)
"So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ."