Your kingdom come, your will be done...
Second of a series from Urbana 2003.
Single-minded obedience. I just *had* to borrow this chapter title from Bonhoeffer's Cost of Discipleship because it exactly embodies what we were challenged with right off the bat.
At the first evening message (Dec. 27), Rev. John Stott prepared the challenging message of nonconformity. Specifically, there were three challenges:
1. Challenge of Pluralism - do we have different ideals for different situations/circumstances?
2. Challenge of Materilaism - how preoccupied are we with material things? Do we really look to things above?
3. Challenge of Relativism - do we recognize God for the sovereign Lord, the absolute truth?
The above concepts are increasingly prevalent in society today. However, as Christians, we are called to swim against the stream and to be different from the prevailing culture. But not only are God's commands negative (i.e., "do not ..."), he has a positive message as well: We are to be like Christ, and God helps us along with the Holy Spirit [2 Cor. 3:18].
I think at that point, I only took the message in to my head... not yet to heart. God wants to meet us alone. He will not take anything less than our everything, and at that point, I still had a number of barriers and struggles that hindered my meeting with God. Fortunately, the first seminar that I went to on the first full day was the prayer ministry, "Barriers to Intimacy with God", which allowed me to free myself from anger and bitterness that were likely attacks from Satan. I truly think that attending that prayer ministry opened the door to experience God like I never have before, and definitely, that remained with me at least for the remainder of the conference...