Commitment beyond #echo14
Junior ICS major Lindsay Ahlquist returns a friend's prayer of God's guidance over her life. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES
I’ve been thinking for a while now how to sum up how I feel about this Thursday night, but the only thing that keeps coming to mind is that it was so, so filled with truth. One thing I have appreciated so much about the speakers this year is that every single one respectfully took off their filter and threw it on the ground — none of them beat around the bush, every single one came in like a hurricane and laid down hard gospel truth. When it came to Thursday night, the infamous Missions Conference Thursday night, how did they approach it? With truth. We prayed through the Great Commission and Acts 1:8 because that’s what Jesus showed us. We prayed with each other and for each other because that’s the example Jesus set. Every component of the night was lifted directly from Scripture, and that’s a foundation no one can argue with.
It’s always beautiful to listen to nearly three thousand of my peers worshiping together, and I echo the cry I heard tonight for God to set a fire in our souls. I don’t want it to end there, though, I want God to set the fire and then stoke the fire. I don’t want to just burn bright, I want to burn long. God has called me to much more than a life of mountaintop experiences and conference seasons. God has called me to a lifetime of faithful moments, consistent obedience and a commitment to the gospel that remains after the hashtags fade.
Though we’ve focused on the priority to go and to make disciples, let us not forget the sentence that comes right after — the promise that Christ is with us always, to the very end of the age. Hold up. Let me say that again. JESUS CHRIST HAS SENT HIS SPIRIT AND IS WITH US ALWAYS. I’ve been blown away this weekend by the magnitude of the promise of Emmanuel. That the God of the universe would not only include us in his mission but then send his Spirit to be with us is incredible. The Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is with us and is interceding for us always, and it is in that reality we are called to go.
I don’t know what my life holds. I don’t know if I’ll stay in L.A. for the rest of my days or if I’ll have to get seven passports because I’ll fill them up so quick. I don’t know if I’ll be martyred or if I’ll live to a ripe old age. I don’t know if I’ll have enough kids to have my own soccer team or if I’ll stay single until I go see Jesus. I know barely any of the specifics about my future, but I know that I am called to live sold out for the sake of Christ.
Jesus didn’t just need to die for me, he needed to LIVE for me. Without the resurrection, Jesus is just another guy crucified by the Romans. I am eternally grateful for the cross, but I am also eternally grateful for the empty grave. It is only because Jesus rose from the dead and triumphed over death that I can stand in that victory and proclaim his goodness. Because Jesus is alive, I can live in celebration, and because Jesus is alive, I can share with the world the truest joy imaginable.