Friday, July 01, 2011

Set Free from Conference-Dependency

Green Lake (Wisconsin) Conference Center
 Linda and I are so grateful that we got to go to most of this year's HSRM conference in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Randy Clark spoke 4 times - we heard one of his presentations. We got to hear all of Rachel Hickson's talks. I thought she was excellent! She brings a lot to the table, to include: love for Jesus, power of the Holy Spirit, wholistic Jesus-ministry to the whole person and culture, an outer societal transformational focus that issues from an inner, spiritual abiding life in Jesus. What a pleasant surprise being with her was!

Now I'm back in Monroe. The conference is over. All that activity and worship and spiritual and metnal intake, the beauty of the best of Wisconsin, and fellowship with many friends old and new...  it's over. What will I do now? I answer: what I am always doing. Which is:
  1. I will abide in Jesus tonight and tomorrow and the next day. I'll continue to be a branch connected to Jesus the Vine. "Conferences" are not what I am attached to. If you find yourself "down" this week, maybe you are a conference addict? The same Jesus that spoke to you and me over the past few days will not stop speaking just because we're not at the conference. I have great hope and expectation tonight and tomorrow and the next day. The God-encounter is a daily thing for me, varying, of course, in its clarity and intensity. But it's all real. I haven't lost anything because I'm back in Monroe. I've gained some things, and they will form part of my meditation in the next few days.
  2. I will saturate myself in Scripture. God meets me in Scripture. I am more Scripture-focused than I have ever been in all my Jesus-days. I study it and I meditate it and I ingest it and, by God's Spirit, it gets into me. I'll just keep doing this. I do not need a "conference" to do this.
  3. I will listen for God's voice, speaking to me. When God speaks to me this week I'll write it down in my spiritual journal. God has much to tell me, tonight and tomorrow and the next day. God is not thinking, "John's no longer at the big conference so I won't speak to him in his own home and community." I think like this: tonight...  could be the night where God speaks to me in such ways that my life gets more transformed into a greater Christlikeness. I'm not predicting this. I also won't be shocked if it happens when I'm "not at the conference" (which was a very good one, BTW, with last evening after our Lord's Table time we had the most fun Green Lake conference ending I've ever had).
  4. I will obey when the Spirit directs. I'm not going to claim absolute, perfect obedience. I am not God's perfect servant, as Jesus was. But I do obey God, and find it a delight, even if only sometimes ex post facto. A long time ago Larry Norman wrote a song called "I Am a Servant." What a great song for me to hear and cover as a young Jesus-follower! I still am God's servant; transform me, O God, into greater servanthood.
Thank God for inspiring conferences, the God-intent of each one being daily, inspirational, Jesus-loving and Jesus-following and life more abundantly. (John 10:10)

What if you missed this conference? Did you "miss out?" Not at all. If it was not God's desire because of circumstances or another calling, then you not only didn't lose or miss anything. Jesus didn't leave you for a week to attend the conference. It's all about abiding in him, being connected to him, and being where he wants you to be. Spiritually, it gets no better than that.