I cannot believe that we’re at the summer conferences already – it definitely doesn’t feel like a year since we were last at Stafford and Shepton showgrounds. It has flown by.
But this is definitely my favourite time of year.
What better to do with a summer than gather with a load of other people and worship Jesus, learn from His word and be changed by Him as we pray? When else can we spend five days together seeking the face of Jesus and learning more about His heart for us and the world; about his love for us and others, hearing about what He is doing through the stories of loads of different people who come to teach us.
I personally love it because it’s always a time of change for myself and for lots of people I see around me.
Change is a bad word to some people; a painful and challenging process that many don’t want to go through. But I love change. Change strikes me as something that is almost always good.
I remember, last year, praying with a guy who just felt so lonely and unloved – his family were incredibly mean to him, he felt on the edge of his youth group and school was a place of bullying and brokenness. But, for him, change had to come for him to be free. It was scary for him. Whilst he hated the place he was in, he at least knew how to cope there – he knew the things that would help him and knew how to deal with pain.
What if change made things worse? What if by following Jesus, it actually made things harder for him?
Well, he was amazingly brave and chose the change. He chose to let Jesus heal some of his past hurts and set him free from lots of things – from names that he had been called, from low self esteem and from things he believed that weren’t true. He chose to let go of the painful (yet safe) place that he was in to and to let God change him and his circumstances.
He let God set him free.
And so, this summer, if you’re coming to Soul Survivor or not, let God change you. Let God help you with the things that are hurting you and holding you back from the person that God has made you to be.
Actively seek change in your life.
That guy I prayed for, I didn’t see him again. I left him with his youth leader to chat things through and to encourage him to keep going. I have no idea where he is now, or if I will ever meet him again.
What I do know though is that God is incredibly faithful and, if we let Him, will finish the good work that He starts in us. (Philippians 1v6). So my hope is that that guy continued to let God do that work and to be transformed into Jesus’ likeness.
And I long for the same in myself.
Here’s hoping that #soulsurvivor13 is another year of life change in many many people.
Hopefully see you there,