There were hundreds of us. Standing room only. Hands stretched out, eyes closed, and music so loud you couldn’t hear your own voice singing along. Sounds like a rock concert, right? In fact, it was the Illuminate Women’s Conference I recently had the opportunity to attend. The main speaker was Jennie Allen, author and co-founder of the IF:Gathering--a ministry to equip Christian women to grow in their faith and share it with others. Her talk was about believing God;truly believing God and all that He says about Himself and us in His Word.
The idea for the name IF comes from the thought: IF God is real, then what? What are we going to do about that? Jennie began her talk by explaining- there are basically 2 options people have to believe about God; either He is real, or He is not. That’s it. But this seemingly simple choice has profound consequences. It should completely transform and inform the way that we live.
And yet, author/pastor Francis Chan has said, “The God of the universe-the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-Minor loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss.”
Romans 8:1-2 says, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”
So where is the disconnect? If we have accepted Jesus as our savior, why aren’t many of us living free?
John 8:36 says, “If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!”
We need to become obsessed with living free!
So do you really believe God? In His saving work? Do you believe He is good, that He is for you? I want you to know He hears you and sees you, right where you are, whatever you’re going through, and He is coming for you. Believe it!
Then what? We believe God. We’ve accepted Jesus as our savior. What are we supposed to do now?
We all have spent way too much time trying to answer what does God want us to do? What’s my calling and your calling? To that topic the Bible speaks clearly. It’s the same for all of us.
Matthew 28:19 says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…”
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”
Now we all have personalized gifts to help us answer God’s call, and I think more often than not that’s actually what we are trying to figure out. Here are some things Jennie said we should ask ourselves to help answer that: What do you love to do? How can you use that to bring glory to God and share Him with others?
Take the first step in faith; God multiplies small things and turns them into world changing things!
Lastly, Jennie talked about the urgency of our calling. If we really believe God, He tells us there is an end to this world.
This is the part that gets us squirmy. We don’t like to think people will go to hell. We don’t like to think there are eternal consequences for not accepting Jesus as your savior. But this is what God tells us, so if we aren’t living like this is true, aren’t we really saying that we don’t truly believe God?
Finally, what sort of people ought we to be in light of eternity, where there’s a real heaven and a real hell, where all who don’t know Jesus are lost and do not have the same future we have?
Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”
Let’s believe God and all that He says about Himself and us, start living free, and unashamedly and fearlessly share the truth of the Gospel with all who will listen!