“Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” (Isaiah 26:8, NIV)
Happy New Year! I do pray the holiday season was a blessed one for you. Just yesterday, I returned from about two and a half weeks of holiday travel. My adventure culminated in Atlanta, GA, with 24,000 college students and leaders. No, I didn’t type too many zeroes—there really were twenty-four thousand. Quite the experience, I must admit!
So what exactly was this enormous event? It was Passion ’07, an annual conference, which was first launched in 1997. As I mentioned, thousands of college-aged young people converged on Atlanta for four days of worship, teaching and prayer centered around Passion’s core—Isaiah 26:8. However, the leaders of Passion would say that it’s more than an event. It’s a movement, and the heartbeat of that movement is the glory of God. It is a generation of students desiring to live radically for God’s name so that campuses around the world will be awakened to His fame. There were over 1,300 universities and college campuses represented from all across our nation and around the globe—including places such as Brazil, Argentina, East Asia, Africa, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and more.
Words cannot capture the feeling in my heart, as I stood in that arena one night, listening to thousands of young people singing praises to our great God. I thought how glorious it would be if we all—not just college students—would fervently pray that the desire of our own hearts would be for God’s name and renown. How might we affect our own individual communities if we chose each day to live radically for God’s glory?
As we all know, phrases like “living for God’s glory” can become quite void of real meaning and detached from the reality of our daily lives. The reality is that while words may come easy, life is hard—very hard sometimes. Making our lives count for what matters most is a worthy goal, but a costly proposition—one that must be thoroughly soaked into the marrow of our bones if our lives are going to be shaped by and for God’s renown.
As we enter into this year, we are each likely in very different places. Some of us are experiencing the best season of our lives, full of joy and looking forward to dreams fulfilled. Others of us are struggling with sorrow and despair, wanting to be filled with hope but finding it the hardest challenge we’ve ever faced. I do believe, however, that no matter where we fall on that continuum, we can still keep as our highest goal the glory of God displayed through our lives. We have a perfect example to follow and that is Christ Jesus our Lord. Although being in very nature God, he came to earth and made himself nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant. He humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Phil. 2:6-8)
Each morning as we rise, may our lips speak the very words of our Savior, “Here I am…I have come to do your will, O God” (Heb. 10:7). Then live in and enjoy the fullness of life that comes when He alone is our heart’s delight and desire.