This week was a crazy, wonderful, life-changing, soul-shaking kind of week. For one it was the week my family moved house which can be an emotional and stressful time but on Wednesday as I said goodbye to my home of almost 10 years for the final time I was filled with expectation and adrenaline as I was blessed enough to be heading off to Hillsong Conference 2015 where churches from all over Europe fill the O2 arena for three days of worship, incredible speakers and hanging out with friends. As always it was the BEST so this year I thought I’d share with you a few things that really stood out to me.
At one point a youth fell ill and after helping to find his mum which was fine but I returned to find I’d lost my seat. Initially it was a bit of an inconvenience but it turned out to be a moment of profound insight. I and two others ended up standing near an exit. We were quick to dump our bags and worship right where we were (which was probably a bit of a fire hazard but gotta do what you gotta do). From here we had a great view of the entire arena and that’s where I witnessed the powerful sight of thousands with their hands in the air worshipping with abandon. Each individual was having a personal encounter with God.
God is HUGE, vast, infinite, immeasurable yet intimate; he cares about each individual heart. The theme of the conference was about God speaking and his people listening and it was so moving to physically see God whispering peace and security into personal situations and each person leaning in and truly listening openly and intently to the Lord.
‘Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?
Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge?’ Job 37:15
What really struck me was that a God who has ultimate sovereignty over the big things, such as the weather systems cares so much about the little things, our anxieties, our fears, our situations that to another may seem insignificant but if it bothers us, it bothers Him.
The next realisation I had is one that I have every time I go to a Church event where people gather from several different countries. In Worship every mouth confesses the same words of praise; the usual barrier of language doesn’t apply. What I’ve come to see is that Worship is so powerful and uniting that it transcends normal restrictions. Different cultures with different norms, customs, and histories are all one as we join together in Worship. The barriers that prevent us from communicating from each other don’t hinder in any way our communication with God.
During the three days young people have their very own conference. Young and free conference is always inspiring but this was my first year experiencing it as a youth leader. What I really felt God speaking to me about is ‘look what young people can do’. Well I looked and I could see some serious talent, amazing dancers, beautiful singers and moving and brave testimonies. There seems to be a serious stigma attached to teenagers; we’re all lazy, rude and troublesome. However, what I saw in that room couldn’t be further from that stereotype. I saw young people who truly loved God and had a longing for Him to move in their lives, an expectation that he would and a heart for have the same experience.
‘Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity’ 1 Timothy 4:12
God can do so much through a young person open to being used for His glory. There is so much talent and potential in our generation and if we were only more confident to step out in faith, regardless of our age, it’s unfathomable the miracles we could see in our schools, our homes and our communities.
So those are a few of my favourite realisations in experienced at conference. It really was an incredible few days, I’d really recommend registering for 2016, you never know what God can do in your life when you set aside a few days to concentrate on Him. Oh and did I mention it was so so fun?