my anticipation was that i would meet many on their level, at their experiences with life at the cj. i was hoping that every single young person would gain a life changing experience. my teaching reflected this hope.
nathan and our good friend matt lankenau, from the ei in berlin taught in the workshop. their teachings focused on an awakened heart. i knew this is exactly what god was speaking to me as well as stirring it in me before i set foot on the land. in my perspective, being awakened, or not being awakened, is not a sin. however, there is a natural consequence to not having a focus on god's heart and what the spirit is saying...because it constantly is, or doing...because it constantly is. i think the natural inclination is that of satisfaction of our soul's longing. we, as a generation and culture, are neck deep and saturated in alternative cures and fulfillments. because of our saturation a change from the inside out is required. we couldn't, even in our own strength combat the principalities and darkness in the first place without the same spirit that was present in jesus and raised him from the dead.
al and i spoke and my key point was a change that educated us to drink from the living well of god's unchanging love so that our purpose, identity, and joy will be able to respond well, whether our life's circumstances are going great or not. before i spoke, the day earlier, i had struck up a conversation with a young teen (16/17) about where she was from and what she wanted to get from the conference. we began discussing the gospel and i asked her how many of her friends serve jesus as she does. she could not name one. shocking yet real. i noticed a problem with her legs as she came in and sat down. this issue forces her to walk with crutches to brace herself. i asked her if anyone has prayed over her, and when the last time she prayed over herself. she answered back that it has been years. she couldn't even remember. she told me that she had surgery on her legs and that the doctors messed up and it resulted in this lifelong trauma. needless to say i was crushed. i had no idea what to say or ask, so i said, "why do you think god has not healed you yet?" she responded, "i don't have enough faith." i was heartbroken and knew that the enemy had fed her this lie to distract her from god's undivided love for her. i told her that was a lie and that god wanted her healed. i encouraged her that even though we may not see change on the outside, god most definitely is doing something, it just may be on the inside. she teared up and then confessed to bitterness and anger at the doctors. she also confessed to unforgiveness and bitterness towards god for not doing anything about it. i know god is far my concerned with the condition of her heart, but how do you reveal that to someone in such a condition without coming off as insensitive? this is the condition of millions of young people alike, across europe. individuals who are harboring a cold, bitter, and unforgiving heart, who are far more satisfied with the "slavery in egypt" than the "liberation of the cross" through sanctification in the promised land. meanwhile, i knew god was doing something on the inside of her as we had the whole team and those in our workshop lay hands on her and pray. the next day at the night service, her countenance was far greater. i walked up to her on the front row before the service began and could tell immediately by the divine joy, represented by a smile bigger than the theory of relativity, that god was doing his work in her heart. i asked her how she felt in her legs, she had almost completely forgotten about her physical ailment. her issues with her legs were not a hindrance in her worship to her god. he will bring glory to his name through the healing in her heart, and the healing in her legs. praise god for his transformation that is not limited to, or manifested only in physical healing. this was confirmation of the word god had given me in our workshop teachings about god's interest in being the satisfaction of our soul's craving. make no mistake, our soul longs and craves. without an understanding of what or why our soul's long and that the fulfillment is only in their creator our souls will continue to ache and we will search for gratification. sadly, we choose to quench the craving by focusing or honing in on seasonal gratification that lasts only a little while. the living water of christ is such that it provides refreshment and satisfaction for the longing of the soul, for a lifetime.