I recently posted a survey on my Instagram story asking questions about how I could better serve YOU with my blog and Instagram, and one of the most common answers I got was that you wanted to see more faith posts. My heart loved hearing that! Knowing that I have followers who are seeking after Jesus and care enough to hear my advice, opinions and knowledge truly touched me. I realized soon after the survey was up that I had only ever posted one faith-based blog post, and there’s a few reasons for that. First, if you look through the drafts on my computer you would see at least 5 faith-related, fully-written blogs that I have yet to post… and that is because I’m not confident enough in my writing to feel like my words will touch hearts like I want them to. But, here I am, stepping outside of my comfort zone for the cause of Christ and writing a faith-based blog post!
While praying about what to write, I felt the Lord telling me I needed to share with you guys all that I learned during Motion Conference 2017, because it was A LOT. For those that don’t know, Motion Conference is a student conference through Church of the Highlands that takes place every summer. It is one of the largest student conferences in the world and over the course of the three days you get to hear incredible speakers, grow in community with others, and experience the presence of the Lord like never before. It is our prayer that students and youth leaders leave the conference refreshed, equipped, and inspired to live their lives in MOTION at home, in the local church, in their cities, and around the world. During the conference the Lord revealed, moved, and worked so heavily in my life and I’m so excited to be sharing what I got to witness!
Christine Caine kicked off Thursday night and got the ball rolling, to say the least! She spoke a powerful, timely message on how this generation is “part of an eternal, divine relay” [hebrews 12]. I feel like so often I fall guilty of comparing my current life-standing to others; whether it be my blog, my relationships, or even my appearance. But, Christine reminded us that when we distract ourselves by looking at everybody else’s’ race, we lose sight of our purpose that God has called us to. God has so eloquently plucked you out of eternity and positioned you in time and given you the gifts and talents necessary for your purpose… I mean, can I get an AHHH-MEN?! Christine totally wrecked me with that one, and caused me to take a step back and evaluate all aspects of everything in my own life. I hope that you as a reader can hear the power in these words and take them into account in your own life. He will equip us with all we need to ensure we “fight the good fight, and finish our course”.
This next message was very near and dear to my heart, as it was preached by our head pastor at Church of the Highlands, my father-in-law! I’ve had the honor and joy of hearing Pastor Chris Hodges (PC for short) speak many times, but I can honestly say this message touched me so much. PC talked about how God is truly our Heavenly Father, which means He cares for us far beyond what we could imagine. This sermon focused on Matthew 3:17 where the Lord says, “This is my son with whom I am well pleased.” What a wonderful thought that the God of the Universe feels the same about us! No matter how many times we royally mess up, He is always there, ready to embrace us, love us, and help us move forward. PC made an amazing point that “God is proud of me because He sees my potential.” I’m never truly “proud” of myself unless I’ve accomplished something amazing, so it is so sweet to rest in the fact that He is proud of what I’ve done, what I’m doing, and even what I will do. Thank you PC for your deliverance of an amazingly personal and genuine message. Love you!
Rich + DawnChere Wilkerson
This next message got me super pumped! Rich and DawnChere are one of my favorite couple speakers to listen to because you can truly see their passion for each other and God when they preach. Their Motion message was directed mainly for the single students, but even as a married woman I heard so much truth that needed to be relayed to as many people as possible – so of course I want to share that with you guys! The title of their message was “It’s Not You It’s Me”… I mean, c’mon, we’ve all either used that one or heard that one from our significant other, haha. The main passage from their sermon was Matthew 22:34-40, which focuses on loving God, others, and yourself. Rich and D.C. made the point that “healthy relationships are made up of healthy individuals.” I mean… W O W. Whether you are single, in a relationship, or have been married for years, this truth applies to YOU. In order to make all the many relationships (specifically romantic ones) work we have to make sure that we check ourselves as an individual and make sure we are okay. They focus on three points throughout their message that I found extremely helpful to make sure we have these healthy relationships:
- It’s not getting, it’s becoming
- It’s not falling, it’s choosing
- It’s not hiding, it’s healing
Like I said, no matter where you are in the process of finding your spouse, make sure you are a healthy individual first and foremost.
It’s always great to hear a message from Pastor Steven because he is the head pastor of my church back home in North Carolina (Elevation). He never fails to deliver a powerful message perfect for every audience. At Motion Conference this year he spoke specifically about how God is with you in the middle. In Acts 27 and 28, Paul is in prison for something he did RIGHT… Don’t you ever have that feeling that no matter what you do, nothing is okay?! I know I sure do. That ‘middle-ground’ is always what stumps me, but Steven makes the point that everyone, similar to Paul, is going to have to stop at their personal “Malta” (a small, unfamiliar place… read the scripture for more detail). Sometimes when we think we’ve arrived at our final destination, final purpose, final (fill in the blank with something you’re going through), we are just stopping through. BUT (and this is a huge but) you can’t give up on your “Malta” because there’s much more for you to accomplish! Since this message I have been putting this into practice by reminding myself that even if I am in the ‘middle’, God has never once left my side.
If you’ve ever been to a church conference then you know the last day is always so bittersweet. While you’re tired and probably haven’t showered as much as you should have (guilty, lol), you aren’t quite ready to say “bye” to the conference life. The Lord had given Pastor Mark vision for this mesage months before Motion Conference, and needless to say it was exactly what every youth in the room that day needed to hear. Often times at church you hear the word “revival” thrown around, but Pastor Mark said there is no longer a need for a revival, but rather an AWAKENING. In order to actually be a generation in Motion, we have to not just pray for an awakening, but BE the awakening!
So, as you can clearly tell, Motion 2017 was powerful and life changing, so much so that I had to write a whole blog post on it! Haha, but really, I hope through this post of just relaying the messages I heard that something within these words touched your heart. If you’ve never been to Motion Conference and live near Birmingham, Alabama… COME NEXT YEAR!!! It is truly an incredible experience, one you definitely should not miss!
Also (last thing I promise) I want you as a reader, follower, and friend to know that I’m here for you. Nothing fills my heart with more joy than reading your comments, Instagram messages, and emails. So please, never hesitate to reach out if you need anything at all!
Beautiful! I used to follow first5 and recently i’ve forgotten to redownload the app after switching my phone. I feel so disconnected and guilty, but by reading post like this or your instagram posts I feel connected again. I try to pray every night and thank god always for another day of life, but I feel like it’s not enough. So thank you for your post they truly are awakening and remind me to be more connected to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
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