The Lord Arrives at OneDay03, Part 2
- Janet Chismar Senior Editor, News & Culture
- 2003 5 May
As author/teacher Beth Moore prayed and prepared for OneDay03, she laid awake in her RV, listening to the fierce storm pounding the Texas landscape outside. And that's when it hit her - the Lord was announcing His arrival.
"The fear of the Lord shook me," she told the approximately 20,000 to 30,000 college-aged young adults who gathered on the 400-acre Sherman ranch two days later. Throughout the Bible, Moore explained, the Lord announced his arrival His arrival with thunder and lightening: "He fills us with terror before he shows us His love."
Moore joined Passion Conferences founder/director Louie Giglio, pastor/author John Piper of Minneapolis, I Kissed Dating Goodbye author Joshua Harris, Left Behind actor Kirk Cameron, former Taliban hostage Heather Mercer and others in exhorting and inspiring students over Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-27.
"Do you hunger for the presence of God?" Moore asked the crowd. "If you are returning to God, return with all your hearts. It must be all of you, serving Him only."
We all struggle with divided hearts, Moore added. We must withhold nothing from God and "let Him ruin us for all lesser loves, all lower loves." We are created for passion, she continued, and if we don't find it in Him, we will find it in lesser places.
Moore encouraged the crowd to fall in love with the Word of God, reminding them of 2 Timothy 3:16 - "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right." (NLT) She asked students to raise their Bibles in the air as she prayed for an impartation of love for God's Word in their generation.
The other symbolic gesture she suggested was pouring water on the ground - to mark a life poured out as a drink offering before the Lord.
"This is a day when a choice is before us - to live for one thing," Moore concluded. "If you sell out to one thing - everything else will come to you."
As John Piper took the stage, the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and author of Desiring God and The Pleasures of God focused on the holiness of God.
"Could those who struggle with pornography, masturbation, fornication and eating disorders find liberty in God's holiness?" Piper asked. "God is incomparable in moral perfection. We cannot infer from our imperfection what God is like."
Piper urged the audience to "sever the roots of all Judas joys." Sin dishonors God, he noted. "The cross is not about our worthiness, but His holiness."
In conclusion he said, "Do not kill to spread Christianity. Die to spread Christianity" - a charge lived out by former Taliban prisoner and OneDay03 speaker Heather Mercer.
When Mercer and friend Dayna Curry arrived in Afghanistan, they aspired to bring a better life and a little hope to some of the poorest and most oppressed people in the world. Within a few months, their lives were thrown into chaos as they became pawns in historic international events. They were arrested by the ruling Taliban government for teaching about Christianity to the people with whom they worked.
"But I don't want to share the story of Afghanistan today," Mercer told the students after leading prayer for the nations and for missions. "I want to call you to something higher. God is calling our generation to live for a purpose bigger than ourselves.
"The scripture that we've heard so much about already - Isaiah 6 - tells us to be consumed by the holiness of God, the beauty of God, the wonder of God, the glory of God. And because Isaiah was consumed, he heard the Lord say, 'Who can I send?' The only thing Isaiah could do was respond and say, 'Lord, here am I. Send me.'"
That's what God is wanting to do again in our generation, Mercer noted. "What's it going to take for us to get there? I think God has been speaking three things: (1.) I am looking for a generation that doesn't mind looking foolish for the sake of My name. (2.) I am looking for a generation marked by sacrifice, and (3.) I am looking for a generation that is in love with Me."
As Mercer passionately inspired many young adults to consider serving in the mission field, those so called had an entire City Center of mobilization resources to help them explore possible roles.
In addressing the issue of purity, the author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Joshua Harris, likened himself to a car alarm "that you want shut off. But the Holy Spirit is calling us back to purity," Harris said. "He wants us to avoid sexual immorality.
"I am not here to make you feel guilty," Harris continued. "I've been on that treadmill of shame and disobedience and failure. I want to call you to joy. The Holy Spirit can help you change. Lust keeps us from joy and satisfaction in God. The issue matters because if we don't pursue purity, we'll never see joy."
Harris then gave the audience suggestions on how to avoid lust and maintain purity.
When the audience applauded Kirk Cameron's arrival on stage, the former Growing Pains star begged them to stop. "In this moment of magnifying God, please don't applaud for me. My fame is dead. The fame of Jesus Christ is alive. My fame had to be crucified in order for me to become a Christian.
"God does not see me as a celebrity. He sees me as a sinner," Cameron added. He then proceeded to eloquently present the salvation message.
"Of all the things I have done and the places I have been, of all the things I've seen, absolutely nothing and no one compares to knowing Jesus Christ and being forgiven of my sin, and being in a right relationship with the Creator of the universe," Camerson said.
"As I stood here last night, I heard about the lightning and the thunder from Beth Moore; I heard about the holiness of God from John Piper - and I felt a little uneasy, because we are calling this a solemn assembly. We are consecrating this as holy ground. The Word of God has gone over this place and we are saying this place is sacred. We are calling for the God of holiness to come here."
Come He did, as scores of students renewed their relationship with God, and some began a brand new relationship. Even now, as those who attended are back on their campuses or in their home churches, they are continuing the journey.
Through June 9, those who attended are taking a little time every day on www.OneDay03.com to consecrate their lives. They will go all the way to June 9 because that's the date associated with Pentecost, traditionally 50 days past Easter. To consecrate simply means to set apart.
The end result of OneDay03 is a setting apart of lives for the purposes and glory of God.
Next Week: The music of OneDay03