GYC 2011: Day 2
This year, making it to GYC is only a matter of traveling 30 minutes down IH-10, but that means I don’t have the luxury of rolling out of bed just in time to march across the sky walk from hotel to morning worship. It’s been a long, intense day. God is definitely moving, and it’s worth far more than the time, energy, sleep deprivation, and conference fees combined.
The day started at 7:30AM morning devotion with Charissa Fong of Sydney, Australia. Eyes burning from lack of sleep, she jolted me into intense focus telling the story of Asa in 2 Chronicles 14. She outlined the work of the Holy Spirit that is, 1) conviction, 2) conversion, 3) cleansing, and 4) commission. The caution and powerful point of this message was that we must finish well and continually seek God’s face. Asa’s diseased feet told the story of his heart, Charissa shared. Never to walk again, Asa started well spiritually but he did not finish well. To finish well, we must cling to God.
We took a break for breakfast, and then had 18 different options on the menu for modules or 2.5 hour seminars with various speakers all taking a slightly different angle on the theme for our conference, Fill Me: Our Earnest Plea. Module 1: The Foundation for me was “Living on E” with Annie Morgan. When I first saw the title, I knew it was for me. A few months back my best friend responded to an email warning me, “U r running on empty jb…Spiritually.” So when I read the last sentence of the description, “Discover the thrill of ‘living on E’ where all our comfort comes from Jesus,” I was really curious how being on E could be a good thing. Module 1 was the highlight of my day, and possibly my entire 2011 GYC experience. But that’s just the thing, the Holy Spirit is already in this place – it’s up to the attendees to let Him dwell in our hearts and convict us with the message tailored by God just for us. Just for GYC 2011.
But then if morning worship and seminar time wasn’t enough, we had a plenary session just before lunch. Janet Page shared her personal testimony and the necessity for daily time with God and the power of prayer. We ended this session as we do every session with a season of prayer. Only this time, we were encouraged to pray in bits and pieces with words guided directly by the Holy Spirit. One short prayer followed by another and another, round and round we went. It was beautiful, short nuggets of an earnest plea for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
After lunch, 2.5 more hours of seminar time made Module 2: The Understanding. This time I chose Jeffrey Rosario and David Asscherick’s “Theological Realities” module. The assembly hall was packed and so was the message. We tackled and established through intense scripture searching: 1) The Holy Spirit is a person, 2) The Holy Spirit is God, and 3) The work of the Holy Spirit is 4-fole: on, in, for, and through us. Our parakletos or advocate, the Holy Spirit walks beside us magnifying the image of Jesus to and through us. Thing is, if we don’t intend to be a magnifying glass, the Spirit is not working through us. We ended this session with four prayers that the Holy Spirit might work on, in, for, and through us.
Oh, there were so many choices…and I will have to catch many others online later. As we scattered across the convention center into different rooms, the message was consistent – Fill Me. That’s what’s different about GYC this year. We are all crying out and seeking one thing. Our study time is more than a demonstration of the theme, it’s the Spirit responding to our prayer – it’s God in action.
We ended the day with evening devotionals as Kameron DeVasher presented the message. DeVasher bluntly asked, “Do you even really want to go [to heaven]?” It’s not about whether you get in to heaven, but whether you fit in. DeVasher emphasized, “The primary role of the Holy Spirit is not to make you more powerful, but to make you more Christ-like.” Scripture says it best,
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. – Philippians 3:20-21 (NKJV)
Packed. The day downtown for me ended somewhere around 9PM. Some attendees went to choir or orchestra rehearsal. Anyone who would like to be a part is able to join the mass choir and orchestra. Others headed up to the small group sessions to review Mark Finley’s 10 Days in the Upper Room devotion for the day. And then some others made their way to the Prayer Room where testimonies are in the making all day throughout the conference. I headed home so I could make it to bed by 11PM, only to wake back up somewhere between 5 and 6AM.
A small price to pay.