Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Face of God

I spent last weekend on a youth camp, basically just three days of prayer and worship, and non-stop chaos with sixty hyperactive teenagers loose on a campsite. Youth camps are always incredible experiences that significantly change lives. I became a Christian on a youth camp, as do a lot of people.

But the Saturday nights specifically are life-changing moments. Last Saturday night, we spent five hours in prayer and worship, truth be told, that's not a huge amount for a Saturday night on a youth camp. But I saw some amazing things that night.

I remember I had a prophetic word for one girl. So I told her what God had put on my heart, prayed for her, and went back to worshipping. I kid you not, ten seconds later when I glanced over there again, the girl had about six girls around her, praying for her, and she was bawling her eyes out.

One of those girls was this strong, confident girl who prayed like her life depended on it. I mean she really went at it. All night I wanted to say something to her, encourage her for her efforts, but she was always praying for someone. Always.

Another girl I know quite well, and have been helping her in the prophetic, and in her musicianship, came up to me at one point in the night and asked if I could pray for her friend. That meant a lot to me as a leader. When one of the kids trusts you enough and knows you well enough to ask if you can pray for their friend, it's a big moment, especially since I'd never met her friend, I wasn't even sure what I was praying for specifically.

After the session ended at around midnight, and kids started to go to bed, the prayer and worship kept going for the next eight hours after that. I stayed up until four in the morning before I fell asleep in the prayer room.

And don't get me wrong, it was an incredible night, one I'll never forget. But God didn't do anything in me that night. Or nothing that I noticed anyway. I'd been praying for weeks for a renewed passion, and a revived fire in my heart. Uncoincidentally, the camp was called "Revival".

But nothing changed in my heart that night. I prayed and worshipped for nine straight hours but I didn't feel any different inside.

But what happened the next night blew me away completely.

On the Sunday night, we weren't at the campsite any more, but the camp was still going on at church. The normal church service happened, but the youth basically took over, flooding the front four rows and starting a moshpit at the front of the church.

Suddenly I had a new perspective. No longer was I standing at the back of the room, watching everything happen in front of me. I was standing at the side of the stage, so I could see the faces of the kids.

My heart broke in that instant. I saw something I'd never seen before. I saw the spirit of God in each and every one of those kids. Their passion and fire became mine, and the way they worshipped so fervently shook me awake right then and there.

On camp, our youth pastor talked about the Ark of the Covenant, and about how the spirit of God no longer lives in a box, but lives in each and every one of us. And I saw a glimpse of that on Sunday. I saw the face of God in the faces of the kids at the front of the stage.

I laughed like never before that night. I was so full of joy I cried. Never before have I been so alight. I'm so passionate, so devoted, my life has changed like never before. I see faith in a way I never have.

PS. The photo at the top of this page is that exact moment when my heart was lit on fire again.

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