There were many cool things that I took from Catalyst (besides a new BFF...hey, Jenna! :). But one of the things that God spoke to me while I was there has continued to stay heavy on my heart - and it came through the message of (surprise, surprise)...Matt Chandler. I was already so excited to hear him again...and he definitely did his thing!
Matt was one of two evening lab speakers on the first night. He expressed from the very beginning of his message that he was "filled with angst" for all of us in the room. He said that he was "terrified" that we would all come to the conference and learn lots of cool new ideas to do ministry but miss meeting the Holy One. So he said that he was not there with lots of cool new tips and ideas, but was there to talk about having an angst for God.
He talked about David and about Paul. These men, without a doubt, had an angst for God. They cared more about Him than anything else! David went through crazy hard times yet still talked about how God's love is better than life. Paul got the mess beat out of him on numerous occasions, yet still said he considered everything "rubbish" next to knowing Christ. These men were crazy in love with Him.
For me, it's been so easy to get distracted by the things of God. I have been in the middle of a season where I’ve become so easily enthralled with acts of service or the “revolution” that I have begun to lose some of HIM in the process. What a tragedy…to fall in love with the things of God over God Himself.
Matt also spoke in one of the big sessions on the last day and continued speaking some about this idea - about how there are many who know about God, but don't really know Him. He said, (and I quote): "If you're using Jesus to bring you a bigger church, you are an idolater...If you are using Jesus to give you a better marriage, you are an idolater..." Because by doing those things, you are placing your church/your marriage over Him. The greatest gain is Him!
OUCH...this also hit me hard. Does following Christ lead to "life to the full"? YES...without a doubt. Does it bring purpose to your life? YES. Does it give you hope for the future? A better marriage? Stronger relationships? YES. But if the reason you are following Christ is so you can have these things, you are an idolater. dang...that's heavy stuff. That's convicting stuff.
Man, how I want to have an angst for Christ like David and Paul's. I want to desire HIM - not the things of Him and not the benefits of Him - but HIM over all else. I want to yearn to sit at His feet. He is the greatest gain.
My friend, Ben, sent me this song last week. I think it sums it up nicely: