!gnite last year started with myself and two others praying in a van on the way to Ann Arbor. Together our prayer requests were for our hearts to burn with passion just as the disciples did in His presence, to not be ashamed of the hope we have because His love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, and to worship Jesus simply because Jesus is Jesus, without any other reservations.
I had no specific inclinations of what this specifically meant, but I entered the conference with a brimful of expectation for something extravagant to happen. Overall, at !gnite I was challenged with the lesson of not letting the ceiling to my prayers be just wanting others to be blessed, but to instead take hold of a desire to be blown away and have a faith that’s instep with that expectation. With the deeper understanding of Christ’s love captured by the sermons preached by the pastors over the course of the few days came a compulsion to be rid of petty, “sideline” faith. Pastor Jimmy had reinforced the notion that the God that we worship cannot be small in our lives, and it was at this conference that this became much more real to me.
I walked away from !gnite with the conviction of knowing that we should be beginning every season of our lives coming into the presence of God, seeing His majesty, and standing in awe of who He is. As I looked to the year ahead of me at the time, and the city of Chicago as a whole, it was this kind of reverent humility that I was praying would be translated in my life…all for the glory of God and the love of Christ to be shared. Nothing more and nothing less.