Thousands of young and fresh faces fill the hall. Many have come early for a good seat closer to the front. What they are waiting for is not a show or a concert, but the start of the youth conference, part of the annual Christian conference held each July at Brunstad Conference Center.
“When we sit in meetings, we sense that God works with our hearts; we sense that God speaks to us.” The youth worker speaks knowing that the earlier meetings of this July Conference have made a deep impression on many, and the youth conference is to continue to work in the same way.
“God is watching closely…”
I sit and listen as youth workers from different local churches give their short yet inspiring exhortations. There are encouraging words for those who have become disciples and also heart-felt invitations for unconverted souls, to give their whole heart to God and start a peaceful and blessed life. There are faith-strengthening words, encouraging each one of us to always make right choices in our lives. But the words that touch me most are those that explain what it means to be well-pleasing to God.
A youth worker shares: "Maybe you have not sinned openly; maybe you look nice on the surface, but how does that help you if your lusts still have power over you?" He then emphasizes with seriousness: "God is watching closely what we do in the hidden. When He looks into our inner life, He needs to be able to say: yes, everything is the way it should be".
A work is taking place
It dawns on me that all these messages are pointing to one place in me: my heart. Something needs to happen in me when I hear such clear and inspiring words. Faith needs to be accepted, sin needs to be acknowledged. And I need to decide: how do I want to continue my life from now on?
Looking at the many faces around me, I understand I am not alone. A work is taking place in many humble hearts right now – in the hidden. I sense a new respect for all these young people who have come together to hear these words. They have not come from far and near to gain the title of an active missionary or a gifted leader in their churches; they have come so a work can take place inside them, where no one can even see or honor it. They want to come to a greater growth in their Christian life.
But how grateful they are, when many of them give their testimonies in the evening meetings. They have found a direction in life, leading to God’s peace and happiness. They are strengthened to fight their daily fight of faith. They have decided to be upright and honest in all their conduct.
When the two day conference ends, there are no statistics to boast of or results to measure. I thought of God looking down on us now, watching and blessing the work that is taking place. In His time, He will honor these works that are done before His face alone. Those hidden, faithful hearts will become testimonies to His glory and wisdom. Yes, I am convinced by the word of God that I can read, and by the lives that I have seen. As for now, my job is to continue my work of salvation together with God, as I get back to my everyday life.