5 Things I Learned at IF: Gathering

1. The women who spoke, led, worshiped, preached, and brought Truth at IF are in His Word and on their knees, consistently. These women are not missing days at a time with the Lord. There are not hours and hours between when they have spoken to God and breathed audible or silent prayers. His word is hidden in their hearts and humming through their heads. They have memorized many promises of God. I was so challenged by this realization. If you want to do great things for the Kingdom, you have to be engaged with the Father consistently, listening to Him from His Word and in prayer. You cannot reach an unknown destination by only looking at map once or irregularly. I cannot know or receive wisdom from the Lord if I never talk to Him or allow Him to speak through me in worship, reading His words to me, listening in prayer, and stillness. It was a sobering realization for me: I cannot expect to be furthering the Kingdom, when I don’t spend time with the King.

2. IF God is real: Why aren’t you obeying Him? This is the question that kept ringing in my head, and if I am honest, still does. If I believe God to be real and His word to be true…why am I not obeying Him-in everything He has called me to? I do believe Him to be real and His word to be true, and realized there is no excuse for my disobedience. The time to obey is now. Not when the house is clean{er}, or when my kids no longer sap my energy, or when work is done, or when….when….. Now. Obedience is the linchpin that God uses in us to carry out His work. You can’t link arms with others in Kingdom work, when you are not engaged with the Father and doing the work He has called you to. Your arms simply aren’t available to link onto.

3. Run your race. Not your neighbor’s. God has uniquely created me {and you!} for a specific purpose. He has called me to a certain purpose and only I can fill it. There may be some whose calling is similar, or may even look the same, but He has placed different people, backgrounds, and life experiences in their path that minister and further His work differently than what He has called me to. Looking at someone who has a similar path and saying “They already have that covered,” or “it will look like I am trying to copy/emulate them,” may feel like that right thing, but God does not call us to feelings, He calls us to convictions and to Himself. IF He has called you to do something, no one else has that calling and no one else will do it. Only You. There is no plan B. He is not waiting for the next generation, He has not covered it with our parents or grandparent’s generation, He has called YOU. He called our parents and grandparent’s to specific things, but it not the same as your thing.

4. Visit a Water station frequently. IF was like a water break to me during my race-running. The worship was rich. The fellowship sweet. And the friends – old and new – a gift from the Lord. When you are thirsty and need a break, isn’t water the most refreshing thing ever? IF was like that for me. And I realized I need water stations more frequently in my life. I need to take time out to refresh me, or my race gets slow and sloppy.

5. Trade in your backpack. While at IF, I felt like I got a new backpack. A backpack that filled with prayers, resources, and snacks to keep me going. I traded in my worn and thread-bare backpack for a new, full one, that will tide me over for the days to come. I need new resources and encouragement regularly. Not just to have something new, but to challenge me and provide ways for God to speak through me. I so frequently want God to use my words-spoken or written- so desperately, but then rarely allow Him to do the same through others with their words.

I am still chewing on all I heard and saw. If you are interested in digging deeper, subscribe to the regular “IF:Equip” where a regular passage from the Bible and accompanying thoughts pop in your email box almost daily. Want to hear what all the buzz is about? Check out the sessions for purchase here. Well worth the $25, if you are looking for a water station.

5 things I learned at IF

One thought on “5 Things I Learned From IF: Gathering

  1. Courtney Head,

    Hey Kristi-I didn’t get to do IF in Austin but I did do it here in Little Rock with a group of friends and it.was.AMAZING! Jennie Allen mentored me in high school and I love her dearly! I was challenged and convicted by so many of the speakers that weekend!! A few weeks after IF, Jenn Hatmaker came and spoke at our church and the comment she made at both IF and at our churches conference has stuck with me. She said “Don’t get bogged down and overwhelmed with all the many great needs in the world….just pick something and DO.SOMETHING! It’ll be out of sync and sloppy at first…it doesn’t have to be all organized, pretty and tied with a beautiful bow…just do something!” That’s challenged my thinking and constantly goes around in my head and is something Adam and I’ve been praying through. Thanks for sharing your 5 take aways.

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