"Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your truth we wait eagerly for You, for Your name and Your renown are the desire of our souls." - Isaiah 26:8
Flowing out of the confession found in Isaiah 26:8,and birthed through Passion Student Conferences, is the 268 Declaration. Consisting of five statements and prayers, this declaration captures the spirit, vision, and commitment of a new generation of students and leaders across the nation and around the world. Neither a simple statement nor a clever conference theme, the 268 Declaration is a challenge for life. Containing the phrase “I desire to magnify,” each statement is rooted in the core value of living for the glory of God. Each statement is followed by a prayer, emphasizing that the pursuit of these commitments is a process. These prayers call us to total dependence on the inside work of Christ to transform our desires into realities, recognizing that we could never successfully accomplish such promises in our own strength. Grounded in the unchanging Word of God, each statement is followed by several passages that will prompt further study and application.
To join others around the world in voicing your commitment to the 268 generation, visit 268generation.com on the Passion Network.
Going through these THIRSTY journals has been a really good experience for me. I’ve loved to go through them with a dear friend of mine and grow together as we search the the Spring of Life that never runs dry. He’s amazing. He is love. He loves me and always will. I will dive to the deepest searching for how to love Him more. He is my everything.
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your truth we wait eagerly for You, for Your name and Your renown are the desire of our souls. - Isaiah 26:8
What would it mean for you today to say “yes” to Jesus? It would mean surrendering my every thought and moment to Christ today. It would mean making everything about Him and His glory. God let me do this today.
Listen to the voice of the Spirit and write down a few ways that You can walk in His truth today. Relax. I know that sounds trivial but I really need to learn to rest in the arms of my dear Savior today.
Write your own definition of renown. To be made known to many.
What is one specific way you can make His name more visible to those around you today? Living in every moment for Him. Taking every opportunity to show the love of Christ to those around me.
Describe a “268 person” based on this verse. It’s someone who lives in every moment and breathe to lift the name of God higher and higher so all my see.
Write a few specific ways this “journey” has deepened your relationship with God. This journey has helped me to grab hold of the beauty of my Savior in new light. It’s brought me to places I didn’t expect and taught me even more than I had hoped.
List two specific things that will keep you on the path tomorrow. Continuing to thirsty after the living water. Parching others around me so they can be thirsty for the King.
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your truth we wait eagerly for You, for Your name and Your renown are the desire of our souls. Isaiah 26:8
How are you encouraged today knowing that God is “intimately acquainted” with all your ways? Today has been a really hard day. Knowing that God is intimately acquainted with my ways makes me feel so much comfort because I often have no idea what in the world I’m doing.
In what ways does this thought make you uncomfortable? When I’m doing things selfishly, when my motives are not where they should be… God knows. He knows my thoughts, actions, motives, intimately. It’s why I have to constantly pray to God to “take my life and let it be all for Him and for His glory.”
As you read this passage, what thoughts do you have about God? I am overwhelmed with the love of my God. I am lost in His arms of peace and grace. I am drenched in His overflowing kindness. I am silent in awe of my God, my King, my Lord. How could one of such beauty and majesty love one such as me. I’m so thankful for my Lord.
In a short sentence, write in your own words the core truth of these verses. God knows everything about us. More so that we even know ourselves. This isn’t just a text book “knowing” but and intimacy that extends beyond boundaries we can even understand.
Let it suffice to say then that God perceives the imperfections with us, and because of His love for us, urges us to grow up. His love is not content to leave us in our weakness, and for this reason He takes us into a dark night. He weans us from all of [earth’s] pleasures by giving us dry times and inward darkness. No soul will ever grow deep in the spiritual life unless God works passively in that soul by means of the dark night. - John of the Cross
The possibility of knowing God is such a privilege… and a war. The enemy contends for affection that is rightfully God’s. Can you identify two or three areas where battles are waged for your affection? Battles are waged for my affection in my time management and my song writing. I always find myself having to struggle to manage my time appropriately and to focus during my quiet times with Jesus. So many things constantly pull for my attention. In my songwriting it’s easier for me to write about things other than my relationship with Christ. I’m not sure why. I honestly believe it’s a battle for my heart and my affections.
Spiritual adultery happens when we cheat God out of the love of our hearts. Are there ways that you are spiritually “in bed” with something or someone other than Him? Whenever I lose a battle of worship in the areas I’m under attack. Whenever I love myself more than Christ or other people. Whenever I trade the Creator for something He created I do this. It’s no wonder that Israel is referred to as a prostitute with many lovers… my heart can be such a harlot…
A part of drawing near to God is cleansing your hands of sin. Ask God to search your heart. What specific actions can you take today to turn away from idols in your life? God promises to respond to those who draw near to Him. (v.8) What steps will take you closer to God today? Ask God to draw my attentions to Him. Try to see His creativity in everything. Focus my heart on Him. If I come to Him He will give me rest and hope for my weary soul.
How does the phrase in verse five, “He jealously desires the spirit He has made to dwell in us,” impact your life today? God is there searching for me… He is there waiting for me… He is there hoping for me… to get a clue and realize that if I just focus and search, wait in, and hope for Him as well… I will find Him in every area of my life. Every story, every situation oozes the fingerprints of the Creation story. A story of a loving God and His children who believed they could be like God and fell away from Him.
Intimacy comes to those who want God more than pleasure, stuff, fame, accomplishments, sex, sports, money, comfort, and life itself. As well, intimate lovers of God know the joy of watching a thousand earthly treasures pale in the light of the shimmering glory of His face. Soon, all that will remain is Jesus.
God, give me a desire for You like the desire You have for me. Whatever we love more than God is sin. Whatever we treasure more than God is an idol. Whatever controls us more than God is a false god.
Give your life away. Give it away over and over again. When you feel you havenothing left to offer, give some more. There is something powerful about taking oureyes off ourselves, fixing our gaze on Jesus and going to meet people’s needs in thepower of the Holy Spirit. In fact, doing so produces intimacy and passion for Jesusand the things of God.
God explains in this passage in Isaiah that He has chosen a fast where we are toloose chains, break heavy yokes, and set the oppressed free. These verses give us afew practical steps by encouraging us to spend ourselves feeding the hungry, findingplaces for the wanderers to sleep, and clothing the naked. The Kingdom of Godcomes down from heaven, and Jesus is exalted when we corporately and individuallygive ourselves to this kind of crazy activity.
Intimacy with Jesus comes in the midst of spending our lives for His sake. AfterIsaiah tells us to give our lives setting people free, he shares the fruit of thatlifestyle; “then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quicklyappear… then you will call, and the Lord will answer… the Lord guides you…satisfies your needs… strengthens your frame… you will be like a well wateredgarden, like a spring whose waters never fail. You will rebuild ancient ruins, and willraise up age old foundations. You will be called a repairer of the breech and restorerof the streets with dwellings.”
I occasionally pray this scripture back to God, saying,” God let me become a repairer of the breech.” It is awesome and powerful to think we can give our lives to peoplein the name of Jesus and the in power of God. As we do we become more intimatewith Him. - Charlie Hall
Charlie Hall is an original. Living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, he’s a songwriter, lead worshipper and mentor with a passion to see the lost rejoice in the hope of Christ.
So far this has been my favorite entry in the “Thirsty Journal”. I find my self reading and re-reading the passage from Isaiah and these notes by Charlie Hall. My prayer is that God would let me become a repairer of the breech in the lives of those around me for Him and His glory. I want to be used for God. I want to do great things for Him. I will be used by God… I will do great things for Him. I’m praising Him for what he has already done.
“Give your life away. Give it away over and over again. When you feel you have nothing left to offer, give some more. There is something powerful about taking our eyes off ourselves, fixing our gaze on Jesus and going to meet people’s needs in the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, doing so produces intimacy and passion for Jesus and the things of God.”—Charlie Hall: Thirsty Journal
The best way to discover God more fully is to meditate on the many facets of His character. As you read Psalm 145, allow one of God’s characteristics to capture your attention.
Meditate on that characteristic. Talk to God about that dimension of Him. Write this attribute at the top of the page. Journal a song, prayer, or praise to God about this facet of His character. Carry that song or praise with you all day long.
My favorite line in this entire Psalm is in verse 14 where it reads that God upholds the falling and raises all who are bowed down. It’s such a comfort to know that God is my Restoration and Hope. He is the Lifter of My Head (Psalm 3) and my Strong Tower. So amazing.
To have found God and still pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart. - A.W. Tozer
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise Thou mine inheritance, now and always Thou and Thou only, first in my heart, High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.
"Be Thou My Vision": Ancient Irish Hymn
Be Thou My Vision is one of if not my favorite hymn. I love to sing it as a prayer to God asking for Him to be my only vision, treasure, love. Such hope found here in these words and melody. Such a prayer of honesty. I love it.
“The Spirit of God is in you; that is why Jesus said it was better for Him to go and the Spirit to come. Don’t walk away from this. Delve into it and let it impact you deeply, first internally and then outwardly.”—Francis Chan (via writingwrong)
Every now and then the Spirit burns something special into a person’s heart. With it comes a sense of completeness and wholeness. It’s a feeling of satisfaction and happiness that only God can give. These moments are rare. You know beyond knowing in such times that nothing in this world, no amount of stuff, will ever measure up to what Jesus Christ offers us. You wish to be wrapped in that kind of closeness forever. And you will! Just think on Paul’s words to the Corinthians, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror dimly, but then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I will know fully, even as I am fully known.”(1 Corinthians 13:12). Sometimes, for me, these moments issue forth in songs of worship. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit might draw you into a living encounter with our heavenly Father through the lyrics of this song.
Faithful Lord, fill my cup With Your grace and love Your grace and love The pleasures that this world’s sure of Will never be enough Can never be enough Cause I’m created for You alone Bought with a price I’m not my own Seated in the heavenlies And there’s no place I’d rather be Than with You, forever Lord You are my treasure.
- Chris Tomlin
Chris Tomlin is a lead worshipper, songwriter and lover of life, living in Austin, Texas. He is affectionately known by his closest friends as “Killer”.
After reading sections like this and songs like that I keep coming back to the question/reminder to myself of: Would I really rather be nowhere else that in the heavenlies with Jesus? Is He really all I want? I know that He is all I need… God teach me to love You more.
What if we all decided to actually live our lives in sacrifice for Jesus rather than only reaping the benefits of “believing in Jesus”. I think there is a stark contrast between believing and following. I can believe in something and never follow it. Jesus calls us to follow Him… are we?
My central claim is that we can become like Christ by doing one thing: by following Him in the overall style of life that He chose for Himself. If we have faith in Christ, we must believe that He knew how to live. We can, through faith and grace, become like Christ by practicing the types of activities He engaged in, by arranging our whole lives around the activities He Himself practiced to remain constantly at home in the fellowship of His Father. - Dallas Willard
Disciplines of Abstinence: Solitude Fasting Silence Frugality Chastity Secrecy Sacrifice
Disciplines of Engagement: Study Worship Celebration Service Prayer Fellowship Confession Submission
Taken from “The Spirit of the Disciplines,”Dallas Willard
One of the ways that we are able to draw near to God is by taking part in some of or all of (not at the same time) disciplines listed above. Abstaining from various things can help us to spend more time and give more focus to our relationships with God.
I did a study through The Celebration Of Discipline by Richard Foster not so very long ago. I’ve included below links to my former blog posts on the topics and my experiences in partaking in some of the disciplines of abstinence and engagement.
“God seemed to me, in that moment, a cruel father burning a scar into my skin with His cigarette. And yet I knew He was the only one with the power to make the pain go away.”—Donald Miller:A Million Miles In A Thousand Years