Over Valentine's Day weekend, we had the joy of attending the Linger Conference held at Watermark Community Church. Besides the fact it gave us a great excuse as to why we weren't with a man on Valentine’s (kidding), we found ourselves counting down the days till we were there to just be still in the presence of our one true love. We don’t know if that’s hard for anyone else, but for us, sitting still is quite the task. Ben Stuart gave the greatest analogy for those of us that are constantly on the move but not moving forward. We’re like an octopus on roller skates- juggling a lot of things chaotically but not going anywhere!

The two days consisted of sermons, worship sessions and a panel discussion back to back from 9am to 9pm, both days. You may think, "wow that’s a lot of time to do anything!" And yes, by the end of each evening we were wiped out, but to spend that much time learning from the most amazing pastors, from our beloved Todd Wagner and Jonathan Pokluda, to Ben Stuart, Tullian Tchividjian and Randy Alcorn, then worshiping with Shane & Shane, People & Songs, Phil Wickham and Kari Jobe, it was a weekend of being rejuvenated and poured into. 

More than that though, we had built in breaks and opportunities to “linger” (stay in a place longer than necessary, typically because of a reluctance to leave) in the Linger Room. This was a sweet time of resting in God’s presence. The only noise in the room was acoustic worship music being sung over us as we meditated on God’s word, journaled honest prayers and asked the Holy Spirit to speak to us. The topic that surprisingly affected both of us this weekend was, get ready for it... LOVE. How mind-blowingly cliché, right? We learned about love on Valentine’s Day, the day celebrating love just not in the way you would assume. 

Growing up in Christian homes we have had a clear, knowledgeable understanding of Christ’s love for us. But to believe it in our hearts is a completely different thing. We may find ourselves doing the greatest of feats “in the name of Jesus” but without love in our actions, they are empty (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). Multiple times over the weekend we heard, “your actions portray what you believe to be true.” How do your actions reveal what’s in your heart? The Christian life is to be marked with fearlessness and freedom. How would you act if you truly felt fearless and free? What would you do different? 

Tullian gave a great sermon on the distinct difference in Law and Grace. He said in reference to Law that instruction in and of itself can not inspire. That is not part of it’s job description. He touched on how our culture has a tendency to be spiritually narcissistic meaning we focus inwardly on how the gospel is transforming our lives versus focusing on Christ’s substitution which is the foundation of it all. “Don’t confuse the fruit with the root,” as Tullian said. We know firsthand how it can be to get in a routine and do things that we know are best for us without having the heart behind it. But how do we inspire the heart change? In Ben Stuart’s sermon on Love, he point blankly stated, “if you have a hard time feeling love just picture Christ on the cross.” God doesn’t say “LOVE ME,” He says, “I love you” (1 John 4:19). What happens to your heart when someone looks at you and says, “Hey, I love you, whether or not you say it back. I’m also going to keep telling you I love you, no matter what. My feelings for you will never change.”? More than likely you've never heard someone say just that and have the confidence that they mean it 100%, but the creator of the heavens and the earth is saying that to you, right now. 

To wrap up, here are a few quotes that resounded the most to us:

Spiritual maturity is not just knowledge and obedience. It’s the enjoyment of God. -JP

The law demands everything but gives nothing, and the gospel demands nothing but gives everything. -Tullian

You’ll never want to know God’s will for you more than God wants to reveal it to you. -Todd

Subjective affections burn off the fuel of objective truth. -Ben

The life of ease is deadly to the development of Christ-like character. -Randy

Do not be in a hurry to leave God’s presence. (Ecclesiastes 8:3) -Shane

You will not want to miss next year. For more information about The Linger Conference and to stay updated, click here

The Heiresses

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