In a culture obsessed with curating the perfect image on social media, Christians need to be willing to look “foolish” for Jesus to bring about revival, evangelist Christine Caine told thousands of college students gathered at the Passion 2019 Conference.
We live in one of the craziest times in history, Caine told the nearly 40,000 students attending the 21st annual event, and “so many people are blaming everyone.”
“[They say] it's a moral problem, it’s a social problem, it’s an economic problem, it’s political problem,” she said. “But it’s a faith issue. We have too many unbelieving believers.”
“We need a generation of college students that say, ‘We believe God,’” she declared. “You and I are called to take God to our generation; you and I are God-carriers in our generation.”
She asked attendees, “If Jesus was to walk in our midst today, what kind of faith would He find? Would we have faith that amazes Jesus? Would we have faith that causes Jesus to marvel?
“You don’t need to be the most educated, you don’t need to be the smartest. You just need a faith that recognizes He is the son of God and all He needs to do is just say the word. If He said it in His word, it shall come to pass. We need that kind of faith to be unleashed throughout our colleges in this nation.”
God doesn’t always use His children in expected ways, Caine contended, adding, “Stop limiting God to what you can think of, because your God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above what you can think of.”
“You can’t impress God, but you can amaze Him with your faith,” she added. “What is it about your faith that could activate a miracle on your campus?”
We’re so busy carefully curating our social media personas and filtering photos, Caine lamented, that we fail to cultivate a private life with Jesus that would fill us with the power of the Holy Spirit.
“If we stop trying to amaze each other and we started amazing God, God would do amazing things in and through our lives,” she stated. “Here’s the great news of the Gospel: You don’t have to be awesome, because He is awesome, and you just need to recognize that He is awesome.”
The evangelist revealed she endured 12 years of childhood sexual abuse and was bullied because of her Greek heritage. Today, she's the head of A21, an international anti-human trafficking organization, and Propel, a women's organization dedicated to helping women realize their purpose, passion and potential.
“I never thought I was anything; I just realized He is everything,” she said. “In a world that is obsessed with curating our public image, we wonder why we lack private power. You only have private power in the private space with Jesus.
“He brings healing, He brings wholeness. I’m not pressured to perform, I just have to believe ... that He is who He says He is.”
The modern concept of Christians is that they are weird, intolerant and narrow, Caine said, and “we just have to accept that.”
“What we need is a generation of radical, Jesus revolutionaries that say, ‘You know what, I don’t need to look slick, I don’t need to look cool, I don’t need to be the best at anything, I don't have to curate my life, it doesn’t need to be filtered, I don’t need to work an algorithm, I just have to get in my prayer clothes and I have to know my God,” she said.
Caine stressed that culture wants us to keep impressing each other so we fail to amaze God: “Our world is in such a mess,” she said. “We need believing believers. That is what is going to be the key to moving forward. We will be known as either the generation that amazes God because of our belief, or amazes God because of our unbelief.”
Satan is after our trust, she said, explaining that if the "enemy can undermine your trust in God as a father, then you’re going to try to control your life yourself."
But our calling from God is not a career path, she said. Rather, it’s a “journey where we follow Him” — and that requires trust.
“A faith-filled life is not a pain-exempt life,” she said, “but there’s a faith that says, ‘Jesus, I believe you’re going to be there for me when I’m in the valley of the shadow of death.’ As you keep walking with Him, He’s going to be with you and He’s going to take care of you."
Jesus came to make us “dangerous to the kingdom of darkness,” she said, but that requires risk.
“The assault on this generation is trying to make you pull back, live safe, don’t take any risks,” she said. “Let’s break some of those chains and shackles off those cages. You were not created to live a small life. You were not created to live a safe life. You were created to live a life of faith.”
“I have a sense the Lord is going to do something so unusual with your generation, but take the pressure off yourself about feeling like you need to be good enough or smart enough,” she said.
“Would we have a generation of people that would stop trying to amaze each other with a perfectly publicly curated life and would begin to cultivate a personal faith and intimacy with Jesus, so that we would cause Him to marvel?" she asked. "When Jesus marvels, Jesus does awesome miracles. When Jesus marvels, things happen. All you need to do is go, ‘I believe He is who He says He is.”
“You’re going to have to be willing to look foolish,” she concluded. “This is what’s going to set us apart in these days.”
The event, held in Atlanta, Dallas, and Washington, D.C., also featured Matt Chandler, Louie Giglio, and Chad Veach, with music by Lecrae, Kari Jobe, and other popular worship artists.