“Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” (John 2:23-25 NKJV)
People attend Christian conferences for different reasons. Some attend because of the possibility of receiving miracles while some go because it offers them opportunity of meeting and reuniting with old friends. There are still others who attend just to enjoy the warmth of the crowd and forget about their problems for a while. There are some who attend purely for diabolical intents –to steal, to kill and to destroy in one way or the other. There are also those who attend because they are truly seeking the Lord with their hearts and ardently desire to grow in their knowledge of Him. Our text suggests that God seems to have different responses for different participants depending of the overarching motive for their participation. He is able to respond to people differently because, as our text indicated, “He knew what was in man.” What a sobering reality! All of these categories of people were present at the World Congress. Which one of them are you? What you do with the information and impartations you received at the Congress would largely point to which group you belong. In this regards, there are actually only two groups –those who came to encounter God and be transformed by His Spirit and those who came any other thing. For this last group, attending a conference is an end in itself. For those who came to encounter God, it is the beginning of a transformation journey in christlikeness.
Those who came for other things, merely for what they could get from God and other mundane reasons, and who probably got what they desired have since shared their testimonies and reverted back to their old lifestyles. They have gone back to prayerlessness, to indifference to their personal Bible reading/study, and have taken up again the God-displeasing habit of lateness to church functions. They have gone back to self-centred religion and have continued to show utter disregard to the demand of soul winning and caring for the needy. Our Lord gave them their heart desires but refused to entrust Himself to them because He does not trust them! “But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew human nature. No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like” (John 2:24-25 NLT). Come to think about it, God can actually answer the prayers of people He didn’t trust and give them great miracles. Such an experience as this amounts to nothing but an unfortunate tragedy. When you love what God can give you more than Him, God regards you as an idol worshipper. The Prophet Ezekiel therefore declared, “Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols” (Ezekiel 14:4, NKJV). Do you have any idol in your heart? Remember Balaam the prophet (Numbers 22).
The other category of people are those who attend a Christian conference because they desire the sincere milk of the word of God so they could grow more in christlikeness (1 Peter2: 2). Their attitude after the conference is that of determined pursuit of God. Their attitude will be more like that of the Berean believers, of whom the Bible testified saying, “And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth” (Acts 17:11 NLT). They listened to the preaching of the apostles with open-mind, implying they were teachable. They were willing to change their ways once they are convinced that what they were taught was the truth of the Word of God. They diligently searched the scriptures daily to ascertain the truth so they could believe it and practice it. If they had lived today, they would buy the recorded messages of the conference and take time to listen to them over and over again to make sure they got every point clear. They would go through the notes and prepare action plans on how to apply the teaching they heard. For such people as these, the Holy Spirit takes the word of God they are reflecting on and weaves them into their experience to achieve transformation. The expected result for participating in the world congress is positive change in the form of steady growth in Christlikeness. Make it happen in your life in Jesus name.