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Collegians urged to shun being ‘king’ of their lives

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)–Everyone wants to be king for a day — to be in charge and answerable to no one.
It may sound appealing, Richard Blackaby told students at the Sept. 24-26 CrossSeekers collegiate discipleship conference in Orlando, Fla., but instead of offering freedom, it wraps people in chains of their own sin and pride.
Blackaby, president of Canadian Baptist Theological Seminary, stressed to the students the need for accountability among fellow believers, which is the essence of the CrossSeekers covenant. Blackaby and his father, “Experiencing God” author Henry Blackaby, co-wrote “CrossSeekers: Discipleship for a New Generation,” which outlines how to have a positive witness on campus by living out the biblical principles of integrity, spiritual growth, witness, service, purity and Christlike relationships.
More than 600 students from five states — Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas — attended the weekend conference.
King David loved to worship God, Blackaby said, but he also fell in love with his own authority. The people of Israel knew their king had entered into a covenant with God but because of David’s position of authority, no one questioned his deeds or stood up to him for what was right.
“If people don’t have the freedom to speak up to you, God always has the freedom and he makes use of it,” Blackaby said, noting that God used the prophet Nathan to tell David where he had fallen short in his commitment.
“When you enter into a covenant, you’re not king anymore,” Blackaby told the students. “God may put you in positions to make decisions, but they’re not your decisions. They’re his.
“Isn’t it tempting sometimes to live our lives like we are king,” Blackaby asked, “not the king of the world but the king of our lives?”
Because human weakness keeps believers from seeking after God with all their heart, “we need to be encouraged to do the right thing,” he said. “You need to give someone the permission and the freedom to step in and say something when they see you in danger.”
God takes promises very seriously, Blackaby warned. When people broke covenant with God in the Bible, God described it as spiritual adultery — choosing to love someone more than him.
“God isn’t interested in the promises you make,” Blackaby said. “He’s interested in your obedience. A thousand promises aren’t worth one act of obedience to God.
“When you enter a covenant, it is a sacred promise. You respond to him as God and invite him to hold you accountable.”
In another message, Gregg Matte, director of Breakaway Ministries in Bryan, Texas, said being authentic in one’s relationship with God means being a person of integrity on the inside as well as the outside.
“Are we who Christ Jesus created us to be in our lifestyle, 24/7 [24 hours, seven days a week], with no onstage or offstage?” Matte asked.
He showed a video clip of the opening of “The Truman Show” film to illustrate the facades people put up to manipulate reality.
“As much as we are tired of the pyrotechnics in the movies, the world is tired of the pyrotechnics of the Christian life [of] fireworks but nothing behind them, that go off and then go back to being lights that don’t shine at all,” he said.
Matte told the students, God isn’t:
— a Santa Claus who gives you what you think you’ve earned.
— a probation officer who hands out grace on an installment plan.
— a buddy who gives you another option to decide from.
— a drug that you take to change your feelings or to make you feel better.
“Worship isn’t a drug, it’s a vitamin,” Matte said. “It isn’t to get you on a high but to get you to grow.”
Matte warned the students not to confuse the products of the Christian life with its roots. He encouraged them to avoid putting their trust in feelings, fellowship, Christian activities or blessings.
“Real authenticity cannot be faked,” he said. “It is shown in what you are rooted in — and authentic faith is rooted in Christ.”
The CrossSeekers rally was sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Florida Baptist Convention.

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  • Kristi Hodge