There’s a worship song that I love, called “I Just Want To Know Your Heart” and the pre-chorus says, ’silence the noise with your voice, your words, your truth, speak directly to me, I’m listening.’ I thought about this lyric a lot during the last week of SLAM this summer. Throughout the week I was able to attend worship and hear the bible sessions every morning and evening. After each evening session, many of the students headed back to the church they were staying at to continue to worship with one another, something that I had the opportunity to join in on toward the end of the week. Those times were precious, as it was an opportunity for us to gather as young people unified by a desire to engage the Lord. We worshipped and talked for hours about the Lord and how he was alive and stirring our hearts.
When I was in high school, engaging the Lord was not a priority of mine. However, these middle and high schoolers attending SLAM are hungry. Hungry to know God, to hear his Word and apply it to their lives. So much ‘noise’ can distract us from hearing the voice of the Lord in our lives, especially as young people. In a world that values money, success and status, it can be difficult to clearly hear the words of Jesus that tell us that “the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing (John 5:19).” Jesus’ words give us the example, the truth that God gives us that set us free from any expectations that we may feel around us: if we want to know God’s heart, we follow Jesus’ example. And the Father’s values are not in money, success and status - his values are in his people. If we want to live out the truth, God’s heart should be rooted in all of us.
As I looked around the room during worship, I was reminded that God is so alive, and that he is moving even in the hearts of young people. It’s not very common to see young people want to commit to serving the Lord, and yet that room was full of people who were so hungry for the word of God. Being young doesn’t keep us from being able to engage God, it puts us in the position of a student. I’m 20 years old, going into my third year of learning the Bible in college - I am young. But the lessons that I have been learning in my classes have become the most valuable encouragement that I have to offer. During SLAM, I watched those lessons make their way into conversations with the SLAM students. Those conversations led to moments of prayer and worship, and deeper friendships developed because of how the word of God brought us all together. God’s heart became the connecting piece between us all. 1 Timothy 4:12 says “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” I am only a few years older than most of the SLAM students who were attending that week. We are united in the fact that we want God to continue to be the central focus of our hearts, and that we are in the position of students, eager to learn the truth and allow it to illuminate us.