Timotheus Pope doesn’t want to mislead you. He’s not a pastor. He’s the director of a Christian sports camp and it shows. His no nonsense, fast-paced, ultra inspirational delivery are components that I’m sure have driven many a legendary athlete to greatness and, on Saturday night, December 29th, it was used to encourage hundreds of Impact conferees to strive for spiritual, mental, and moral fitness.
His deep reverence for the Lord was immediately challenging and sobering. “God saved you and is worthy of your worship. But, to be honest, He would be worthy of your worship even if He didn’t save you.” His numerous articulations about God’s sovereignty and omnipotence were both humorous and matter-of-fact. There was something about Mr. Pope’s desire to, as he puts it, “not just be acquainted with God’s works but His ways” that stirred something up in me. He invoked a competitive edge in my spirit that I only feel when I meet someone truly exceptional. It goes something like…“Dag, I wanna love God like THAT!!”
For me, the highlight of the message was how clear the need to have a heart that is softened toward God at all times became. As Mr. Pope took us through Jeremiah 44, he showed us how being spiritually unfit wasn’t a state of passivity or inertia, but conscious choice. The inhabitants of Judah had gone rogue and stopped filtering things through their understanding of God’s word. Aren’t we all prone to this kind of hardening? In our flesh, isn’t this our reflexive response when get restless or frustrated and things aren’t going our way? It is only with a deliberate softening of our hearts that we can begin to look for God in every place and in anything. By the end of the evening session, I realized that this is where Mr. Pope’s passion that so captivated me had come from.
The key to being the mission in action is framing everything by our relationship with God. Having eyes and ears that look and listen for Him everywhere. Developing a Biblical understanding which fully grasps the idea that the Bible can cut to our souls and speak into our hearts because God’s Word is more than good. It’s true. No, Mr. Pope certainly did not disappoint during his first time ministering at the Impact Conference. His obedience to the Holy Spirit was so palpable. I hope to hear from him again (and again) in years to come.