Why This Year's Conference May Be the Most Strategic

Why This Year's Conference May Be the Most Strategic

I wrote yesterday that the upcoming Desiring God National Conference may be the most strategic one we’ve ever held. Besides the reasons I gave in the four minute video invitation, there are others. I will mention only one in this blog post.

I believe there are hundreds of people ("Finishers" in their 50's and 60's and 70's, as well as students and younger adults) whom God will call into vocational missions at this conference. He is preparing them right now—some of them, even as they read these words.

Why do I think this?

Ponder how God calls people from one line of work to another. It is astonishing that in Acts 13:47, when Paul gives the basis for his call to the gentiles, he does not refer to the Damascus Road experience. He refers to Isaiah 49:6:

For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”

This is amazing, not only because he does not refer to his first encounter with Jesus on the Damascus Road, but also because this command in Isaiah 49 is not addressed to Paul but to the Servant of the Lord. And that Servant is Israel in Isaiah 49:3, and is the Israel-embodying Messiah in verse 49:5.

But Paul hears a life-altering word—a call, a commission—to himself personally in Isaiah 49:6.

That is how God does it. Many experiences in our life come together under God’s providence, and then there is a point—a flashpoint, a watershed moment—when something in the Bible becomes overwhelmingly personal to us. God has spoken to us! A call has happened. Our life is forever altered.

That is what I expect to happen for hundreds at this conference. And the ripple effect of those altered lives will be incalculable for decades and centuries to come.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.