It’s been a year since the Global Discipleship Conference (GDC) in Manila where I first came across the person of Dr. Ravi Zacharias whose global ministry (in defense of the Christian faith) already spans 40 years. (Where have I been all these years?).
I became curious about him and his work when every time his name was called during the conference, a thunderous applause would break from the audience. By the time he left the podium after his second talk on that life-changing event, I had been inextricably hooked to the divine pull of brilliant mind and gracious heart beneath an impeccably-dressed, debonair sage of a man.
His speaking skill?
Words fail me.
The spontaneity and wisdom by which he shares God’s truth gush forth from his being like a fresh spring whose waters never fail.
Dr. Ravi’s presence at the GDC last year left me awestruck. Before I hit the hay on the night the conference ended, I had searched him on you tube and read about him online. In the next few weeks that followed, I would listen with rapt excitement to his radio broadcast in my iPad. I subscribed to his channel and “stalked” him online. My mantra then was, “A Ravi a day keeps distractions away and makes Twinnie’s day.” His messages cut deep, enflame my desire to delve deeper into God’s Word and inspire me to run the race with perseverance.
On the 17th of May 2014, he came back. Two weeks before, I decided to forego a prior commitment which, unbeknownst to me, fell on the scheduled date of the conference. Without batting an eyelash, I passed up the opportunity to meet longtime friends I had’nt seen for ages to experience Dr. Ravi in the flesh. This was an opportunity, I could not for the life of me, let go.
The theme was “ Unshakable – Standing Firm in Changing Times.” – definitely the need of the hour.
Dr. Ravi and his team members—Dr. Nabeel Qureshi and Krish Dhanam—came. We saw. Eleven thousand hearts were conquered.
Wow. If these were the kind of men I would bump into in heaven and have chit-chat with, every day would be a day to look forward to in eternity. (and that’s for free. No more tickets to pay to secure a front row seat to listen to them).
I am sure I was not the only one who left the CCF center with a full heart, inspired spirit and challenged mind. In our layman’s term, one word describes it all — bitin, especially the time for the Q&A where Dr. Ravi spoke with the wisdom that could only sprout from 40 years of doing God’s work.
Praise God for Dr. Ravi — dapper in his late 60s, poised and gracious even when thrown questions that betray the questioner’s shallow mindset. He, as always, brings God’s truth into the thinking heart.
I know it is not right to adore a mortal. This is exactly what Dr. Ravi emphasized when an awe-struck young man expressed his deep admiration to him during the QA portion of the conference. Ever gracious, he thanked the questioner for the kind words but gently pleaded with him to redirect his focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, who deserves the honor. He said he has his share of weaknesses and frailties that the audience has no knowledge about. He is after all a mere servant.
He was right.
But boy does he represent the Master well!
Is it his soothing voice? His inspired spontaneity? His disarming smile? His predictable wit? His candid anecdotes? His awe-inspiring knack for reciting long quotations and poems? Or is it his ability to make you reflect hard, long after he’s left the podium? Maybe it’s everything about him.
One thing is for sure — he inspires. Nope, he’s not the type who lights up a room by leaving (as Krish Dhanam jokes) but one whose presence -whose message- jolts the heart with inexplicable hope and expectation for our unshakable God.
Unshakablewas an A-1 conference. We all left on high note and with fire in our hearts to shake the world with the love of the Lord. The call was to remain unshakable in the midst of accelerated and unprecedented onslaught of worldly lures and philosophies – all glorifying the temporal.
Very very soon the rock of ages will appear in glory.
Will you be counted among the unshaken?
When he comes, will you shake with joy? Or terror?
“Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.” (John 5:22-23)
Click THIS for more of Dr. Zacharias and his ministry.