(Photo: C3 Conference via The Christian Post)
After 34 years in ministry and spending most of that pastoring one church, Brian Houston, founding pastor of Hillsong Church in Sydney, said Friday that he doesn't want to become complacent and unaware of what God wants to do through him in the future.
Starting his message from Hebrew 13:12, the passage referring to some people entertaining angels without knowing, Houston urged church leaders at the C3 Conference in Dallas to not live their lives unaware of what God is doing around them.
He pointed to examples in the Bible of people unaware before they became aware. Eli was unaware that God had been speaking to the boy Samuel; Jacob had been unaware of God's presence; the disciples on the road to Emmaeus were unaware that Jesus, the Messiah, was walking alongside them.
"You can guarantee that there are things that we are unaware," the Australian preacher told a crowd at Fellowship Church. "We are unaware of God's purpose, unaware of God's plan, unaware of what God wants to do in a service like this.
"I want to encourage everyone here to not settle for living your life unaware."
The state of unawareness can take many forms, according to Houston. We could be spiritual unaware or not have the self-awareness of who we are in Christ. Other times, we could be so aware of certain inadequacies that we are unaware of our God-given potential and God-given opportunities, he said.
Houston recalled that as a young boy he had the hope that one day God would use him somehow. He said that now as he looked back to that time, while he never walked those streets near his childhood home again, he could realize the grace that God shown in his life.
However, the Pentecostal pastor emphasized that he doesn't want to grow complacent, being stuck in past endeavors that he is blind to God's plan for him moving forward.
"The last thing what I want to do is to look back and see what I've done... or have many conferences I've been to... and be unaware of what God's wants to do in my life the years ahead," he said.
Drawing from Proverbs 1:32, Houston elaborated on the destructive nature of complacency and called on church and ministry leaders to never settle for the middle ground. Being complacent robs us of the opportunities placed in front of us by God, he said.
"It sits in words like mediocre and lukewarmness and half-heartedness," Houston stated.
"If there is one thing that would bring out God's objection is that middle ground, just sitting somewhere in the middle."
Houston said Esau was indifferent to the birthright of God so he sold it for some stew.
He cautioned pastors and church leaders against looking elsewhere other than their indifference to find the answer to their problems.
"The biggest challenge is not opportunity. It's just sitting there in the middle ground."
"I pray in Jesus name that we won't say to our soul anything that gets us to settle for easy street that gets us to miss our God-given opportunity," Houston told the audience. "He (God) can do more for you than you could ever dreamed."
Houston's message Friday concluded the C3 2011 Dallas/ Fort Worth Conference, which kicked off Wednesday. The annual gathering of pastors and church leaders is designed to inspire ministers to take their church to the next level.
Other notable speakers at the conference included Fellowship Church pastor Ed Young, televangelist Joyce Meyer, the Potter's House's Bishop T.D. Jakes, The City Church's Judah Smith and Elevation Church's Steven Furtick.