We gather with once-a-year friends, to hear the message–Christ in you, the hope of glory. This year was our 32nd year of retreat. After a long search, our coordinator Don found a new place called Ladore Retreat and Conference Center. This Salvation Army Camp is top of the line, and in the basic vicinity of where we met before.
Our speakers were a long time speaker, Steve Pettit, Tim Chalas, and the mystery guest, Ralph Harris.
Some truths that stood out for me:
“Catch & Release” (as in fishing), that we are to catch what God has to say to us and release it to others in love…in love.
Jesus is not a complement to our lives, to help us achieve…he is the life. No, Jesus didn’t come to make me successful but to be sacrificial in everything.
“We are heart-wired to live sacrificially.”
I’ve heard these truths before, but as a student of the Word, I need a refresher course.
These verses are some of my favorites, and here rest means he will vacation you. What a comforting thought!
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
The Holy Spirit is convincing you that you have it all in Christ. He convicts us, but it doesn’t mean he accuses us. He is our Comforter.
One passage that renewed me was Galatians 5.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:16-25 ESV (underline, my emphasis)
In verse 17 the flesh, Holy Spirit, and you are the actors in this scene. Who is having the conflict in you? Who is fighting? The Holy Spirit is going at it with the flesh.
Who is feeling it? I am!
I am feeling the conflict and I don’t have to fix it, in fact I should stay out of it. It should not be my goal to resolve the fight when the Holy Spirit is fighting for me. The Holy Spirit is active in me. He is the security expert, the fruit bearer. While the Holy Spirit is taking to task our flesh, we feel it, but we must sit on the sidelines.
There are many things I could say about the retreat, but the biggest thing for me is first, finding myself off-center. While I think I am looking through life with the lens of God, I am not. Things become clear to me as I refocus.
The most important thing for me is to remember God is not large and distant, always ready to shake a finger at me if I’m not good, or doing enough.
I am enough, He told me so.
Christ is in me and I in him. That is enough. I have all I need for this life. I remember, rehearse this, and keep close to my heart.
It’s amazing how real this world seems, but it’s not. We get bogged down in all the troubles, and worry and forget our focus. Being constantly in touch with media and its disturbing reports can make us fear and wonder.
You can argue with me or not—the earth is about 6,000 years old and on it’s way out. The real life—that’s what we can’t see, the eternal life is living in us…some of us.
Is it living in you? Do you have it? Don’t miss out.