Winter Retreat 2019
If you went on retreat, encountered the Lord, and are now back to living your everyday life, you know that things aren’t the same as they were at retreat. But just because we’re not on the mountain anymore does not mean that God has stopped loving you, stopped being all-powerful, or stopped wanting to build a relationship with you. We hope that these letters help you through the struggles and hardships that we all face when coming back home after retreat, pointing you to the truths that God has said in His Word.
Letters from our leadership team for when you encounter different struggles that come when trying to live a life for God.
At some point before we’ve all cried out “I will never do it again God!” At retreats, it’s easy to lay down a relationship, habit, or sin because “in the moment” it may feel right. Yet we find ourselves entering into the things we said we wouldn’t because we lack the required foundational process of consistency and placing our emotions in God’s hands.
Every time I would go to God, all I can think about is how my prayers aren’t good enough, how I need to find the exact right passage to read every day, how my feelings aren’t passionate enough, my focus not perfect. So often we come before God thinking we need to clean ourselves up to stand before Him, but what He really wants is for us to pour out our brokenness before Him and allow Him to heal us.
If you are sitting there feeling like you have sinned too much, having done that thing that you promised you would never do, if you feel like you have this snowball of sin rolling down the hill faster and faster gathering more and more sin, remember that God is gracious and willing to forgive you.
Feeling God is awesome, but our faith cannot be bossed around by our feelings. Our feelings (though real and important to acknowledge) cannot be the foundation of our faith, the same way anything important in life isn’t based on emotions. But the beauty of it is that He never asks us to do anything alone on our own human strength, but challenges us to lean on Him in the things we can’t accomplish by ourselves.
As a Christian you are faced with daily decisions to give into the desires of your flesh or obey The Lord and His commands. But when you have peers that pressure you to make the wrong decisions, it can be hard to do what we know is right.
“I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” Romans 7:15 It might feel like you’re running on a treadmill trying to take hold of this sin issue, but you’re going nowhere. You’re just running in place and fall right back where you started, in that sin. Why is that? Because in our own fleshly body, we cannot save ourselves and are in desperate need for a Rescuer.
“How do I grow in my walk with Jesus? How do I know that God is really telling me to do this and it isn’t just something that I want to do? How do I help those who need to know about the Lord when I don’t understand everything myself?”
Sometimes when we follow God we feel more confused than confident.
“So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to His service and pleasing to Him. This is the true worship that you should offer.” - Romans 12.1 The reality of the matter is that God WANTS you to serve Him, so you must be obedient to the calling He’s placed upon you.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
“And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us” – Hebrews 12:1. While finishing the race is where we are to focus our eyes and what will ultimately motivate us through the journey, each step that carries us is not always easy. While finishing the race is where we are to focus our eyes and what will ultimately motivate us through the journey, each step that carries us is not always easy. So what does it take to keep moving?