Today we leave for a church retreat in Malaysia. There will be over a 120 of us who will be relating to one another in a deeper way than before, spending time with the Lord and with each other in prayer and fellowship from 8-12 June 2013.
We have spent Sunday afternoons each Sunday from January to May 2013 in discussing and experiencing God in our Bible study. Now we move to a retreat situation, away from the hustle and bustle of daily leaving to a golf resort in Malaysia, where we will be shut in with God each morning, listening and being exhorted from His Word, praying together and having application in bonding exercises with the whole family of God away from the call of home.
We expect to be Awakened for the theme of our retreat week is “Awakening”. Will there be an awakening or a revival?
There was an evangelistic outreach last Sunday which evidenced that our Bible Study Experiencing God with Henry Blackaby and his son Richard has revived evangelistic fervor – several were invited to our evangelistic outreach, where previously there would have been no new one.
There was an increase in the prayer meeting attendance recently
and now what are we expecting for retreat from the world?
Ephesians 5:14 Wake up from your sleep, Climb out from your coffins; Christ will show you the light. (MSG)
QUOTE from my church bulletin to prepare us for the retreat:
Awakening is a process of getting out of a sleeping mode, waking from our deadness and experiencing Christ’s transformation light. While there is an initial awakening to new life in Christ, there remain many areas that need further awakening.
What is worrying is that a Christian can fall back to the state of slumber and remain dead. It was out of this concern that we want to ask God to quicken us to who we really are in Christ. We want to work with God to bring about awakening. It is everyone’s responsibility to seek spiritual renewal. It is also the parent’s responsibility to pray and prepare the way for our children’s awakening. This is not something that happens automatically or to be taken for granted. It is not something that happens within one or even five years. It is an on-going work of the Holy Spirit.
Holistic awakening must include 3 dimensions
- Personal awakening – we have been praying and working towards personal revival and renewal. We need to be awakened to God’s love and the Father heart of God through the use of LECTIO DIVINA as a method of reading the Scriptures, we learn to remain awake to God’s personal word and communion.
- Relational awakening happens when we learn to walk in the light and practice Christ’s acceptance. For many of us, relationship is an on-going area of struggle and growth. There are people we are “trying” to love, children we are trying to connect with, marriages that are still grappling with issues.
- Missional awakening, we need to grow in our passion for outreach and missions. It was St Irenaeus that made this startling comment “The glory of God is man fully alive.”
It has been said in his blog by 4hispraise in Expecting the Unexpected that “The sequence of events in each of our lives has probably brought meaning to tnat expression. Perhaps early in life we had been warned to avoid high expectations at the risk of being disappointed. The idea; “Don’t get your hopes too high” comes with a warning voiced by Oswald Chambers in his writings as he cautions us to the contrary, when he states emphatically that our problem may be that often we do not expect as much as we should. That. “we expect too little”. His reference, of course, relates to the power and promises of tshe Lord; and that we might well expect miracles big and small.”
So as I join the rest of my church members at the retreat, I believe it is only when we see Christ high and lifted up that we shall see the light of Christ and live for Him in spirit and in truth.
And as we see the glory of God descend, may we draw closer to Him for there is none like Jesus.
Then we shall lift the Name of God on high
The Everlasting God – we shall wait upon Him and we will be strengthened.
He will be more than we expect. Amen.