Praise God for being gracious to answer a lot of prayers last weekend at the Rock Retreat! I have heard from a lot of people who were impacted by the time up in Estes Park. And I know personally how God spoke to my own heart in a big way.
Three main sessions into the retreat, there was going to be an extended time for us to get away and spend some one-on-one time with God, walking with Him, talking with Him, listening to Him and chewing on what He had been showing us over the weekend.
A good friend and brother, Collin Tewalt, asked me if I felt as if God was showing me any common themes between all the different messages. I said, no, not really. God had definitely given me a lot to think about, some good things to follow through on when I got home, but in terms of a common, overarching theme, not so much.
The question did cause me to look over my notes in a different light, though. In doing so, it really seemed as if God was weaving a common thread between the different speakers.
Pat Sokoll told us the first night that an amazing life will not be a comfortable life; an amazing life requires faith and stepping out of your comfort zone. Do I want amazing?
The next morning, Rich Thatcher gave us with a big question to ponder: What is the next faith step God wants you to take?
Then John Meyer encouraged us with a video of several young men and women who believed God’s promises, sought His Kingdom and righteousness first, and said, “God, I will let You do whatever You want to do.” God used these young people to start Summitview Community Church that has since impacted thousands of lives for His eternal glory.
This theme of faith solidified even more the next day when I grabbed lunch with Dennis and Thelma Clark. They shared their own stories of faith, trusting God for the impossible and seeing Him come through in miraculous ways.
And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:18-20)
I am still working on the exact applications for my life from the retreat. I don’t know what the next faith step looks like, but here’s what I do know: I want it!
I want an amazing life! I want the faith filled life. I want to step out into scary situations where I am at the end of my own strength and have to rely on God’s.
I don’t want to settle. I don’t want to get comfortable. I don’t want the average American Christian life where I figure out how to “step out in faith” after I have enough in my savings account to fall back on just in case God doesn’t quite show up in ways I expect.
The men and women who really experienced God in the Bible were those who put their whole lives on the line and were in a position if God didn’t come through, they were (often literally) dead. There was no backup plan, no “just in case God isn’t faithful” fund. All the chips were out on the table. Jackpot or bust.
Of course I’m tempted to run away tomorrow, go to some crazy persecuted country, and preach Christ till I’m arrested or killed. Now that’s the faith-filled life, isn’t it? I think it can be. Or it can be me being discontent and believing the lie that the exciting life is always “out there” somewhere. Sometimes it takes more faith to stay.
The tricky thing about faith is that two people can be doing the exact same thing, going to the same 9-5 job, taking the same class, or going through the same morning routines with the kids. One person can be in faith while the other may not be. The faith-filled person is pleasing God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. The scary situation at work may be speaking up for Christ when no one else will. It may be sitting next to that kid in class that isn’t as popular and so your own reputation is at stake if you choose to love like Christ. It would be easier to let the kids just have their own way this once, but in faith, one steps out to apply Biblical principles to raising children despite how the kids will react.
I want to please God. I don’t know the specifics, but even that in itself is a chance to bring faith, trusting God’s leading into what can be an unknown future. Will I, every moment, live like God really exists and that He really rewards those who earnestly seek Him?
I am thankful for those who trusted God for the impossible, holding onto His promises in faith and saw Him come through in miraculous ways. I have considered the outcome of their way of life and I want it. Lord, help me imitate their faith.