Dear Church Family,
We had a blast on our Student Retreat just a few weeks ago! We took a group of 68 people (that’s 54 students and 14 adults) to Highland Lakes Baptist Camp to get away and focus on the Lord. The goal is to remove distractions and seek the Lord so He can do what He wants to do in our lives. We even take the students’ phones away during the day! At first they hate that, but just 48 hours later they are so happy we did it. It allows them to be focused on what’s happening right in front of them. It allows God to speak to them with less distraction. And God was speaking for sure! At least 5 students prayed to receive Christ, and many others had a deep work done in their hearts.
So maybe that is the key to having a vibrant relationship with Jesus? Maybe we should take 2, even 3 retreats every year so that God can grow us? Well, there’s a problem with this… that’s nowhere near enough retreating for God to do the work that He wants to do in our hearts. We need to retreat to Him way more than just a handful of times throughout the year for us to have a vibrant relationship with God. Think about it. What if you only spent about 5 weekends out of the year with your spouse or children? Those weekends would mean so much, but you would not have a very meaningful relationship with your family. You’d barely know them. You’d constantly be trying to catch up on all the time you missed. None of us would say that is an ideal relationship. So why do we often think about our relationship with Jesus like that? As if we can know Him and love Him well by giving Him a few weekends out of the year, or even just one day out of the week. Do you see that disconnect in our thinking?
That is why I have recently been talking to the students about our need for a daily retreat to the Lord. We can retreat to Him each and every day and encounter the same life-changing Spirit who we are so attentive to when we “get away.” I call this time a quiet time. It is a time that I get away from distractions and focus on God through His word and prayer. We all know we ought to do this. But what if we started thinking about this time as our daily retreat? It’s our time to focus on God and be changed by Christ in us. Wouldn’t you love to have the life-changing experience we tend to have on retreats more often than just once or twice a year? What if God isn’t making changes in your heart because you aren’t retreating to Him enough? This isn’t a work that you must do to win God’s favor. This is you putting your faith into action! Do we believe God can grow us and make us less angry, less anxious, less selfish, less depressed, less afraid, more motivated, more loving, more joyful, more patient, more zealous for good works? Then let’s retreat to Him more often and watch Him go to work in our lives!