Monday, 25 June 2012

A Time To Retreat.

I recently got the privilege to spend a couple of days away on a silent retreat.  I must admit at first I was a little unsure of what I was in for but I knew deep in my spirit that it was going to be an amazing time.  The location of the retreat was on the coast and for me there was an almost immediate connection with the place.  There was an amazing peace that quite simply surpassed all understanding and the feeling of God being present was strong.   As we entered a time of silence on the evening of the first night there was an immediate shift within me.
For the first time in who knows how long I felt as though there was nothing but me, God and the creation.  The things of the college and of life were far removed and there was no need to be anywhere, no schedule to keep and no people to please.  It was just a time for me to sit with God, wherever He wanted me to be, and to simply reflect and contemplate.

As a Salvo, the thought of doing nothing I guess can be quite hard to grasp.  We are a movement that always seems to be busy doing something.  As I spent the next few days in silence and simply just being with God I was reminded of my past blogs and lessons learned.  The first was about Mary and Martha.  In the business of life (Martha) we can get so busy that we actually forget to spend time with God.  Mary chose to remove herself from the busyiness of life and simply bask in His presence.  The second lesson is like it:  To simply be rather than do.  Over the past few months I have been constantly reminded through many different forms about these two simple ideas.  Even today God reminded me of the importance of intentionally spending time with Him.  In Revelation 2:4 Jesus told the church of Ephesus that they had forgotten their first love.  Everything else they had done didn't matter if Jesus was neglected.

Friends, we are not only living in a busy world we are also living in the times that the bible says are the toughest of all.  The opposition against the church is truly amazing and the enemy is throwing everything he can at us in order to distract and destroy us.  Did I have time to go away on a retreat for a few days??  Probably not (even though it was scheduled) but the time I spent alone with God, away from the distractions was priceless.  I urge you all, make time for Jesus and rekindle that first love.  This time I speak of is more than a simple quiet time, it is intentionally setting an extended time of reflection and contemplation in order to draw closer to God.  Instead of praying that God will provide for our lists of wants (and the things we think we need) maybe we should be praying that God would change us.  That our desire would be for nothing else other than God Himself because really when you think about it, the rest is just distraction.  I heard a quote recently that said that there are lots of christians, just not saved ones - Michael Youseff.  Being saved is more than insuring our eternal destiny, it's about an intimacy with God.   Living, eating breathing Jesus in everything.

The only way to do that, is by physically removing ourselves from the distraction and focussing completely on Him.  Try it, I dare you.

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