One of the common discussions that emerged from Retreat de Moxie over the weekend is that we didn't feel beat up because it wasn't as introspective as past retreats. To be honest, I've had to release my disappointment in not having the intensity level that I so love. Being the prophet that I am, I love a good Holy Spirit wake up call. They may not be fun, but they are oh so good.
This evening I had a brief conversation with my friend, Emily. When I told her my struggle, she told me that this year's retreat was just as intense for her as the other years and she began to tell me about what God is asking her to do and why it will be difficult. She articulated it beautifully and I'm not going to steal her story for this blog, so either I'll ask her to write a guest post about it (please, Emily?) or you will have to ask her to fill you in. It's good stuff.
The planned theme that we focused on over our weekend together was understanding the importance of sharing the story of Jesus in our lives with those who don't follow Him. After the first session, speaking and music, it became clear that another major focus of the weekend was the holiness of God. Beautiful worship and discussion filled up the space of the building, as well as the space of our hearts. Maybe it didn't slap us around, but it drove many of us to our knees.
I was thinking, praying, and surrendering any results that my flesh wanted from the retreat this evening after I talked with Emily.
And then it hit me.
Friends, the intensity that I so long for is coming. Oh, I so hope we press in and embrace it!
It will come in the choices that we will be facing to open our mouths with our friends.
It will come in the soul filling delight He will take in us when we do open our mouths.
It will come in the rebuke of His disappointment when we choose to not speak His great name to our friends.
Intensity will come when we see our friends choose to follow Jesus.
Intensity will slap us hard with grief when some our friends reject Jesus.
It will come in the self-discipline it will take to continue to pray for a burden for our friends and the spiritual gift of evangelism.
It will come as He refines us to speak our stories for His glory alone.
The intensity of a retreat like the one we just experienced may not have been overwhelming in the moment, but if we continue to take to heart the deep things He so beautifully revealed to us, we should be continually refined, challenged, encouraged, rebuked, and growing in deep heart wrenching ways.
Oh, I'm excited now! To think that the punch you in the gut results that I so long for will be constantly coming our way in the coming days gets my blood pumping!
Are you ready? Here we go.