July 13, 2010
Tonight I write to you from the hills of Peru…just kidding. I’m actually in Daytona Beach, Florida with my youth group for my very last youth trip to Student Life. I have been on many a youth trips over the years, each year a different person, reaping an entirely different experience from the retreat. I am stoked about this week. There are many exciting elements about this week to look forward to. Chris Tomlin is pretty cool. As is Matt Redman. Oh..and Louie Giglio’s not bad either. Not bad at all. And I’m not complaining about the resort we’re at or the Atlantic Ocean outside my window. But the most exciting part of this trip is the attitude that I’m going into it with. I’ve come out of a lot of trips with a renewed spirit and stronger relationship with God, but it’s never failed to be a struggle that begins with a stubborn will and a hard heart.This week I’m not putting up a fight. I’m asking God right from the start to reveal Himself to me and change me in anyway He sees fit.
It started tonight. I experienced a last night’s worship on the first night. In case you’ve never been to one of these camps, let me explain. In most cases, you start out the week still distracted by your life and excited about the band and all but it takes some time to really block out the world and truly connect to God in an intimate, powerful worship session. After a week’s worth of worship and sermons, the last worship session never fails to be a memorable experience. Tonight was the last night. First. The most exciting part? There’s no where to go but up.
So after Chris Tomlin’s opening set grabbed my attention along with the 6,000 other students’, Louie Giglio took the stage for our first Session. The topic: RESPOND.
A brief overview and reflections:
God reveals and we respond. The first part is all Him. The second part is all us. In all my experiences, God’s always held up His end of the deal, but more times than not, I drop the ball. I sit idly. Whether out of fear, or selfishness, or laziness, or stubbornness, I don’t always respond. The only one who misses out when I do so is me. God gives me endless opportunities to be used by Him and He is not held back by my own sedentary spirit. He’ll just use the next person. Sorry next person, I’m getting my bump off the log this week… I’m going to try to anyway.
What is God’s will in my life? This is what me and all of the other upper teens are asking at this point. See previous blog. I hope I’m ready to respond. Until then, I’m still asking God to reveal.
What you are seeing determines how you respond. What are you seeing of Jesus Christ right now? My vision has been blurred lately according to this statement. My response for the past few weeks has been discouragement, anxiety, and worry. Discouragement at some of the sad sights and lives I’ve glimpsed around the world and my inability or unwillingness to really make a difference. Discouragement from situations here at home that I put my highest hopes in and pray for continually that only seem to get worse. Anxiety about the future and the unknown direction it holds. Worry about the changes it brings with it. My response suggests that I’m seeing Jesus Christ in a very small way. In a very weak and insignificant way. I hope to get my vision of Jesus corrected this week, because my God is not weak or small or insignificant. As I sang tonight, ” Our God is greater, stronger, higher than any other..Healer, Awesome in power..” It’s time to respond accordingly and cast my anxieties on Him and trust Him with my future and the situations that are out of my control.
My response: Praying for REVELATION…so that I may know Him better. There is a huge difference in knowing a bunch of information about God and actually knowing Him.
“I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given those he called..” -Ephesians 1:15-18
Revelation always brings us to our knees. I long to be brought to my knees out of revelation this week. God’s brought me to my knees before, but more because of my brokenness than because of His greatness. I want to hit my knees willingly this time. Out of reverence and awe of Him rather than out of disdain for myself.
Final thought: “I’m not sure you can ever really live until somehow, sometime, you fall down at the feet of God.”
I want to really live.
With my eyes wide open,