Monthly Archives: June 2007

Retreat

This past weekend I (Kimberly) spent a night, by myself, at the campus conference center and hotel (known to Southwesterners as the LDC). As Jason and I tried to explain to others what I was doing, we tried to come up with a name to call my time alone. The whole purpose was for me to be refreshed in the Lord. I had become so tired physically and spiritually, I really needed uninterrupted time with God. As I sat in the room and began journaling, I simply called it a retreat. At first I thought how odd that a word could have such different meanings. I was reminded of when Yosemite Sam screamed, “Retreat!” in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons, he meant to turn around and go the other way quickly!  That was definitely not what I was doing! However, the more I thought about it, that’s exactly what I needed to be doing. It wasn’t long into my prayer of confession that God revealed to me I needed to head out in a completely different direction.

When God made me a mom, He changed my life. During the months of pregnancy with Lydia my attitude and heart changed about how I believed a household should be run. I quickly became passionate about the household, meaning not just the house itself, but also all the people in it. What I learned this weekend was that somewhere along the way, that passion from the Lord became my own personal goal of success. If I just worked a little harder everything would be perfect. Daily I was asking myself questions such as “Why am I failing? Why am I letting my family down in different areas? On paper it should work, why is my day not going like it should?” It didn’t make sense to me. Suddenly it was so clear, I was failing at what I wanted to do and how I wanted things to go, so I would be looked upon as a success in this world. I really wasn’t involving God in it too much. It is amazing how subtly it happens. Yes, the concept was a godly one; I am thinking, “I’m just trying to carry out what God has commanded me!” I see now that it all depends on the state of my heart and a right relationship with the Lord. To put it plainly, I was living a life of unbelief. Of course (as always) I didn’t set out to think this way, but I did not believe that God could carry out what He called me to if I let Him have it all. I needed to be living a life of faith. He wants me to come to Him every day and find out what is in store for the ministry in which He has called me: my family.

Once I repented of that, I wondered what a life of faith looks like. Sometimes it seems so much easier said than done. I searched several verses and came up with this list (not exhaustive by any means):

Humble – Habakkuk 2:4

Confident in the Lord – Matthew 17:20

Believe that Jesus can do anything – Luke 7:9

Persistant – Luke 18:8

Faith is initially given to be able to continue in a life of faith – Romans 1:17

It is not based on works – Romans 9:30-33

Comes from hearing the Word of Christ – Romans 10:17

Acknowledging that faith is a gift of God – Ephesians 2:8

Not shifting from the hope of the gospel – Colossians 1:23

Walk, abounding in thanksgiving – Colossians 2:7

It is to be pursued – 1 Timothy 6:11

Believe the impossible can happen – Hebrews 11

Faith will produce works – James 2:14-26

In case it wasn’t clear, I came away from my retreat very refreshed. No, this week has not been perfect and I have continued to struggle with some of the same habits, but I have seen fruit in the way I responded. It was a little bit easier to battle. So if you haven’t spent time in solitude and uninterrupted time with the LORD lately, I highly recommend a retreat.

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The Result of Being Filled with the Spirit causes Submission to One Another!

I would like to remind you all to “be careful how you listen” (The Parable of the Sower). How did the word transform you today?

 A timely message on serving one another was wrought in my heart this morning. I began to evaluate my heart to see if indeed I had been “subject to one another in the fear of Christ” (Eph. 5:21). I found some disturbing things in my heart. As of late, I have thought far more of myself than I ought. To clarify what I mean, here is an example: I have just finished a hard semester in seminary. I felt as though I deserved a break. I had decided to coast this summer and spend time with the family before the next semester started. This is not the ideal summer for a servant of Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, the summer should give way to multiple opportunities to serve the church. So, why not? I praise my Father in heaven for having such mercy on me this morning. He exposed my plans and changed my heart. This does not mean I am going to abandon my family. It just means I am not going to treat them as an object of worship. They will be part of my worship to Christ as I spend time teaching them and encouraging them and loving them this summer. But, they will not occupy the entire summer. Let me transition to another sermon that reflect that of a servant’s heart.

Hear and see this quotation.

The context of the message was an exhortation to “soon to be pastors.” Here is what he encouraged the pastors to say as they interviewed with a church, “I am coming with a message that could cost you your life. I am here to make you happy. So happy in Jesus you don’t need to be alive. You don’t need that house. You don’t need that car. You don’t need this family, if they all die HE is still alive! I am coming to make you so glad in God, revealed in Christ, that you will sing, ‘Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also, the body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still, satisfying my heart no matter what.’ I count everything as loss for the surpassing value of knowing Jesus Christ.”

Has the gospel changed our lives in such a way that we have this type of message to bring to the church? Is the gospel that radical? May we look deeply into our hearts to see where our satisfaction lies. We will be subject to one another if the attitude of our heart is like that of the above quotation which is a result of being filled with the Spirit.


Be Filled with the Holy Spirit!

Dear Brethren, do not neglect the Spirit. In a day when the Holy Spirit is misunderstood and carried from one extreme to the other, we must find a biblical view of the Spirit. Recently, I was reading I Corinthians. I began by reading chapter one which caused me to begin journaling. As I journaled an entry, I was overwhelmed by chapter one. By that I mean as I finished reading chapter one I knew what was lacking in my life over the past several weeks–The Holy Spirit. Before ending my quiet time with the Lord I looked ahead to chapter two. I am sure you know what chapter two is about–yes, the Holy Spirit. So, what caused me to see my need for the Holy Spirit in chapter one? Human wisdom or as Paul says, “the wisdom of the world.” I had been seeking God completely through His Word ALONE. I had become arrogant in my study of God’s Word. I had neglected the Spirit. I had quenched the Spirit of God. By the next morning I could hardly wait for morning to arrive so I could see how Paul was going to instruct me. The next morning came and I read the rest of the letter. For two days I walked in the Holy Spirit. It was amazing! I saw things in God’s Word with new eyes. It was a joy to feast on the Word with the Spirit’s guidance. However, Saturday came and I slept in after a hard week of studying. By the time I awakened from my slumber, the family had awakened as well. As you could guess, I missed spending time with the Lord that morning. By ten o’clock I was more than aware of a quenched Spirit. I rushed to my room and closed the door. I opened the living Word and cried out to God for His mercy. He restored the quenched Spirit within me. Something unique about that day was my awareness. I had been walking for weeks (maybe more) with a quenched Spirit. However, His presence was noticed very quickly that day. Brethren, how long has it been since you were filled with the Spirit? Examine yourselves. BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT!