Along the course of our journey, we have begun to ask some hard questions about our faith. Questions like:
What does my personal relationship with Jesus really look like? Does my heart honestly echo the desire of the psalmist who wrote,
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25-26
Am I truly walking in close communion with God, not just working for God or wanting things from God?
Is my relationship with Jesus primarily transactional (a means of getting into heaven) or transformational as I submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in my life?
Where is the strength for my daily life and ministry coming from? Is my life characterised by humility, and the knowledge that without Jesus, I can do nothing? (John 15:5)
Am I drinking deeply from the spring of living water or am I exhausted from digging empty cisterns? (Jeremiah 3:13)
Lots of questions. Maybe you share some of them.
And whatever our answers reveal about the reality of our Christian walk, the truth is that God’s desire is always for a deeper relationship with us, his beloved children.
Jesus Himself said “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
There are seasons in our Christian life where we experience this fullness, the lavishness of God’s grace and overflowing joy. But there are also times when we may feel like the author Dan Stone when he says:
“Most people’s Christianity is like an old iron bed- firm at both ends and sagging in the middle. On one end you trust Christ as Saviour and get your sins forgiven. On the other end, one day you will go to heaven. In between, it gets pretty desperate. You have lots of questions that all boil down to one: Where is the life? Where is the abundant life that Jesus promised?”
Sometimes it can be a struggle to even read the Bible and pray. In our heads, we know the truth of what the Bible says in James 4:8 “Come near to God and he will come near to you”. But what about the times when our hearts are cold and distant, or we just don’t feel like it? Or when our regular “quiet time” has just become a duty that needs to be ticked off a to-do list?
We have walked this path ourselves. We have swung between seasons of abundance and times of doubt and dryness. We have been frustrated by the lack of spiritual fruit in our lives and our ongoing battle with the same sins and destructive patterns of living and relating to others. Our experiences can make it tempting to say that this is the reality of our Christian walk this side of heaven, and we just need to make the best of it.
This may not be your experience at all, but if you ARE struggling (or just wanting to deepen your relationship with God) it is our desire is to encourage you with the hope that is our “soul anchor” (Hebrews 6:19). If our souls are deeply anchored in Christ, there should always be a place within us that brings refreshment, joy, passion and rest. No matter how wildly the storms of life rage around us.
We invite you to come and share the journey with us at Retreat.
(Matthew 11:28-30 The Message)