Saturday, August 18, 2007

a sobering retreat

Our retreat was glorious as we expected. Two pastoral teams came to share with us. Both were husband and wife teams. Because of the gift mix we expected good teaching, preaching, healing, prayer and prophecy. All of these things occurred.

But what was really striking was the cohesiveness of the messages from the two teams. Both felt strongly led to speak on the priority of forgiveness in order to establish intimacy with God.

There were moments of laughter as each shared on some difficult situations and people they had to deal with and how God taught them each to begin to walk in humility.

So more important than the vocal gifts or spectacular manifestations of the Spirit was the penetrating warning against bitterness, resentment, outburst of anger, and unforgiveness in general.

Let me ask you reader –how are you doing with keeping the flow of God coming through you free and clear of bitterness? Husbands and wives may be particularly at risk because of their closeness, familiarity, and the attacks of Satan. Remember one scripture warns that marital conflict; unresolved, can hinder ones prayer life. It lessens ones effectiveness. Because we are taught one can put a thousand demons to flight but two can put ten thousand.

But married couples are not the only ones at risk. Singles can become selfish and live in their own little secluded worlds. Any intrusions by the needs of others can lead to conflicts and resentment, if we are not careful. Single people are required to work just as hard on keeping relationships healthy and unhindered by anger.

It really interested me that Nujeru would receive such a warning. Our church is small and intimate and thus open to many intense feelings.

Do you think that we sometimes believe the church can help relieve all of our problems with very little effort from ourselves? Do we often want others to bare more of our burden than we--ourselves are willing to bear? I call this the entitlement trap. So, when others refuse to enable us-we take on hard feelings, begin to gossip and slander. This is not of Christ but the flesh. This opens a way for the enemy to take advantage of us. We may become sour faced, depressed, angry and often isolate from the fellowship.

The messages at this retreat call us to beware and to gain insight into the ways of Satan. We must refuse to be childish in our emotions and interactions with one another. We must grow up in all aspect into Christ.

We were told not to romanticize the notion of forgiveness. It is more than a simple prayer and off we go to conquer the world. It is hard, painful, gut wrenching work. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to show us our true condition. We must cry out to God—“create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me”

He will often show us that more work needs to be done within us even after we believe it is all finished.

It was good to receive such a mature word. This tells us God has great things in store for Nujeru. He believes we are up for the challenge. He wants to sanctify us and consecrate us unto a good work.

Yes, I must say, this was a great retreat.

Pray for me. I want to walk in a spirit of quick forgiveness of any offense.

Love Ya

Pastor B

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let me ask you reader –how are you doing with keeping the flow of God coming through you free and clear of bitterness?

As I read this, I was listening to someone preach. They were speaking of how feelings can block your blessings. His advice was to bless the person you may be feeling bitter towards. He said in his situation, he began to bless the person he felt bitter towards. He did it so much that eventually he meant it and started to feel that way and it got easier. Once that feeling was lifted off his heart, he began to be blessed. I will begin to apply these principles as needed.