During the last week of 2017, I had the privilege of serving at Bethel’s youth retreat. The theme of the retreat was, “Reign: Who Is Your King?” It was a great reminder that our hearts can only follow one master. Although I had no experience serving in BYM, I knew that they were always looking for teachers. So in faith, I wanted to serve. I would like to share with you how I was blessed.
On one of the nights, our guest speaker Pastor Jacob, shared with us how the one thing (the only thing in the Bible) the disciples asked Jesus to teach them was how to pray. This simple lesson blessed me in two ways. First, I need more prayer before any action. As a man, I convince myself that I am more capable than I really am. But when I see the life that Jesus lived, I see him doing great things in our Father’s name only after a great amount of prayer. When I lean on my own understanding and try to figure things out, I am not trusting in God and I hinder my own growth. Prayer helps me to step back and put God back as the head of my heart.
Second, I realized that I needed to see God more as my Abba Father, an intimate God who knows me and loves me personally. The theme, “Who Is Your King?” states that our King is a “who” and not a “what”. By praying we can talk to an almighty God that cares for us. Through grace we are able to talk to God in the most personal way, yet even in my own quiet times I find myself trying to puff myself in front of God as if he cares more about the words I say than the condition of my heart.
Throughout the retreat I had opportunities to talk to my fellow teachers and to the students. Seeing how God is moving in the lives of my brothers and sisters at Bethel filled me with so much joy and excitement! At times I get tunnel vision and I lose track of anything not related to work or what’s right in front of me. But looking out and watching God move encourages me to deepen my relationship and to share more of my life with my church family. Somehow even at church I forget that we are called to be one body that encourages one another and points each other to Christ. Too often I find myself both in life and in church trying to live out my own plans, concerned only about myself. This retreat was a gentle rebuke for me to thank God for allowing me to be part of this family of believers
Though this retreat was meant for the students, I am taking so much back. God alone frees us from the conforming patterns of this world. At this retreat, through the message of prayer and the people I met, I felt God helping me to break free and remind my heart that it is my Abba Father who reigns in my heart.