Thirst Quenching Thursday: Retreat, Replenish, Refocus

Welcome back to Thirst Quenching Thursday!

Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: (Luke 6:12-13 NKJV)

That same day, as crowds gathered to hear Jesus speak, He was moved to come to where the people were so they could hear. He came down from the mountain, refreshed, and ready to speak words of truth and power so they could hear and be close to Him. On level ground, His speaking and healing began. The people were thirsty for His words. When they heard them, they trusted Him, believed Him and were healed - healed from all types of diseases, and freed from tormenting, unclean spirits. Wherever He went, people were clamoring to hear Him speak; to hear the Word of God. (Read Luke 6:17-19.)

Let's ask ourselves some Thirst Quenching Questions:
  • Am I clamoring to hear the words of God?
  • On Sundays: Am I hearing the rich, deep Words of God corporately?
  • Monday - Saturday: How am I spiritually fed during the week privately?
  • Am I invested in small group discipleship, or one on one mentoring, which involves more than mere fellowship and topical discussions, or gossip?
  • Am I thirsty and hungry for more?
 For a few months, I've stepped away from leadership roles in my church for a season of prayer, spiritual self-examination, and reflection. I'm growing more and more concerned about a consistent thread in conversations, articles, and books. The common thread is about the growing number of churches that are shunning the Word of God from being the most central part of corporate worship - how the powerful preaching of the Word is being replaced with entertainment and a soft gospel message. Instead of hearing the Words of God from Scripture proclaimed and taught, and observing people's lives being healed and transformed, many are watching in dismay as the Biblically illiterate nod in ignorance and applaud the emptiness of hollow words. Others leave shaking their heads wondering what in the world is happening? 

No evidence of  lives changed. No evidence of lives healed. No evidence of repentant hearts. Just pew or chair fillers coming and going each week like lifeless robots.

This breaks my heart. How about yours?

I've taken a step back to examine how I'm investing and cultivating my passion for Christ, His Church, and His Gospel. I've retreated from the rigorous to replenish spiritually.

Spiritual renewal is vitally important as to how we continue ministering, and pouring ourselves into the lives of others to make disciples - fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

If Jesus needed to take a break and head for the hills to spend quality time in prayer with the Father, how much more do we need to retreat?

Although Christ was fully God, He was also fully human. He experienced weariness, low energy and strength at times. Where did Jesus go specifically when He needed to be reenergized?

Jesus went where we all should go. 

A place to still.

A place of quiet.

A place to listen.

A place to pray.

Where would that place be?

The presence of His Father. 

The only place where our hearts can be renewed, refreshed, and refocused is in God's presence. 

Inside His loving embrace are words of truth, power, strength, and encouragement which lead to conviction, repentance, and healing. 

In His presence, He cheers us on to stay the course.

So, where are you retreating these days? How are you falling into the arms of the Savior for renewal? Is your spiritual life dry? Are you thirsty for the things of God? Are you being served on a consistent basis the deep riches of the Word from your spiritual leaders?

If not, it's time to find that place of quiet, stillness, and peace. Ask God for clarity and direction, and for a fresh washing of His Spirit. Find a small group of believers who will take you deeper, helping you mature in your faith. Search out someone to hold you accountable.  And, if you're not being served the deep riches of God's Word on a consistent basis, find a church where His Word is the main course and served up with unashamed love, mercy and grace.

My Pleasure,


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