This weekend was The Living Room’s Life Weekend (or spring “retreat,” if you know your Christianese). I was looking forward to it for a long time, and got even more excited when I heard the topic was going to be the Holy Spirit!
A few days before the retreat, when we got the schedule, I began to feel overwhelmed. I felt like it was too packed, like I was going to come away from the retreat exhausted and drained, rather than relaxed and renewed. I kept telling myself, this is what you signed up for. You chose to be a leader here, so lead. If you’re rolling your eyes and thinking this is going to be another retreat story where I start out with a bad attitude and then leave the retreat like, “YES. JESUS. WOOOOOHHH!!!” you’re pretty much right. Ha. Keep reading anyway?
This song from Hillsong Worship came on shuffle on my iPhone Friday morning before leaving for the retreat, and the words really spoke to me. “Overwhelmed but I won’t break. Through the battle I will say, ‘Your grace will be enough.'”
Of course it ended up being one of the songs the band played multiple times throughout the weekend. Of course. A sweet little reminder from my Father to just trust Him: You may feel overwhelmed, but you can lean on Me. I will not break. I will not even shake. You can rest and just let Me work through you. I am enough. I’ve already won.
God ended up extending so much grace to me throughout the weekend. All I had to do was receive it. I got to know people who come to The Living Room every Tuesday, but who I’d somehow never seen before. I connected more deeply with some of my closest friends (who I’ve really only known for 6-9 months, which is freaky and weird because how do I love and trust them so much already?!)
I love all these people. I love this community. I love that there are 300+ young adults who are busy, but still come out every Tuesday night to learn about Jesus. I love that over 100 of those young adults are willing to take a weekend away and go even deeper into the Word. It doesn’t make sense. It shouldn’t be happening. People my age should be “sewing their wild oats,” or what have you. But it is happening. God is doing something special right here in little ole Lanc.
I love serving at The Living Room. I love learning there. I love that more and more of my friends are going out and spreading the Word to all nations. It’s exciting to see people taking what they’ve learned and applying it and letting Him change their lives, not just coming every Tuesday night and hoping for God high after God high to get them through the week.
Anyway. Back to Life Weekend. I’ll try not to get too long-winded with this post, but here are 4 things that stood out to me!
- Sin is strong. I am also strong. I can beat sin alone for a long time. But always, always, always, I will wear out. The Spirit never wears out. When I’m fighting sin WITH the Spirit in me, I won’t wear out. I am not Superman to my sin, but when the Holy Spirit comes alongside me, great things happen.
- If we don’t know our identity… if we don’t believe we are God’s sons and daughters, and as such have the same beautiful inheritance as Jesus… we can only imitate results. Oh man. This struck me more than anything else all weekend. Am I imitating the results I see other “great Christians” producing, or am I allowing the Spirit to work through me and use my very personal and unique gifts?
- Until His baptism, Jesus had been doing… nothing. He was a 30 year old carpenter. He had not preached. He had not performed miracles. He was waiting (which is a hard thing for most of us to do). Still, after His baptism, God’s voice came down, claiming Him. “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” God loved Him, and claimed Him, not for what He’d done or would do, but for who He was.
- Finally, 1 Corinthians 13 spoke to me in a new way this weekend. I’ve always thought of it as the “Love Chapter.” Apparently I even compartmentalize scriptures into little boxes, like that’s the “Love Chapter” and that’s all I’ll ever get out of it. Not sure how I missed it, but it’s about the Holy Spirit, too.
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
Oh man. When prophesy and tongues and knowledge and everything else passes away, love will still be there. It is endless. It is perfect. It is free. It is the most beautiful expression of the Holy Spirit.
So much love,