|Frank Black takes the men on a "Hike with God."|
Thoughts from the Men’s Advance.
A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to spend time with 25 or so other men from Southeastern at our annual Men’s Advance. It was a great time of fellowship with some challenging thoughts about what it means to walk with God. The guys who shared did a good job of pointing us toward the importance of being in step with our Father and to live our lives in way that honors Him. Here are a couple of the things that I specifically took away as a challenge from our time together.
1- We are stronger on our walk with God if we do it with a team! God has always been about relationship. You see from the very beginning the use of companions as people, formed in the image of God, navigate life. God didn’t leave Adam alone, he gave him Eve. Moses had Aaron to aid him in ministry. David had Jonathan to rely on and provide protection from Saul. We see Jesus walk with 12 followers on a daily basis and 3 of those were best friends to him. In I Corinthians 12 Paul describes the importance of the faith community working together and sharing gifts. Acts gives us a glimpse at the earliest days of the church where we see the believers coming together each day to grow together as a movement and even share what they owned to support each other. I could go on and on. However, I think you see the point. We were never called to journey alone. We were called to walk with other people who support, challenge, and encourage us. Do you have those people in your life? I hope so. If not, seek them out. It is vitally important to connect with others. Satan would like to nothing more than to see you try walking through life as a “lone wolf.” That makes you an easy target.
2- I was really struck by the question of what is consuming my life. Each of us will be consumed by something. Our time, energy, and resources will be depleted by something whether it be positive or wasteful. The question is whether or not those things are truly being used in such a way that would reflect what I say is most important to me. In other words, if I say that growing in my relationship with God is a priority in my life, why would I spend all my time watching TV that is opposite to the nature of God? If I believe that being involved in the daily life of my kids is a core value to my life, why would I dig myself into a career that has me away from them all the time? If I believe that serving and loving others is truly part of honoring God, why do I use all my vacation time for “me time” rather than intentionally laying some aside for ministry opportunities? My time, my money, my heart, my thoughts; each of those things are going to be consumed. The way they are consumed will dictate who I am as a person and whether or not my life is a reflection of what God wants for me. I hope that if someone were to just follow me through my life and take notes on how I’m being consumed there would be no doubt that I’ve allowed God to take control of me. I hope that I’m an open place for the Spirit to dwell and help me on that walk with God that we talked so much about at the Advance.
That weekend was a great time. I don’t know what other men took from it. I hope you’ll ask them! But for me, it was a reaffirmation toward the importance of fellowship and living a life where my actions speak louder than words about Who is consuming me! One last thing- guys, if you didn’t make it this year, I sure hope you’ll go next year and be blessed by a weekend together with brothers in Christ!