This week we are on mission in Austin, Texas. In partnership with LeaderTreks, we are serving various ministries each day and stretching our Middle Schoolers even more than before.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
When I think about living a life on mission, I am reminded of one of my lifelong verses. Psalm 91:2 speaks of protection and security, no matter what is heading our way. It seems that this past year sent curve balls our way with a pandemic, a shut down, questioning how to come back and gather in a healthy way, and even questions whether life itself would get “back to normal.” It is interesting how subtracting certain things from your life can reveal what really are true additions to you personally. Many of us gathered in our homes as safe places with friends and family that we trusted. It became our “fortress” or “refuge” away from the outside fears. Much like our physical homes and places of safety, the Lord is a strong tower of refuge as well. His ways and His mighty hand protect us as we navigate unknown waters and fight whatever comes our way. The very fact that we must find a heart to Trust God reminds us that in Him, we cannot be shaken. Pray for our Middle Schooler to learn to TRUST GOD in the same way. Whatever the task, He calls us to Him as a protection and a refuge.
‘Teach me your way, Lord , that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. ‘ Psalms 86:11
This week we are at MIDDLE SCHOOL CAMP. I am so excited to say YES to things this SUMMER that the shut down put a halt to last year. With the changing season in mind, and the hope to move forward, I cannot help but look back and THANK THE LORD for HIS FAITHFULNESS.
Psalm 86:11 has been on my heart since Pastor Ray shared it in his sermon. Speaking about purity of heart and getting to the root of what our humanity deals with reminds me that one strong way to combat temptation and falling back into “old habits” is to daily surrender our hearts to the Lord. The Psalm is a simple reminder that the Lord has only been FAITHFUL during the unstable and unprecedented times our world has faced. That FAITHFULNESS is something we MUST RELY ON moving forward as well. The rock that we build our lives on starts in the foundation of the Lord and His great love for us in Jesus Christ. Choosing to rely on the FAITHFULNESS of GOD, and put that into action, is the same as walking in GODLY WISDOM. We stand secure in God’s Word and who He is and TRUST that what He asks us to do in our lives is what is right for us today.
The second part of Psalm 86:11 reveals something that must take place beyond the outside appearance. Don’t get me wrong, signing up for Camp, going to Camp, and taking actions to serve one another are all great actions to take, but the motivation, energy, and true power comes from something deeper. A personal decision to surrender our hearts to the Lord and allow Him to guide our steps in our daily lives leads to the purity of a life in Christ. My prayer is that the Lord engages in and speaks to the heart of our students on a personal level. That His still small voice will grow into a strong relationship that goes beyond only taking action out of duty to truly knowing God the Father. When we truly KNOW the FATHER, we find that fearing Him is a joy. The access that Jesus gives us to the Father places us in a position to honor and glorify the ALIMIGHTY GOD, while at the same time, rejoicing in the fact that WE KNOW HIM PERSONALLY. He calls to the depths of our hearts because that is what He desires. He wants our undivided love and affection given to Him because He created us to long for Him. The problem is that we naturally give our love and affection to other things, and we end up unsatisfied. When we stop dividing our hearts up and give them totally to the Lord, we find true satisfaction.
Father, we rely on your FAITHFULNESS from generation to generation. We willingly give our hearts to you to find satisfaction and live the rest of our days glorifying your name. In the NAME OF JESUS, we ask for your hand on our Middle School students and all that are participating at Camp to hear from you, and find full satisfaction in knowing you personally.