Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men of courage, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
This past weekend I was privileged to attend a retreat with some guys that I work with here at UWM (United World Mission). Honestly, I had too much going on and this felt like just an event that I couldn’t wait to be over. Little did I know the Father was going to meet me there. And He was going to radically transform my heart that will then offer life and growth to every other part of my life.
The Battle for the Heart is a long weekend but it is so much more than an event. I was blessed to go with 4 other men that serve with UWM and spend 4 days outside Birmingham, Al learning about this battle that is going on inside each of us. This time was about each one of us learning who God has created us to be as men, what He has chosen each of us to do, how evil is hunting my heart constantly, and how a community/fellowship can protect and propel me into the Larger story of life…His ultimate story.
After the first night I went to bed thinking that my head was going to explode! It was like drinking water from a fire hose. I was ready to go home. I felt like I had only begun to realize just how messed up I was and felt like I was a big ball of tangled mess.
The second day things began to move to my heart as I processed them with my group and alone with the Lord. The mix of large group times, small group conversations, and time sitting in the woods asking the Father to speak to me were pretty moving!
The third day was all about the Father revealing His amazing love for us and me seeing me the way He truly sees me. I had a face to face moment with God that completly blew me away.
On Sunday, the last day of the retreat, I was able to start putting all of the pieces together. I was also able to share them with a group of men that were now brothers not just co-workers of mine. We spent that morning telling one another what we see God doing in each persons life, affirming the unique glory of the Father coming out of their life, and challenging one another to live out His purpose in their life, family, marriage, work, ministries, etc. This was a powerful moment!
Before this weekend I had heard two friends at work talk about this retreat and how it was the most impactful thing that they have ever been a part of other than receiving Jesus. I honestly thought it was a sales pitch to get us there. I even told one of them that and he said, “well, what do you think now?” After going through this weekend and now knowing that get to walk with these men for the next year, I am sold! It honestly is the best, most important, impactful, life changing, transformational thing that I have been a part of other than Jesus saving me from my sin!!! My life, marriage, children, ministry, and every other relationship in life will never be the same again! My HEART will never be the same again, Praise the Lord!
I could talk for days about my experience and how the Lord meet with me! It was a sweet, sacred time that I am so thankful for. Instead of talking about everything that I heard, learned, and experienced I thought I would list just 5 of the 1000’s of quotes or truths gained:
- I am His Beloved, I am enough just the way I am, and I am an image bearer of God Himself.
- Deceitful Desires: Expecting fulfilment of a surface desire – any material, experiential, positional, or relational desire – to satisfy a deeper desire. Only God can satisfy a deep desire.
- Our deepest desires aren’t bad. They were put in us by the Father himself because they reflect who He is and who I truly am.
- I can have impact not only by what I can do but simply by being – being who God created me to be.
- Evil is hunting me today because I am a danger to him. Evil is going to cleverly try to get me off track through fear, anxiousness, and pride so I am not able to live and love as the man God created me to be to my domain (life, marriage, family, work, ministry, friends, etc.)
I would strongly encouarge every person I know to attend and go through the Battle for the Heart! If you are interested click here and if you would like to hear more from me about this time I would love to share. Just let me know!