May 24, 2011

Great Expectations

Every summer this idea of our expectations fills my mind in a big way. That's because every summer I go with a bunch of students & some adult leaders to camp. At camp, amazing things happen, lives are changed, & you can feel the weight of God's presence. Then of course we go home, & after a few weeks, those feelings begin to wane. Why is that?

I believe with all of my heart that the difference is in our expectations. We go to camp, & we expect God to do great things. In fact, if something didn't happen, we might be tempted to ask for a refund! However, when we get home do we expect God to show up or do we expect "church" to happen? We can't have the "camp experience" every time we gather for worship or for some activity, but we can have the most important element in that experience: God Himself. All we have to do is expect Him to show up, invite Him to show up, & at times beg Him to show up as we repent of our reliance on cool production, great music, & ministry tools in general that try to manufacture an encounter that can only take place when God shows up. Don't get me wrong; I love all of the technical advances & tools we have available to help set the stage for an encounter with God, but those things are not the encounter. If God doesn't show up, it was really a waste of time.

God shows up when we expect Him to. He honors our desire, our pursuit for Him & Him alone. As we get ready to head to camp next week with our group, my prayer is not that God would show up at camp, but that he would make His presence known & felt each & every time we gather as a group or come by ourselves to Him in prayer or in His word, that when we walk away, we know we've been in His presence & that we've heard from Him.

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