At the weekend I was privileged to be at one of our Fitfish retreats in the Cotswolds! In this week’s blog post I share a few thoughts about approaching Jesus/God from the gospels that I shared on Saturday morning at the retreat.
Stepping away from action but towards Jesus
In Mark 6, which refers to the feeding of the Five Thousand, in verse 31 before the event and verse 46 after the event Jesus steps away to spend time with his Father:
‘Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”’ Mark 6: 31
‘After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.’ Mark 6:46
The power of the miracle of feeding the five thousand came in between those two periods of rest and connection with His Father.
- Do we need to withdraw and receive from Jesus so that he can use us powerfully and for His glory?
- Do we value action above recharge and interaction (with God)?
Sit with Jesus
‘While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.’ Matthew 9: 9
Sinners came to eat with Jesus even though their sin was very public.
- Does our private (or public) sin sometimes hold us back from approaching God?
- What are you thinking when you don’t approach God because of your sin?
- Are you believing any lies?
Approaching Jesus with your doubts and unbelief too
‘Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”’ Mark 9:24
- It is ok to believe and have doubts.
- It is ok to believe and be mad at God.
- It’s ok to have faith but wish you had more.
All of these things are not mutually exclusive.
‘Come to this table, not because you must but because you may,
not because you are strong, but because you are weak.
Come, not because any goodness of your own gives you a right to come,
but because you need mercy and help.
Come, because you love the Lord a little and would like to love him more.
Come, because he loved you and gave himself for you.
Come and meet the risen Christ, for we are his Body.’
Taken from ‘Gathering for Worship: Patterns and Prayers for the Community of Disciples‘, C J Ellis and M Blyth
Jesus loves you approaching Him!
‘Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”’ Mark 10:21
Even though the rich young ruler had questions and wasn’t living a lifestyle that was directly in line with God’s desire for him, Jesus looked at him and loved him!
- Do you feel like you fall off the track of God’s love?
- Do you feel like you step outside of His will and lose some of his approval?
- How does this verse reassure you?
Our retreats often book up fast but we have a few spaces left for the weekends in September and November. You can find out more and book a place here.