Life on Mission: Awakening

Life on Mission: Awakening

Nov 28, 2016

by Patti Wethington

SDB Church, White Cloud, MI


This journey “On Mission” is amazing — evolving and never ending. One of my desires for this year and throughout the conference experience is that there would be a renewing of relationship with God. Maybe I should call it an awakening — the kind of experience where you see something with fresh eyes that produces an eager spirit or quickening and an awareness of what God’s purpose is for each of us daily. As I described the phases of conference dynamics in my Conference presentation I used the words “encounter, equip and empower.” At Conference 2017, I pray there will be a time in which we are challenged to see God in all His splendor and connect in a vital experience. The other phases of our conference focus will involve learning and embracing concepts and tools to move out for Jesus. And finally, my prayer for each one taking this journey is to feel the freedom that comes with the Holy Spirit — to be fully charged with confidence to extend our reach because it’s the right thing to do… it’s what God commands. In Psalms 96:3 “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.”

Once again, as our small Women’s Circle has done for the past 18+ years, we met to have a retreat. Everyone comes to my home (previously we gathered at my father’s home). God blessed me with a wonderful place to retreat to daily and I love sharing it with others. Our theme this year centered around “Life on Mission” and we singled out the concept of “encounter”: to focus on a few concepts that enrich our relationship with God. I was drawn to the thought of revisiting the fundamental pathway to salvation. We shared and discussed the scriptures that point our hearts and minds to Jesus by understanding that we are all sinners, that God has a wonderful plan for our lives, and He provided a way to bridge the gap between man and God: “in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” It’s knowing and accepting Jesus personally. Once again we paused to thank God for the gift of Jesus and the incredible sacrifice of love through His death and resurrection. It’s returning to the basics of knowing Jesus and what it means to have a personal encounter with that kind of love sacrifice.

Our time of spiritual retreat was deepened when we spent time Sabbath afternoon reading and discussing an article I shared from Christianity Today written by Dr. Juli Slattery titled, “The 5 Secrets to Intimacy with God.” The concepts were just what we needed to embrace our joint desire to experience God more personally. In her article, she shared a struggle and desire that parallels our need to know God, discern God’s voice and feel genuine love for our maker. She cautioned that her five points were not intended to be the end-all in finding the right relationship with God, but a simple suggestion to draw close to a mysterious, living God who cannot be tamed or manipulated into a relationship with us. Scripture states, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13.

To briefly summarize her points, they included:

Desire intimacy with God — “It’s one thing to talk to your friend about wanting to know God, but how desperately do you want it? Is ‘intimacy with God’ one of 20 other things on you goals for this year?

Know God’s Love Language — Did you know God has a love language? God’s love language is an obedient repentant heart. The expression of love for God is something like what David spoke about in Psalms 51: “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit…and repentant heart.” It’s a love filled with obedience to His will.

Love God Affectionately — In Deuteronomy 6:5 Juli reminds us that God’s word says to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength.” That is to me the passionate love for a God who gave all for me.

Don’t give up — God has His own time in all things. You

will never, ever waste a moment seeking the Lord. Even during seasons of discouragement, God sees, God records and …

God will respond in His time. Be patient.

Share in His work — Even though being in an intimate relationship with God pleases Him, there is a greater purpose: that His kingdom would come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). This can only be accomplished when we share in His work and reach out to do God’s will here on earth.

Living a Life on Mission for Jesus truly is a daily act of renewing our hearts and minds with a focus for God’s purpose — God’s purpose for me today and in this moment. Having a close and intimate relationship with God is there for all those who will seek it. That kind of intimacy tunes us in to a frequency that can be receptive to God’s directions and will. The question is, will you take the challenge of Jeremiah 29:13 and make it your heart’s desire to seek that kind of relationship with the One who gave all for you?

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