Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Counting Movement

I saw God moving last weekend during our retreat. While I worked really hard to create a great environment for God to work, I knew I couldn't make God move. You can do all the right things, but that doesn't guarantee that lives will be impacted.

During the weekend we dove into an obscure book of the Old Testament, Ecclesiastes. The Message translates the much repeated Hebrew word, hebel, as 'smoke'. I like how this word captures the temporary nature of our lives as well as the obscure nature of God's working.

It was really refreshing for me to dive into this book, especially since I sometimes feel pressure to produce good numbers of students in our ministry. It reminded me of something I already knew: counting numbers is smoke, a spitting into the wind. Sometimes the numbers indicate God's movement, most of the time the numbers don't.

For us right now, numbers are not the indicator of God's movement. Lives changing is the indicator of God's movement. At the retreat, I saw several students being moved closer to God's heart; it was great to witness as somewhat of an outsider. I witnessed students confessing sins, offering prayers for each other, sharing struggles, wrestling with God, listening to God, moving with God's vigor, laughing in the Spirit, and experiencing the joy of God's community!

Wow, God! Thank you for such a great weekend! Your name was praised! Please give all of us strength to continue in your movements.

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